Pain

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I am currently taking Neurophysiology of Acupuncture with Dr. Kwon. He used to be the assistant dean of the program and but now focuses on teaching. He is a full of so much knowledge and loves to share with his students.  

We have focused the majority of our class around pain. A large percentage of the patients we see have some form of pain, and acupuncture successfully treats the pain. But, how does it work? Both my patients and I are wondering the same thing. Dr. Kwon explains how the insertion of the needle activates small nerve bundles - vascular, cutaneous or muscular. Activating the larger A beta, gamma or delta fibers that travel faster and "close the gate" pain centers in the dorsal horn of the spinal cord, then prevent transmission to the brain as pain. The slow C-fibers can't relay the feeling of pain. Acupuncture also releases endorphins, which attach to opiate receptors. This blocks the neurotransmitter and the transmission of the painful stimulus.  

We discuss other disorders that cause pain such as headache but we don't limit our discussions to just pain. We also discuss movement disorders such as stroke, Parkinson's and Huntington's disease.

Stroke

Dr. Kwon requires us to write a research paper based on research we have accumulated via the Internet. My topic is stroke. I have learned how it is diagnosed and treated in eastern and conventional medicine, but I am more interested in the rehabilitation post-stroke. There are many benefits if stroke rehabilitation is started within a few days to a week. Rehab is needed for at least three months. Benefits are seen if patients have continued rehab throughout their life and it may prevent future strokes.

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