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
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.