What are Stem Cells?
We’ve all heard some news story somewhere that touts stem cell treatment as the next big fix. “Stem cells are the cure to all ailments and preventative answer to our weaknesses!”
Stem cell treatments are an emerging alternative to invasive treatments. Are they worth it?
While the results have been promising, there is still more research to be done.
Now, before we go getting all science-y on you, let’s discuss what stem cells are and what these treatments really consist of.
The Mayo clinic, one of the country’s leading research facilities, explains stem cells in a digestible way.
“Stem cells are the body’s raw materials — cells from which all other cells with specialized functions are generated. Under the right conditions in the body or a laboratory, stem cells divide to form more cells called daughter cells.
These daughter cells either become new stem cells (self-renewal) or become specialized cells (differentiation) with a more specific function, such as blood cells, brain cells, heart muscle or bone. No other cell in the body has the natural ability to generate new cell types.”
What does acupuncture have to do with all this?
An ideal treatment option would be to find a way to let your body produce stem cells on it’s own. Recent research has shown that this is possible by combining traditional acupuncture and electrical stimulation.
Researchers from Indiana University School of Medicine produced a publication online March 16th, 2017 in the journal Stem Cells that provides the most comprehensive picture yet of how electroacupuncture stimulates the brain, allowing for the release of stem cells, and adds new insight to the cells’ healing properties.
This study demonstrates how electroacupuncture results in the release of reparative mesenchymal stem cells into the blood stream.
Stem cells mobilize and release into the brain after just two hours of treatment.
The effects of electroacupuncture are lasting and cumulative. Consistent treatment creates a better environment to allow the site of injury to heal.
Researchers also found electroacupuncture treatments resulted in higher pain tolerance thresholds for injury-induced pain as well as considerable increases in the presence of a type of collagen that promotes tendon repair and leads to faster healing time.
Having a higher threshold for pain helps your body to reduce the painful sensations you would typically feel with an injury.
Where can I get electroacupuncture?
At Greenwich Sports Medicine we have always used electroacupuncture as part of our treatment protocol. Because of it’s positive affects, it is one of the many reasons we have been able to help athletes of all levels get back to the playing field at a faster pace.
To achieve complete healing of the involved structures it is important to address every level of dysfunction.
Electroacupuncture allows us to heal the injury at the deepest level of dysfunction. It then allows us to completely resolve the issue. Being current with our research as well as practice, is the most important thing we can do as Doctors for our patients. Not only does this help our patients get better faster, but, it allows us to have better insight into optimal healing.