Acupuncture and Neuroplasticity for Flow State of Increased Creativity
Why do so many of my clients leave their appointments feeling more inspired and creative?
While an acupuncturist might tell you that re-balancing the optimal flow of Qi or dissolving any stagnation in the body will result in a feeling of being in a “flow state” - there is now ample evidence to illustrate how acupuncture affects our brain, therefore affecting our creative capacity.
A systematic review and meta-analysis from Scientific Reports states that there are many studies that demonstrate the benefits of acupuncture for post-stroke rehabilitation. After sifting through 2,938 relevant records from PubMed, EMBASE, Cochrane Library, Chinese National Knowledge Infrastructure, VIP information database, and Chinese Biomedical Literature Database - Lu, Zhang, Chen, Zheng, and Bian identified 34 eligible studies for a meta-analysis of acupuncture’s effects on neurogenesis. Studies and publications were excluded based on the following criteria: duplicate data, case report or review, not an animal study, not researches study of stroke or ischemia, immature animals used that were a contradiction with neurogenesis, inappropriate outcome indicators, no control groups, multiple publications, or non-focal cerebral ischemia models. Using RevMan V.5.1 software, meta-analyses and sub-analyses were performed and analyses of public bias and meta-regression were performed using STATA/SE 12.0 software.
The authors concluded that there is strong evidence of endogenous neurogenesis from acupuncture therapy to support the proliferation, migration, and differentiation of neural stem/progenitor cells (NSCs/NPCs) to replace the injured neural cells after acute stroke.
In a study from a Journal on Neural Plasticity, ten healthy volunteers ages 24 to 40 years-old underwent an acupuncture needling intervention and a control intervention for 30 minutes at a time in a randomized order of days within in a seven-day interval. To measure the results, SPSS software (version 23.0, SPSS Inc., Chicago, IL) was used for statistical analysis of acupuncture and its effect on rMT, MEP amplitude, IHI, and motor excitability (F wave). The authors of the study concluded that additional research with a larger sample size that also included a sham control group would be beneficial to further investigate the changes in neuroplasticity for post-stroke patients.
As the first study that investigated the neuroplastic mechanism of acupuncture therapy, the results of increased corticomotoneuronal excitability elicited by acupuncture intervention gives evidence as to why clients feel more inspired and creative after treatment.
Because many of my clients are entrepreneurs and business owners, sharing this information with them about how acupuncture increases neuroplasticity and endogenous neurogenesis can inspire them to prioritize treatments as a part of their wellness rituals in addition to a consistent meditation and movement practice.
This might look like scheduling more appointments during busy production and creative seasons to increase cognitive function and optimize a holistic way to recover in between big meetings and presentations.
About the author:
As a licensed acupuncturist and alignment coach, Chloe is dedicated to empowering others to perform better, think faster, and live a life that energizes them on all levels of reality: physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. Using a blend of ancient wisdom from Chinese Medicine and modern science, her mission is to stand as a reminder that the body has the power to heal itself.
Lu, L., Zhang, X. G., Zhong, L. L., Chen, Z. X., Li, Y., Zheng, G. Q., & Bian, Z. X. (2016). Acupuncture for neurogenesis in experimental ischemic stroke: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Scientific reports, 6, 19521. doi:10.1038/srep19521
Yang, Y., Eisner, I., Chen, S., Wang, S., Zhang, F., & Wang, L. (2017). Neuroplasticity Changes on Human Motor Cortex Induced by Acupuncture Therapy: A Preliminary Study. Neural plasticity, 2017, 4716792. doi:10.1155/2017/4716792