How Does Acupuncture Work?
Acupuncture is one of the most successful alternative medical treatments available today. With roots in ancient China and developed over thousands of years, acupuncture employs very thin, sterile and disposable needles into specific points in the body. The needles are inserted gently and shallowly, unlike the needle insertions from injections that you may be accustomed to. Everyone experiences acupuncture differently, but most feel minimal sensation from the needles and report feelings of relaxation and ease during the treatment.
Acupuncture is based on the premise that qi–a foundational energy for life and health–circulates throughout channels in the body. The movement of qi through these channels is similar to some of the circulatory systems described in Western medicine, such as the endocrine, lymphatic, blood, and nervous systems. Optimal health is attained when qi is flowing freely. A simple analogy would be to a flowing stream that gets clogged with debris. The stream is at its clearest and healthiest when the current is allowed to flow without blockages. Once debris starts to clog the system, the stream begins to slow, algae begins to grow and the water becomes contaminated. When the body responds to acupuncture, it is like a stream responding to the opening of a dam or the clearing of debris: qi–which can be dammed up by stress, anxiety, and physical illness–begins to flow freely and the body can return to optimal function.
As described by modern science, the human body strives to maintain a state of balance and health, known as homeostasis. Acupuncture stimulates the body’s own natural healing mechanisms that work to maintain this state of balance. Our bodies naturally produce a wide variety of pain-relieving substances, anti-inflammatory chemical agents, hormones, immune enhancers and so forth. Some of the most effective pharmaceutical drugs used today are, in fact, man-made synthetic copies of the chemicals our own bodies produces naturally. Acupuncture helps the body use its own healing resources and processes to naturally conquer illness and disease.