It’s a common question from those new to alternative healing. ‘How does acupuncture work?’
Great question! Let’s answer it.
What is acupuncture treatment like?
Acupuncture means needles. Most of us don’t like them! But don’t worry. Acupuncture needles are extremely fine. So they don’t hurt.
A few people get tiny twinges. That’s good! It means the needle released a blockage.
Needles must go into the correct acupuncture points. There are hundreds of points. Acupuncturists study for years to learn them. (The UTS course takes 4 years.)
Acupuncture is drug-free. You lie on a massage couch and rest. Most people find it relaxing. We usually combine acupuncture with massage and aromatherapy. Even more relaxing!
The traditional Chinese view of how acupuncture works
Chinese medicine uses the concept of qi, or energy. Qi flows round the body on pathways called meridians. Acupuncture points lie on these meridians.
Qi helps balance yin and yang forces. If qi is blocked, they are unbalanced. The body is unbalanced. So you get sickness or pain.
Acupuncture clears the blocks. Qi flows through the body and restores health.
‘Western’ explanations of acupuncture
Many studies show acupuncture works. But Western science is still not sure how. Most theories say it stimulates signalling systems in the body. For example:
- It stimulates the central nervous system. This theory makes sense. Many acupuncture points are near neural transmitters. So the needles trigger neural messages to the brain.
- It produces endorphins, which reduce pain.
- It releases opioids. These also relieve pain.
- It increases blood flow. More red blood cells means more nutrients. Better healing.
Conditions acupuncture works for
So much for ‘How does acupuncture work?‘.
There’s a more important question though.
‘What conditions can acupuncture treat?’
If you ask Western science, acupuncture is effective for:
- pain management
Also, John Hopkins Medicine says National Institute of Health studies support the use of acupuncture for:
- Nausea after surgery or chemo
- Dental pain
- Menstrual cramps
- Tennis elbow
- Low back pain
- Carpal tunnel syndrome
When you use acupuncture, it may be used alone or in conjunction with conventional medicine. So it’s worth discussing with your doctor.
Do you suffer from one of these conditions? If so, why not try acupuncture? Or a combined treatment? Contact Janene to discuss what’s right for you.