How Does Acupuncture Work?
For years now I have been talking to people about acupuncture and how it can relieve pain and a host of other conditions. It is ancient Chinese medicine that usually involves sticking very fine needles into your skin. It is usually painless and can be a very relaxing experience.
A lot of studies have been done in the United States and in Europe that have found scientifically that acupuncture is effective to some degree in treating pain and nausea. The October 2012 issue of Archives of Internal Medicine drew together 29 other studies and concluded that acupuncture is effective in treating chronic pain.
One of the ways acupuncture works is by activating the body’s natural self-healing processes. Usually this involves inserting a needle, or several needles, into acupuncture points along a pathway to redirect the flow of Qi. Pressure via massage, cupping, heat treatments and electrical stimulation are also used at times.
The theory is that energy flows through the body, and the body functions most optimally when the energy flows in a balanced way. This is the balance of the yin and yang. When the body gets out of balance, pain or other symptoms start to appear. The acupuncture points are specific points where energy can become blocked or unbalanced. This therapy releases those blockages and allows the energy flow to balance the body once again.
This allows the body’s self-healing mechanisms to be activated and can start them on a journey to wellness. Modern research has shown that indeed this therapy has a positive effect on the nervous, endocrine and immune systems. It can also help the cardiovascular and digestive systems. People often feel relief from pain, they sleep better, have better digestion and an overall better sense of well-being.