How Does Acupuncture Work?
The classical Chinese explanation is that channels of energy run in regular patterns through the body and over its surface. These energy channels, called meridians, are like rivers flowing through the body to irrigate and nourish the tissues. An obstruction in the movement of these energy rivers is like a dam that backs up into other rivers/channels. When we are injured, are exposed to bacteria or viruses, eat poorly, or are unable to appropriately express emotions one or more dams are affected.
The meridians can be influenced by needling the acupuncture points; the acupuncture needles unblock the obstructions at the dams, and reestablish the regular flow through the meridians. Heat, pressure, or electricity may also be used in conjunction with the needles during the treatment. Acupuncture treatments can therefore help the body’s internal organs to correct imbalances in their digestion, absorption, and energy production activities, and in the circulation of their energy through the meridians.
The modern scientific explanation is that needling the acupuncture points stimulates the nervous system to release chemicals in the muscles, spinal cord, and brain. These chemicals will either change the experience of pain, or they will trigger the release of other chemicals and hormones which influence the body’s own internal regulating system.
The improved energy and biochemical balance produced by acupuncture results in stimulating the body’s natural healing abilities, and in promoting physical and emotional well-being.
What is Acupuncture?
Acupuncture is just one form of therapy used within the coherent system of healing known as Oriental Medicine. Oriental Medicine includes herbology, physical therapy, dietetics and special exercises (such as Tai Chi and Qi Gong), and is a complete medical system unto itself and is not another branch of modern Western medicine. Acupuncture evolved from principles and philosophies unique to Oriental thinking and Oriental Medicine, and is most effectively applied when done in accordance with those principles.
Acupuncture needles stimulate points located in muscles, tendons, ligaments and fascia to promote the body’s self healing process to respond more quickly and efficiently. According to WHO (World Health Organization) acupuncture is effective for treating 28 conditions, while evidence indicates it may have an effective therapeutic value for many more.