What is Acupuncture?
- Treating injuries and managing pain
- Relaxing the nervous system and establishing calm
- Improving overall health
How Does Acupuncture Work?In short, acupuncture stimulates your body to heal itself. The longer version can be broken up into the traditional/historical explanation or the modern, scientific explanation.
Traditional ConceptsThe historical Chinese explanation revolves around the concept of a vital force they called “Qi.” After many years of study, Chinese doctors concluded that this vital force moved around the body by way of channels, often popularly referred to as meridians. These channels were believed to run throughout the body and are often compared to a series of interconnected highways or rivers. This network of channels connects the internal organs to the rest of the body (muscles, bones, joints, etc.). According to the earliest traditions, when the Qi cannot flow smoothly or is forced to flow in the opposite direction, the body’s innate equilibrium is disrupted and illness results. Acupuncture therapy is the process of inserting needles into specific points along the channels to restore the proper flow of Qi. As the body regains its natural balance, well-being returns.
Acupuncture and Modern Science
The traditional explanation above is often baffling to the western mind. It sounds foreign to our scientific way of thinking and more like mysticism or poetry than medicine. But much modern research has been conducted in order to understand how acupuncture works. Since acupuncture is most well-known for its ability to relieve pain, the majority of research has been done in this area. Acupuncture points are now believed to stimulate the central nervous system (the brain and spinal cord) to release pain-relieving chemicals into the muscles, spinal cord, and brain. Other substances may be released that help the body self regulate. There is increasing evidence that acupuncture stimulates another system in the body that has yet to be well defined. Some think this undiscovered system is a type of wireless electrical system in the body.Learn More