What is Acupuncture

1. Explanation of Acupuncture

Acupuncture involves the insertion of very thin needles through your skin at strategic points on your body. A key component of traditional Chinese medicine, acupuncture is most commonly used to treat pain. Increasingly, it is being used for overall wellness, including stress management.

—— cited from Mayo Clinic (Mayo Clinic is ranked number 1 in the United States on the 2018–2019 U.S. News & World Report Best Hospitals Honor Roll, maintaining a position at or near the top for more than 27 years. —wikipedia)

2. How does Acupuncture work?

Traditional explanations of acupuncture involve its effect on improving the flow of Qi (“vital energy”, pronounced “Chee”) and on balancing Yin and Yang, a paradigm of health and disease that maps very closely to the Western concept of homeostasis. By stimulating specific points on the body with heat, pressure, or very fine needles, acupuncture practitioners are able to restore healthy function, thus resolving symptoms and reversing disease.

Due to its popularity and success in the West, a great deal of attention has been focused on elucidating how acupuncture works in terms of Western physiology.

Based on classical Chinese Medicine descriptions and modern scientific understanding, we now know that

  • Acupuncture regulates and improves the Qi flow.
  • Qi flow corresponds to nerve transmission, connective tissue planes, metabolic components carried in blood (such as oxygen, hormones, neurotransmitters and nutrients, etc.).
  • Qi flow also corresponds to the functional energy of an organ system (the meridian system) which is so integral to health.
  • Acupuncture stimulates circulation by promoting the blood flow and increasing oxygen.
  • Acupuncture stimulates nerves and connective tissue, which results in profound effects on the nervous system including regulation of key areas of the brain. The improved brain function results in the release of pain-relieving endorphins, reduction of inflammation, and a feeling of relaxation and well-being.

In essence, acupuncture seems to “grease the wheels” of the dynamics of body/mind self-regulating functions.

——Acupuncture Now Foundation

Advanced techniques such as fMRI brain imaging and proteomics are continuing to add to a deeper understanding of how acupuncture helps the body to heal itself.