How does acupuncture work?

Eastern Explanation:

The Eastern Explanation for how Acupunctures works is that the life energy flowing through the body which is termed Qi (pronounced chee) can be influenced and balanced by stimulating specific points on the body. These points are located along channels of energy known as meridians that connect all of our major organs. According to Chinese medical theory, illness arises when the cyclical flow of Qi in the meridians becomes unbalanced or is blocked.

Western Explanation:

Definition of Acupuncture: Acupuncture is the stimulation of specific points located near or on the surface of the skin which have the ability to alter various biochemical and physiological conditions in order to achieve the desired effect.

Explanation of How Acupuncture Works: Acupuncture points are areas of designated electrical sensitivity. Inserting needles at these points stimulates various sensory receptors that, in turn, stimulate nerves that transmit impulses to the hypothalamic-pituitary system at the base of the brain. The hypothalamus-pituitary glands are responsible for releasing neurotransmitters and endorphins, the body's natural pain-killing hormones. It is estimated that endorphins are 200 times more potent than morphine. Endorphins also play a big role in the functioning of the hormonal system. This is why acupuncture works well for back pain and arthritis and also for P.M.S. and infertility.

The substances released as a result of acupuncture not only relax the whole body, they regulate serotonin in the brain which plays a role in human and animal disposition. This is why depression is often treated with acupuncture.

Some of the physiological effects observed throughout the body include increased circulation, decreased inflammation, relief from pain, relief of muscle spasms and increased T-cell count which stimulates the immune system.

What Acupuncture Can Treat

Acupuncture and Chinese medicine are extremely successful in the treatment of a multitude of conditions. Many people try Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine as a "last resort" to serious and complex medical problems and find that it can help them when other treatments could not.

Acupuncture is also often used as a preventative medicine. Many people see their acupuncturist only 2-4 times a year for a "tune up" or "balancing" treatment. This can prevent disease and promote health, energy and vitality.

Your acupuncturist will have to look at the onset of your condition and see what your constitutional diagnosis is to determine if Oriental Medicine can help you. Each case is unique and it would be difficult to determine how effective acupuncture will be for you without a full assessment. Please contact several licensed acupuncturists in your area for a consultation to find the best suited practitioner for you.

What problems are commonly treated with Acupuncture?

The most common ailments presented to an acupuncturist tend to be pain related conditions. For example; arthritis, back, neck, knee and shoulder pain, carpal tunnel syndrome and sciatica.

Traditional Chinese Medicine is a complete medical system that is capable of diagnosing and successfully treating a wide range of conditions including: (This is by no means a complete list of what Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine can treat.)

Eye, Ear, Nose, Throat Disorders
  • Sinusitis
  • Sore Throat
  • Hay Fever
  • Earache
  • Nerve Deafness
  • Ringing in the Ears
  • Dizziness
  • Poor Eyesight
Circulatory Disorders
  • High Blood Pressure
  • Angina Pectoris
  • Arteriosclerosis
  • Anemia
Gastrointestinal Disorders
  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome
  • Spastic colon
  • Colitis
  • Constipation
  • Diarrhea
  • Food Allergies
  • Ulcers
  • Gastritis
  • Abdominal Bloating
  • Hemorrhoids
Addiction
  • Smoking Cessation
  • Drugs
  • Alcohol
Gynecological / Genitourinary Disorders
  • Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS)
  • Irregular, Heavy or Painful Menstruation
  • Endometriosis
  • Menopause
  • Fibroids
  • Chronic Bladder Infection
  • Complications in Pregnancy
  • Morning Sickness
  • Kidney Stones
  • Impotence
  • Infertility in Men and Women
  • Sexual Dysfunction
Immune Disorders
  • Candida
  • Chronic Fatigue
  • HIV and AIDS
  • Epstein Barr Virus
  • Allergies
  • Lupus
  • MS
  • Hepatitis
Emotional and Psychological Disorders
  • Anxiety
  • Insomnia
  • Depression
  • Stress
Musculoskeletal and Neurological Disorders
  • Arthritis
  • Neuralgia
  • Sciatica
  • Back Pain
  • Bursitis
  • Tendonitis
  • Stiff Neck
  • Bellas Palsy
  • Trigeminal Neuralgia
  • Headaches and Migraines
  • Stroke
  • Cerebral Palsy
  • Polio
  • Sprains
  • Muscle Spasms
  • Shingles
Respiratory Disorders
  • Asthma
  • Emphysema
  • Bronchitis
  • Colds and Flus
Acupuncture Also Treats
  • Chemotherapy/Radiation Side Effects
  • Diabetes
  • Dermatological Disorders
  • Weight Control