How does Acupuncture work?
Acupunture works in a variety of ways. There are also different explanations, depending upon if you want a more tradition, or more scientific explanation of how acupuncture works. As far as science goes, I don’t think science can explain fully how acupuncture works yet. However, the great think about science is that it is always evolving!
Traditional Chinese Medicine focuses upon the functional capacity of the body instead of the physical state of the body. Traditional Chinese Medicine is usually not as concerned with the appearance of the organs but focuses on how the organs are functioning. If a person complains to a Western doctor, the doctor might order X-rays or a sonogram to “take a look at” the situation. An acupuncturist practicing Traditional Chinese Medicine might ask how the organ is doing its job. For instance, how is the stomach doing its job?: Is the client experiencing bloating or gas? Is the client’s appetite high, low, or normal? Often, when we don’t feel at our best there is physically nothing wrong: the organ looks fine. However, it’s not doing its job as well as it could. It is in this kind of situation that Traditional Chinese Medicine is the best course of treatment.
Traditional Chinese Medical Explanation
Acupuncture works through engaging with the body’s energetics. The ancient Chinese gave a name to the reason why the body functions: Qi (pronounced “chee”). Qi is often translated as energy or life force. It is said to move through the body along specific pathways. Acupuncture points are places on these pathways that have been found to be helpful in re-adjusting Qi flow. When a person is not functioning at their optimum level, their Qi is not flowing properly. Acupuncture points allow an acupuncturist to direct a body’s Qi to more efficiently work towards health.
Western Medical Explanation
Every organ in the body is controlled by your brain and nerves. Acupuncture has the unique ability to directly access the nerves, directing the brain to change what it is doing and allowing inflamed and irritated nerves to relax back into a normal state. Your brain also releases endorphins and other chemicals that are natural pain relievers and promote a feeling of relaxation and well being.