Being that the majority of the population has reached a point of exposure to acupuncture in which most everyone is at least aware of acupuncture as a very possible health choice and has probably witnessed testimony of its many benefits, this article is geared toward one of the most common questions about acupuncture. If someone has never actually experienced an acupuncture treatment before, or even if they have, they may have several questions still in mind about how it is actually working.
Firstly, I hear quite often, “What does acupuncture actually do?” Now, there are several avenues one can take when explaining this question. From a western medical and scientific point of view there are many researchers studying this very question, and with many positive results at that. Many researchers have observed the body respond to acupuncture using several different methods. MRI studies have been used to show different brain centers activate and respond to corresponding body acupuncture stimulation. Other studies show how acupuncture can alter neurotransmitter or hormone levels in the body. Other studies still, have shown how acupuncture alters the shape of the collagen fiber matrix of the interstitial space (space between the cells), which creates a micro-alteration to the structural body, with the idea that this micro-alteration allows the body to respond and create a larger balance.
Lastly, motor point acupuncture is the insertion of an acupuncture needle into the center of the belly of a muscle, where the nerve enters the muscle, which creates a very physical muscle twitch that resets the affected muscle that was injured to its proper shape and length, while increasing the muscles efficiency and strength. These scientific studies all show observations of the reactions that the body undergoes during acupuncture, but they have yet to conclude an explanation of the modality itself as a health system.
As seen above, there are these scientific explanations and observations as to how acupuncture affects the body. However, the other way to describe the effects of acupuncture is from the traditional and actual use by the Chinese medical practitioner, using an “Eastern” perspective. Using the same concept that everything is interconnected and smaller parts create the whole, this is the way acupuncture should be viewed. An atom made of subatomic elements, the galaxy made of countless stars, an organ made of cells with vascular and nervous perfusion. The single human body also functions as a result of the many acupuncture meridians or channels. The acupuncture meridians are functional divisions of the body that hold specific purposes. The body functions as a result of proper meridian flow and balance. Everything is regulated by the meridians from digestion, to body warmth, the feelings of joy or sorrow, to physical movement and reproduction. The functioning, or lack of functioning, of these divisions/meridians create a healthy or unhealthy body and mind. So, when the body is “unhealthy” or “diseased,” it is these meridians that must be corrected, as there is not a single place in the body that they do not reach. Therefore, the Chinese medical practitioner inserts acupuncture needles into the meridians that are not functioning properly. Whether using meridians that control respiration, digestion, reproduction, cognitive ability, or physical functioning, they can all be treated using this method. Therefore, acupuncture activates specific points on these meridians that have specific functions to create a larger, functional response by the body.
Now, What can this treatment do for you? This is potentially a limitless question as this medicine is truly holistic. Very popular focuses for acupuncture in recent times are Fertility, Pain Elimination, Acute and Chronic Fatigue, Stress Management, Weight Loss, Emotional Balance, Allergy Control, and even Cosmetic Acupuncture to reduce facial wrinkles, dark areas, etc. I have seen tremendous results in all of the above areas. Athletes have improved performance, reduced and prevented injury. Persons claimed infertile have conceived. Persons suffering with emotional stressors become hugely relieved. All this achieved in the absence of chemical or hormonal alterations as seen in many prescription drugs that contain potentially negative side effects.
The growth of acupuncture continues largely for the reason that many people are attaining their health goals using Natural means and I urge you to consider the same. At this day and age we have many options with how to treat our bodies and being, and we do not all need major medications or surgeries to heal. Rather, a more natural intervention is often the more appropriate path. Supportive and Balancing is the essence of Acupuncture.