How does acupuncture work?

Margaret Boyd, LAc, LMT
How does acupuncture work?

Acupuncture improves the body’s functionality and activates the natural self-healing process by stimulating acupuncture points, or acupoints. Acupuncture is an ancient Chinese medical practice with roots that go back thousands of years. According to traditional Chinese medicine, your body is a cohesive unit - a complex system where everything is interconnected and each part affects all other parts.

A major component is the acceptance of an invisible flow of energy known as Qi, or life force. This subtle form of energy supports, shapes and enlivens our physical body, and activates our lives and the universe around us. Qi circulates throughout the body in meridians. When energetic blocks or deficiencies occur within a meridian, an imbalance is created, which can produce a ripple effect of physical symptoms. These symptoms may lead to acute or chronic illnesses of all kinds.

Acupuncture involves the insertion of extremely fine, hair-thin needles into the skin at specific acupoints. This works to relieve pain by releasing endorphins, the body's natural painkilling chemicals, thereby inhibiting pain perception.

Furthermore, by affecting the part of the brain that governs serotonin, a neurotransmitter involved with mood and increasing blood circulation, healing is accelerated. Acupuncture at certain sites releases chemicals in the brain, which can help to down-regulate the sympathetic nervous system, the “fight or flight” response. In turn, the parasympathetic system is engaged, which is more conducive to restful sleep, healthy digestion and appropriate immune response.

Acupuncture is safe, drug-free and effective. It has been used over 5,000 years to help billions of people to get well and stay healthy without drugs or surgery. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved acupuncture needles for use by licensed practitioners in 1996. The FDA requires that acupuncturists follow strict safety guidelines and use only sterile needles which are labeled for single use only.

Considering acupuncture? Visit our acupuncture service webpage now.

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