A question that is regularly asked today is, “How does acupuncture work?” Many people come to acupuncture to resolve a specific problem or condition, but the details about how acupuncture works often remain lost to them. In truth, acupuncture may help improve your well-being, reduce stress, ease pain, and help you to achieve greater vitality.

What Is Acupuncture?

The word “acupuncture” comes from the Latin root word “acu,” meaning “sharpen” and the word “puncture,” meaning to penetrate the surface. Acupuncture is a treatment protocol from Traditional Chinese Medicine that dates back a few thousand years ago to ancient China.

Acupuncture treatment uses small, thin, sterile needles which stimulate specific points on the body, called “acupoints.”. Acupuncture strives to treat patterns of imbalance in the body that lead to illness and pain. It takes into consideration the body as a whole and may restore and maintain wellness to a patient’s entire system.

According to the theories of Traditional Chinese Medicine, discomforts and illnesses in the human body result from imbalances in the movement of the body’s energy. These imbalances can arise either from energy blockages or from a lack of energy. These are referred to as stagnation or deficiency, respectively.

During a session, an acupuncture professional will insert the sterile, hair-thin needles into the acupoints. Most people do not find this painful—they either feel a small pinch or nothing at all. After the needles are inserted, the patient will spend time allowing them to work, usually while relaxing and listening to soothing music. Patients often find an acupuncture session is quite calming, and people frequently fall asleep.

Acupuncture Is Backed by Science

While acupuncture may be thought to be more of a philosophical approach, there is an abundance of science to back up the method. Several major medical studies support using acupuncture for relieving pain and addressing specific ailments. Research studies have proven acupuncture to be helpful in:

  • Headaches and migraines
  • Pain
  • Post-surgical discomfort
  • Fibromyalgia pain
  • Back, shoulder, and neck pain
  • Pain from osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis
  • Fertility
  • Pregnancy Issues, including morning sickness

Ongoing clinical tests suggest that acupuncture shows promise for fighting cancer, and is being used for relief of side effects in patients undergoing chemotherapy. Acupuncture may help with dementia, as well. Some studies have shown it is useful for mental health issues such as depression and anxiety. As more studies are conducted, more confirmations of the benefits of acupuncture are being discovered.

Instead of treating only a patient’s symptoms, acupuncture works to get to the root of the problem by opening up the blocked or deficient energy pathways within the body and allowing the body’s own healing mechanisms to take over. Acupuncture can be highly successful, as it works with the body to establish an environment which promotes overall health and well-being.

Getting Help from an Acupuncture Professional

Patients often get acupuncture treatment in conjunction with traditional medical treatments. As such, it can often ease discomfort, reduce pain and nausea, and increase recovery time. To find out more about how acupuncture can help you or a loved one, schedule a session with an acupuncture professional in your local area today.