If you’ve ever wondered how acupuncture works, you’re not alone. This traditional Chinese therapy has been used for centuries to relieve pain, but it can be hard to understand how sticking needles into your skin can provide any relief. Let’s first take a look at the science behind acupuncture and how this alternative therapy might be able to help you. At the end of the article, I will also explain it in layman’s terms as if you were sitting in my clinic.
Acupuncture is based on the belief that there is an energy, or life force, flowing through our bodies. This life force is known as qi (pronounced “chee”). According to Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), when qi is flowing freely through our bodies, we’re in good health. However, when there’s a blockage in the flow of qi, it can lead to pain and illness.
Acupuncture involves placing thin needles into specific points on the body. These points are located along what are known as meridians, or energy pathways. It’s believed that stimulating these points with needles can unblock the flow of qi and help to restore balance and health.
If these sentences don’t make sense to you, don’t worry, keep reading – the simple explanation is coming.
The jury is still out on whether or not acupuncture is an effective treatment for pain or other conditions. There has been a large number of studies conducted on acupuncture. Some showing promise and others not demonstrating any significant benefits.
A 2012 systematic review of studies concluded that acupuncture might be effective for treating headaches, menstrual cramps, tennis elbow, fibromyalgia, and osteoarthritis. However, the authors of the review cautioned that these findings are based on a limited number of studies and that more research is needed.
A 2016 study published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine found that acupuncture was no more effective than sham (fake) acupuncture at relieving chronic low back pain.
When I explain it to my patients, it shoulder be in very simple terms that make sense. Acupuncture works in the same way as pressing the “Ctrl” “Alt” and “Del” on your computer. It resets and reboots the body’s blocked energy system. This allows the body’s natural healing mechanisms to effectively do their work on restoring your overall energy levels and wellbeing.
If you’re considering trying acupuncture, I encourage you to do some research and give it a go. While there is some evidence that acupuncture may be helpful for certain conditions, more research is needed to determine its efficacy. Acupuncture may not be right for everyone, and it’s essential to be aware of the potential risks before undergoing treatment.