How Does Acupuncture Work?

As you know if you are on the AOM Health website, we provide acupuncture services along with Chinese Medicine, herbal formulas, nutritional consulting, cupping, and more. However, acupuncture is a pretty broad focus, so we wanted to take time in this article to explain what acupuncture is and how it works.

What is Acupuncture?
Acupuncture is a form of Chinese medicine that dates back anywhere between 2000 years ago to the Stone Age. While acupuncture has been tested and studied by Western-style medicine only recently, the Chinese have been using it and applying the principles of acupuncture as a standard part of their medical practice for thousands of years.

The term “acupuncture” is European term coming from the Latin acus or “needle” and the English “puncture.” In Chinese, this practice is represented by the character Zhen which means “to prick with a needle.”

This practice has evolved over the centuries, from the development to today’s metal needles to the documentation of what parts of the body are most effectively treated by specific actions. The discovery of effective acupuncture points is the end product of years of detailed observations made by many practitioners. Points are grouped into a series of channels within the body, each conducting the flow of vital energy or “qi” from one point to the next. The theory is that when these channels get blocked up, the flow of energy is blocked and the result is a pain or malady. Acupuncture releases this blockage, allowing the qi to flow once again and restoring balance in your body.

How Does Acupuncture Work?
There are many explanations of how acupuncture works that can be found in modern Western studies and texts. A quick and easy explanation in terms of modern science is that acupuncture points are spots where muscles, nerves, and connective tissue can be stimulated. The stimulation triggers a flow of blood and other vital, pain-relieving chemicals within the body.

The truth is that the way in which acupuncture relieves pain and encourages healing in the human body is still a mystery to many modern scientists. However, acupuncture is acknowledged by numerous studies and by the World Health Organization as a valid therapy for a wide variety of symptoms and health problems.

What Can Acupuncture Treat?
There are many, many conditions and health challenges that acupuncture can assist either in easing or help you move through the healing process faster. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), acupuncture can effectively treat twenty-eight conditions and has been tentatively proven to help with sixty-three more. We won’t list them all here, but a quick summary includes:

Seasonal allergies
Headache (tension and migraine)
Low back pain
Spine and neck pain
Joint pain
Morning sickness
Digestive complaints
Dental pain
Postoperative pain
Rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis
Sports injuries like sprains and tennis elbow
Injury or pain caused by repetitive motion

Again, these are just a few of the more common health challenges that modern, Western-style studies have found acupuncture to be effective in improving.

But don’t take my word for it! Come on in and try acupuncture here at AOM Health. We would be honored to help you overcome your health challenges and enjoy life!