How Acupuncture Works

How Acupuncture WorksAcupuncture is an ancient medical technique that involves inserting and manipulating very thin needles into the body to create a sensation of warmth that is alleged to bring relief from pain. The technique is said to have originated in China, and variations are used around the world In Mandarin Chinese, the technique is called Zhen Jiu and Chinese and other Asian practitioners often use acupuncture needles together with a special herb called moxa or mugwort herb. The treatment is used extensively by alternative medicine practitioners and proper use of acupuncture needles has been found to give relief to a number of conditions where pain is often involved, included muscle aches, neck and back pain, feet and leg problems and headaches.

The theory of acupuncture revolves around the idea that the body has a number of “pain points” and pathways that carry sensations of discomfort and pain from the body to the brain. By manipulating the inserted needles, a sensation of warmth is created that rids the feeling of pain and gives comfort to the affected area. Acupuncture is so relied on in countries like China that it is often administered to patients who are in pain or who are having surgery. The Chinese believe that there are 12 main pathways or meridians that can be tread by manipulation of the acupuncture needles at certain pressure points. These meridians or channels are know as yin and yang channels and they represent opposite forces that affect a person’s well being. Both the arms an legs have important acupuncture channels, but the major body organs, including the heart, lungs, liver, etc., have acupuncture points as well. The warmth and sensation created by the needles are said to be carried by these body channels to the brain.

By listening to the reactions of the patient to the insertion of the acupuncture needles, the practitioner can know whether or not they have been inserted correctly and whether or not the correct condition is being treated.

People suffering from cardio-vascular problems are said to receive much benefit from acupuncture as the revolving needles help to remove blockages in the blood vessels and reduce pain. An experienced acupuncture practitioner is trained to observe the various body signs or “inquiries” to indicate an illness or condition. These signs give the practitioner an indication as to where the insertion of the needles where do the most good. In traditional Chinese medicine, the use of acupuncture is considered to be an individualized treatment based on a person’s body signs. Together with other forms of treatment, acupuncture has proven to be successful treatment that is gaining in popularity all over the world.