How does acupuncture work? You want an explanation in plain english without the fluff? So do my patients! Whether you are a beginner or a seasoned acupuncture go-er, I want to share with you a simplified way to understand how acupuncture works. Here are some easy to digest, yet helpful explanation of how acupuncture works in plain english that I give to my patients in my acupuncture practice in Ridgewood, New Jersey!
How does acupuncture help me in plain english?
Stimulating acupuncture points on the body with needles causes your body to work more effectively. This simple statement essentially sums up the how this unique technique works! Your body is capable of amazing things including producing its own pain killers, but often, the body gets run down and is unable to regulate itself well, if at all. How does acupuncture do this? Acupuncture stimulates blood flow for one thing. Stimulating blood flow to painful areas will reduce pain. If you have a muscle spasm or a herniated disc in the lower back, the simple act of increasing blood flow to those areas will reduce pain. Increasing blood flow to the uterus, reduces painful menstrual cramps.
Acupuncture regulates the function of nerves
People ask me how acupuncture can work for neuropathy, herniated discs and other nerve pains. Acupuncture sends signals through the nervous system up to the spine to the brain and back down the spine to regulate nerve pain.
A large body of evidence indicates that acupuncture points, or “superficial nodes” as they are more accurately translated, have abundant supply of nerves. For 95% of all acupuncture points in the range of 1.0 cm around a point, there exist nerve trunks or rather large nerve branches. This is not the mysterious energy called “qi” circulating through invisible “meridians” in the body. Looked at in this light, acupuncture can stimulate nerve flow by affecting the nerves of the body.
Acupuncture Reduces Stress
Acupuncture works by cycling out stress hormones from your circulation. Stress hormones constantly throw us off balance and cause us to burn up our reserve energy, bone reserve, and replace lean muscle with fat. Ultimately, this contributes to many health problems associated with “burn-out” making us experience fatigue, insomnia sleeping, acid reflux and irritable bowel. Acupuncture gently helps the nervous system relax so it can adapt to stresses better. Thirdly, acupuncture stimulates nerves to fire better. Normalizing nerve function helps to reduce symptoms of numbness and pain syndromes as well as relaxing the digestive system to help with gastritis for example.
How does acupuncture get to the source of my problem?
Acupuncture is simply a technique. This technique links up to a larger system called Chinese Medicine. This medicine believes that disease is a result of imbalances in your body – symptoms don’t just “happen” by chance. Symptoms area linked to a larger condition going on in the body. Symptoms are seen as the “branches” of an underlying imbalance in your body. What passes as “normal” – chronic aches and pains, or “anxiety” and “stress, aren’t. These symptoms become significant because they are seen as part of an underlying problem occurring in the body. Imbalances show up in three ways. You can have “too little”- too little energy for your body to adapt. You can have “too much”- your body is working on “over-drive” to just get through a simple day. You can be “too blocked” – meaning you don’t have good blood circulation to an area such as in the case of migraines. Fixing the “root” cause of a problem means treating the “too much, too little, or too blocked” syndrome. Treating the underlying root cause makes the changes more permanent. You certainly can use acupuncture to “patch” yourself up with a few visits, but why do you want to just get by?
Beginner’s Guide Question: If Acupuncture uses needles – Don’t they hurt?
Acupuncture needles are the smallest needles on the planet, yet for most people, the thought of needles getting stuck in their body, is a deal breaker. I tell people that the needles might pinch but they don’t hurt. Acupuncture needles are a little bigger than a cat whisker and nothing is injected into it, so it is really small and thin. The trick is to stretch the skin on the surface or use a guide tube to get it underneath the skin, so insertion is virtually painless. Needles are disposable so fresh needles are used at each visit. Consider that after the needles are inserted most patients fall into a light sleep and feel extremely relaxed after the session. If the needles hurt so much how could this effect occur? Once you can see that the needles are very, very small, and very different than the experience of getting an injection or an epidural. Needles are disposable. Nothing is injected out of the needle, but acupuncture works by the signalling that the needles send to the blood flow, the brain, and the nerves of the body to help stimulate self-healing of the problem by using the body’s own resources more effectively.
I hope “how acupuncture works” was helpful and simple to understand. Read the next article entitled the 4 ways people use acupuncture in their daily lives. and incorporate it in their lives.
Interested in learning how acupuncture can benefit you more? Schedule a free consultation to discuss your unique situation further. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at 201-444-7150. We are never too busy to help you.