What Is Acupuncture?

Most of us have heard of acupuncture before, but not many understand how it works, save for lying totally still with a bunch of tiny needles stuck in certain parts of our bodies that may or may not be painful (depending on who you ask). So, what’s really going on behind the scenes with this admittedly different kind of natural treatment?

Have you ever tried acupuncture?


How does acupuncture work?

Rooted in classic Chinese history, traditional acupuncture focused on releasing pent up energy, called qi, in the body. This trapped energy was thought to be the cause of pain, illness and other health conditions, and releasting that energy by using needles to do it, would release the energy and help the body heal and recover.trapped energy (called qi) and

Modern acupuncture uses carefully placed needles, too, but it’s thought to work by using the specific points to stimulate nerves that release the happiness hormone in your brain and increase the pain threshold, acting as a “cure” or “treatment” for the various health conditions.


What does acupuncture do?

  • Relieves temporary and chronic pain: Acupuncture has been seen to have mild to moderate effects for those who are suffering from pain either short- or long-term in chronic conditions.
  • Reduces tension and promotes physical relaxation: Acupuncture can reduce tension in the body (referring, here, to physical tension in muscles) and help cause physical relaxation in the body itself.
  • Treat chronic conditions: Acupuncture is also thought to help “treat” chronic conditions, including cancer and diabetes. This refers mostly to reducing side effects and increasing overall quality of life.
  • Alleviate side effects or symptoms: Speaking of side effects, anyone that has side effects from, for example, chemo, or even daily medications such as depression or anxiety medications, can find relief in them through acupuncture.
  • Helps manage addiction,depression, anxiety and more: Those dealing with mental health issues, including addiction, OCD, depression, social anxiety and so on, can also find relief and relaxation to help them deal with urges or triggers through acupuncture.


What is the hope for the future?

The study and use of acupuncture is not seen as a cure for anything, though those who study Chinese medicine often think differently. However, official organizations such as the WHO believe that acupuncture can be helpful in the future in a lot of ways, just everyone and anyone who wants to try it. For instance:

  • Cures for chronic conditions: While acupuncture is only used for treating side effects for diabetes or cancer, it’s the hope that acupuncture will one day be able to prevent and/or cure those same conditions.
  • Blend of traditional and modern acupuncture: For best results, acupuncture will hopefully one day be a firm blend of ancient Chinese values with qi release, and modern pressure points for hormonal reflexes to give the best of both for the patient.

Regardless of which point of view you take on acupuncture — classic or modern, that is — it is an acknowledged treatment option for many of life’s daily short- and long-term conditions.


Resources Used:

What is Acupuncture | Does Acupuncture Work? – Livescience.com

See what Better Health Channel (Victoria State Government) says about Acupuncture – Betterhealth.vic.gov.au