Acupuncture is one of the pain-less methods used by Traditional Chinese Medicine practitioners to treat patients holistically. A typical treatment involves the insertion of very fine, sterile, single-time-use needles into designated pressure points on the body. Find answers to your specific treatment questions on our FAQ page.
[Fun Fact: The actual word itself is Latin for needle (acus) and puncture (punctura).]
Its first use dates back to the second century BCE. But what is truly interesting is that the theory behind its application actually evolved from the ancient study and use of, what we now call, Chinese Herbal Medicine. When did the ancient Chinese start studying Chinese Herbal Medicine? – roughly five THOUSAND years ago! Simply amazing.
Acupuncture, in a nutshell, is perceived by the body as a “micro” trauma – a teeny, tiny exposure of your nicely sealed off inner elements to an external, unwanted foreign object. As a response to this foreign invasion, what your body does is send its defense team (first responders, EMTs perhaps?) to the scene(s) of the incident. Then, before you can blink an eye, all of body’s vital systems become involved, together they work to “fix” & attend to the problem at hand.
Think of your body as one GIANT highway circuit with many stop-lights. Over time, some of those stop-lights have turned red, halting and congesting the flow of traffic…If the congestion persists for too long (and just like an actual traffic-jam), anger and irritation erupts – presents itself as a disease. The response acupuncture treatments produce is like that of turning all the red lights green and releasing the congested/stagnant traffic so that proper flow can be re-established (kind of like an acupuncture induced systemic cleanse).
Want a more physiological answer? How about this – Needling the pressure points sends a message to our hypothalamus, located at the base of the brain near the pituitary gland. Though its size is small, don’t let its size fool you because it is an extremely elaborate and very important part of our human brain. One of its most important functions is to link-up your nervous system with your endocrine system (with the help of its next door neighbor, your pituitary gland).
So what happens to the message?
The message, once received by your hypothalamus, gets internalized and translated into a response that is sent back out through your body’s autonomic nervous system – the very system that is responsible for fight or flight and rest & digest. This physiological feedback is how acupuncture is able to stimulate your body’s natural ability to heal.
A lot of information on “How does Acupuncture Work?” That’s only the beginning!, but to sum it all up I will say to you what I often say to my patients in my Loveland acupuncture practice; Our bodies are not faulty by design, so unless absolutely necessary (and I mean ABSOLUTELY), it doesn’t need to be “fixed” it simply needs to be reminded of what it should be doing…
“laziness will never lead to the pathway of health”
In Western Medicine, you are treated for and as the disease you present. The theory behind Chinese Medicine however, teaches that your disease is only the physical manifestation of a deeper rooted issue within you – your disease is a product of your personal constitutional imbalance, not the other way around. That is why we as acupuncturists diagnose and treat you for your “imbalance” and not just your “disease.”
*** Keep in mind that if what you are experiencing is not mentioned in the lists above, it does not mean you should write off trying acupuncture. Like I stated earlier, we are trained to treat you for you, not just you for your disease.