HOW DOES ACUPUNCTURE WORK?:
A common question I get asked every day is "How does acupuncture work?"
One of the more comprehensive research articles that covers in detail the "Neural Acupuncture Unit" and the physiology of how acupuncture works can be accessed by clicking the link. Another detailed research review can be found here covering "Neural mechanism underlying acupuncture analgesia".
There is also a dedicated group of medical practitioners that are part of "Evidence Based Acupuncture" who have complied and summarized the scientific peer reviewed research providing solid clinical evidence of the physiological mechanisms involved. These research summaries provide details into the clear evidence of the role of acupuncture and electro-acupuncture in resolving many conditions.
It is important to realize that biomedical research still does not have all the answers for how the body works, and it still doesn't have all the answers for how acupuncture interfaces with the bodies anatomy and physiology to help support and activate the body's healing mechanisms.
I often start my explanation with a simpler big picture understanding like the one offered here by my acupuncture colleague Kristen Horner Warren, L.Ac. who has a successful practice Live Oak Acupuncture in Woodway, TX. She has provided a beautiful point of reference in this linked video to her help clients better understand how acupuncture supports the healing mechanisms of the body.
HARVARD RESEARCH on How Acupuncture Works:
The extensive research of Dr. Helene Langevin, M.D. has provided important contributions toward understanding of the mechanisms of how the body responds to the needle as it interfaces with the bodies connective tissue. Here's a link to the video interview regarding her work. (AcuTalks: Interviews Dr. Langevin)
WHAT CAN ACUPUNCTURE TREAT?:
What can acupuncture treat?
The World Health Organisation (WHO) lists the following medical symptoms and conditions that have been shown to be treated effectively by acupuncture, in controlled trials.
Arthritis, Neck/back Pain, Headaches, Bursitis, Tendonitis, Fibromyalgia, Frozen Shoulder, Migraine, Tennis Elbow,
Work/Sports Musculoskeletal Injury, Sciatica,
Sprain/strain, Carpal Tunnel Syndrome,
Post-operative pain, Post-operative scar healing
Allergies, Chronic Fatigue, Lupus and Multiples Sclerosis
Bloating, Colitis, Constipation, Diarrhoea, Food Allergies,
Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) and Stomach Ulcers
Anxiety, Depression, Insomnia, High Blood Pressure,
Panic Attacks, Stress, and Tinnitus
Bell’s Palsy, Headache, Migraine, Neuralgia, Palliative Care, Parkinson’s Disease, Polio, Shingles and Stroke
Allergic Rhinitis, Asthma, Bronchitis, Colds, Flu,
Hay Fever and Sinusitis
Absent periods (Amenorrhagia),
Heavy Periods (Menorrhagia), Irregular Periods,
Endometriosis, Fibroids, Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS)
Backache & Sciatica, Breech Position, Cystitis, Heartburn,
Labor Induction, Morning Sickness, Natural Birth Preparation, Oedema and Symphysis Pubis Pain
Fatigue, Postpartum Vaginal Discharge,
Postpartum Depression, Insufficient or Excessive Lactation,
Mastitis and Post-operative Scar Healing
Addictions, Side Effects of Chemotherapy
and Radiotherapy, Smoking and Weight Control