Acupuncture stimulates the self-healing mechanisms

What is Acupuncture?
Does Acupuncture hurt?
Is Acupuncture ancient?
How does Acupuncture work?
What does Acupuncture treat?
What is qi?
Is Acupuncture “woowoo” and is qi real?



What is Acupuncture?

Acupuncture is the medical art of inserting very fine sterile one-time use only disposable needles into acupuncture points in the body to restore function and stimulate the body’s self-healing mechanisms.

Does Acupuncture hurt?

It depends on the acupuncturist, the points and the patient’s sensitivity. There are some acupuncturists who are of the “no pain, no gain” school. Other’s are of the “no pain, no pain” school. Some powerful and useful points on the hands and fingers or feet and toes, can be very sensitive as the needles go in. It is not good when the needle continues to hurt after the insertion. It IS GOOD when the acupuncture sensation can be perceived as a pressure, or a heavy or tingling sensation.

Is Acupuncture ancient?

Acupuncture dates back to pre-historic times and was developed and refined in China for the last 3000 years. Jesuit Monks brought acupuncture to Europe after they returned from China during the renaisance ** impressed with the efficacy of the masters they had seen. In the 1970′s it made it’s way to the United States after President Nixon’s trip to China. During his trip a member of the press entourage required emergency surgery to remove an appendix. After waking up from the surgery he was in severe pain. They took him to the acupuncture ward and he was treated. He was amazed with the effectiveness and ended up writing about it. From that point the acpuncture became something to be studied and examined.

How Does Acupuncture Work?

Acupuncture works on several levels. In Chinese Medicine terms, acupuncture stimulates points along the meridians, and points have special functional categories. some points on the hands and feet for example, have the function of stimulating the flow of qi along the channel and others near the toes and fingers can clear heat and inflammation.

When western researchers examined acupuncture they were looking for biochemical changes and found that indeed there were biochemical changes. One thing they noticed in the 1970′s was that stimulation with acupuncture needles caused an increase in endorphine activity in the body. (endorphines are the body’s natural morphine-like substances it uses to reduce pain. )

What does Acupuncture treat?

In 1997 the NIH published a Consensus Statement on Acupuncture and found that acupuncture shows efficacy in treating:

  • adult postoperative and chemotherapy nausea and vomiting
  • and in postoperative dental pain.

and that acupuncture may be useful as an adjunct treatment or an acceptable alternative or be included in a comprehensive management program in the treatment of:

  • addiction
  • stroke rehabilitation
  • headache
  • menstrual cramps
  • tennis elbow
  • fibromyalgia
  • myofascial pain
  • osteoarthritis
  • low back pain
  • carpal tunnel syndrome
  • asthma

In their review of the scientific literature the World Health Organization has found that Acupuncture has different levels of effectiveness

Diseases, symptoms or conditions for which acupuncture has been proved-through controlled trials-to be an effective treatment:


Adverse reactions to radiotherapy and/or chemotherapy
Allergic rhinitis (including hay fever)
Biliary colic
Depression (including depressive neurosis and depression following stroke)
Dysentery, acute bacillary
Dysmenorrhoea, primary
Epigastralgia, acute (in peptic ulcer, acute and chronic gastritis, and gastrospasm)
Facial pain (including craniomandibular disorders)
Hypertension, essential
Hypotension, primary
Induction of labour
Knee pain
Low back pain
Malposition of fetus, correction of
Morning sickness
Nausea and vomiting
Neck pain
Pain in dentistry (including dental pain and temporomandibular dysfunction)
Periarthritis of shoulder
Postoperative pain
Renal colic
Rheumatoid arthritis
Tennis elbow

  Click here for more from the W.H.O. 

What is qi?

Qi, pronounced, “chee” or “key”, is a Chinese word that refers to the energy. It is often referred to as “life-force energy”. It is a concept central to Chinese Medicine. It is said that when the qi is abundant and flowing freely the body is in an optimal state of health and the body is strong and can withstand illness.

Is Acupuncture woo woo and is qi real?

Contrary to the belief of many skeptics, acupuncture is not “woo woo”. Acupuncture does not rely on a persons belief or spirituality in order for it to work. Acupuncture has been used for decades in veterinary medicine and in many studies the acupuncture is performed on lab animals, and it didn’t seem to matter what the horse, dog or rat believed.

Furthermore, acupuncture has been used for thousands of years on billions of people.

If you can think of Qi as sum of chemical and bio-electrical energy then certainly it is real. Are there pathways of energy flow in the body? Certainly there are, it is true that the body extracts this energy from the air we breathe and the food we eat, and we use this energy to live our lives and repair our tissues, to do our work, to think our thoughts and feel our emotions. Qi is the sum of all of this doing, working, repairing, digesting, thinking, feeling that adds up to our life.

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