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How Does Acupuncture Work?

Updated: Dec 13, 2022

For many, the idea of acupuncture is foreign, mysterious, and unclear. However, it is relatively easy to understand.


The energy flowing within us

When I describe how acupuncture works to someone, I ask them to look at a wall. Behind that wall, there are electrical wires. We don’t see the wires, nor the electricity running inside them, but we know if it’s flowing or not based on what they are hooked up to. If the light works, for example, all is good. If it doesn’t, and there’s nothing wrong with the bulb, then there is a blockage somewhere in the flow of electricity. That’s a simple way to explain acupuncture.


The “electricity” is called qi, and the “wires” it flows through are the meridians. If you have a symptom or chronic condition, whether it be physical or emotional, you have a disruption in the flow behind the wall of your body. Acupuncturists find where and fix it.



Each meridian has a name

Each colored line (meridian, or pathway for the energy flow) has a name. You'll notice in the picture above words you've seen before, like Lung, Heart, and Liver, and terms you likely haven't heard of, such as Governing Vessel. Each meridian's name reflects the organs that its energy flow impacts. How disruption in such flow presents can clue us in as to what pathway is obstructed or weak.


For example, a person with asthma, a propensity to have allergies and/or get sick easily, and feel tired a lot of the time may have a deficiency in the energy of the Lung and/or Kidney.


A person prone to outbursts of anger, one that has mood swings or a lot of pain during or before a menstrual cycle, or someone with tight muscles that never seem to loosen may have issues with the Liver meridian.

The comprehensive medicine

You are one person. You are not just a heart or a stomach or a nose. Western medicine breaks up treatment, sending someone to the cardiologist when heart issues are suspected, the gastroenterologist for digestive woes, and the ear, nose, and throat doctor for sinus problems. However, what if your digestion is causing the sinus issues? Or vice versa? What if insufficiency of qi (energy flow) to the heart is causing the heart issue? These solutions do not lie in the taking of a drug.

True healing can only come about by diagnosing and treating the root cause. If you feel the root cause of your issue has not been addressed, why don't you try acupuncture?

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