How Does Acupuncture Work?
What makes acupuncture work is the patients own energy. Acupuncture needles somehow communicate with the mind/body system which has access to unconscious wisdom and knowledge. This connection creates a “safe zone” where the patient can learn and heal. No one knows exactly how it works, but the body can heal itself when the needles communicate with it. What happens inside the patient while they are sitting in silence with the needles is what does the real work. Acupuncture depends on the body’s ability to heal itself, it doesn’t make a problem worse. It is very safe, gentle and gradual, and it usually helps a lot. But in the unlikely event that it doesn’t help, it doesn’t hurt either. There is a Universal Effect that transcends time, language, culture, etc.
Although we don’t know why acupuncture works, we do know a few things about how it works best. It requires a series of treatments to work. For acute problems, such as a sprained ankle, a short series of treatments is appropriate; for severe, chronic problems such as autoimmune diseases, acupuncture is effective but might require regular, ongoing treatments for a longer period.
According to Lisa Rohleder, L.Ac., the founder of the People’s Organization of Community Acupuncture (POCA) which has about 200 clinics in North America, “Providing acupuncture is like cooking and receiving acupuncture is like eating. The ingredients are all contained within the body itself. The acupuncture treatment is a way of arranging them so that the body can use them better. Once the Acupuncturist arranges the needles in the right combination, the patients’ job is to sit quietly long enough to digest the treatment…Acupuncture really does work beautifully when people can get enough of it”.
Unlike conventional medicine, which relies heavily on diagnoses via expensive and invasive testing in addition to prescription medications, acupuncture can be a very simple solution to many everyday, run of the mill problems. Many times complaints of poor digestion, back discomfort and many gynecological problems can be resolved with a series of simple treatments. Relief comes without side-effects and without drugs. Remember, acupuncture is unique from other kinds of healthcare; its tools and essence are so simple because it relies so much on the internal resources of the person receiving it.