How does Acupuncture work?

The easiest way of thinking of acupuncture is resetting your system and switching all your own internal medicine on. Unlike drugs, it doesn’t take over your body, it restores balance.
If we stimulate certain areas, what I call acu-points we can also stimulate the inside of our body. This causes certain physiological changes in blood flow, nerve impulses, healing, and immunological responses, to name a few.
When we insert pre-sterilised, stainless steel, disposable pins at these points, your body naturally reacts. If your body could talk, it would say ‘’Hey I’m here, your shoulder is weak, or your blood isn’t flowing effectively. Your circulation is weak in this whole area, you are not secreting hormones effectively, and your body is not reacting or not sensitive to your anti-inflammatories.’’ So much response from some little needles!
Of course, knowing where to put the needles is all-important. Where did this knowledge come from? The simple answer is from centuries of trial and error. Countless acupuncture doctors before me figured out that when you stimulate a certain point, you get a certain response that will be good for conditions in that area.
One of the most common acupuncture points is at the very top of your head, Du20 ‘baihui’ is so important. It is the place where all energies of our body join. It is an extremely powerful point used for many purposes.
We know that when we put a pin in a certain part of your body and then do an imaging study of the brain, we can see certain areas light up. The pins stimulate some part of our nervous system; the body truly is a network of neuron and circulatory channels, which TCM doctors call ‘meridians’. Therefore if you stimulate one area, it is going to affect another area. Another important point that affects your stomach is found on the leg and that is because the meridian flows through your stomach area. Distally and proximally, everything is connected within the body, like a network.
  • Acupuncture causes production of endorphins
  • Improves blood flow
  • Directs blood flow to where the practitioner directs it to go
  • Stimulates the limbic system of the brain
  • Activates key brain regulatory centres
  • Stimulates neuro-transmitters
  • Balances Qi (energy/ internal medicine)
  • Frees up blocked Qi (energy/ internal medicine)
 Our bodies produce a wide range of natural pain relieving substances, natural anti-inflammatory chemistry, hormones, immune system enhancers, and so forth, all without the need for outside drugs. In fact, some of our most effective drugs are man-made synthetic copies of the chemistry our body makes naturally like cortisone.
 In modern medicine we make the mistake of assuming that when a problem lingers and is not healed right away by our internal natural resources, this must mean it is beyond our body’s ability to heal. We then look to bring in outside resources like drugs or surgery to address the problem. The fact is though, that just because a problem is not healed right away by our internal resources does not mean that it is beyond those resources.
 We don’t always get 100% out of our brains resources or our muscles resources. Acupuncture helps us squeeze more out of our natural ability to heal ourselves - to get u closer to 100% of our full potential.
 Acupuncture is both therapeutic and diagnostic and that with each treatment I will learn a little more about how the treatment is proceeding and whether we seem to be meeting, exceeding or falling short of the estimate I have for your odds of success.
 There is a beginning, middle and end to your treatment process. The beginning is when we see any type of improvement in the patterns of symptoms, the middle is where we build on this and take it as far as possible, and the end is where we make sure the progress will be as stable and lasting as possible.
 It is difficult to know how you will respond in the beginning; some patients feel improvement from the 1st treatment and move immediately to the middle stage, others may take several treatments before even showing modest improvement.
 If you want to try acupuncture, you need to be willing to give it 5- 6 treatments. Hopefully you will respond quicker than that but to only give acupuncture 2-3 treatments is not giving it a fair chance.
 Once we see improvement and are into the middle stage, improvement should build up steadily. As long as we see continued improvement we should keep treatment going until all symptoms have subsided.
 I will keep you informed each stage of the treatment process and will not keep treating if it looks like the treatment is not working as expected or once maximum benefit is reached.
 Many health challenges are subject to tipping points where just a little boost will help the body get the upper hand on the problem.