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How Does Acupuncture Work?

It's not a silly question to ask. You may feel better once you get acupuncture, but why?


Your body is one big, complex system. Everything in your body is dependent on the other components working well. Your brain needs adequate blood flow and circulation to feel mentally balanced, but poor blood circulation also affects how your muscles feel. You need good digestion to be able to pull the nutrients from your food and keep the body running, but poor digestion can lead to weight management issues, which will in turn affect hormones and energy levels. It's like domino toppling! When you trip one domino, all the others fall, too.


Acupuncturists don't think of acupuncture in terms of points on the body in which to insert needles. Getting the location of the points is definitely necessary - but it's because those points stimulate various pathways in your body. Acupuncturists consider the body in terms of pathways (or what we call "channels"). It's not uncommon for someone to come in with tummy trouble, and as we start asking questions we see that there are other issues happening along the pathway where the shoulder is affected. They may have back pain, as well as a feeling of heaviness in their lower abdomen, and their eyes are dry and itchy too - they might complain of chronic allergies or headaches. That's because the pathway where the stomach is involved also runs to the back and eyes.


So when you have tummy troubles and we're putting needles in your feet or scalp, you may look at us funny. Acupuncture works by clearing imbalances, blockages, or building up blood and fluids so the pathways can run smoother - like a free-flowing river.


This is also why acupuncture can take longer to bring your body back into a state of healthy balance. Often people come to see us after years of chronic pain, multiple surgeries, or other longstanding health conditions. The blockages and imbalances along the body's pathways have been building up for months, years, or even decades. Clearing them and bringing the body back into homeostasis takes commitment to the medicine, and patience to give it time to work.


People who come in expecting to feel 100% better after two treatments will, of course, be sorely disappointed. While Western medicine is absolutely wonderful at providing immediate relief through surgery or prescription medication, it often does nothing to stimulate the body into healing itself. Acupuncture works best in an environment of healing, self-love and awareness, and patience. All living things take time to grow and come into their full power. And witnessing this natural miracle take place every day in our patients is truly a blessing.




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