One of the most frequently asked questions in my clinic is “How does it work”? This is usually when Im about to insert the first needle, and what a loaded question it is!! And almost impossible to adequately answer in the short time we are allocated for a treatment. There is just sooo much in it!
Putting it very simply, Acupuncture is a method of encouraging energy and blood to move and flow. Acupuncture is one part of a complex system of medicine which has been in existence for more than 3000 years. This medical system is called Traditional Chinese Medicine. This system also includes Chinese Herbal Medicine.
In this system of medicine, the “ancients” (the wise ones), saw the body in terms of Meridians or Channels of energy or “Qi”, each of which dealt with the energetics of an organ within the body, and which sometimes ran through one of these organs. Each organ of the body in turn had much more than just a physical function, but also had an “energetic” or “emotional” function . For example, The Lungs as well as dealing with breathing, have the “emotional” function of dealing with loss and grief, The Heart as well as being the blood pump we know and love also deals with anxiety/joy, The Liver as well as detoxing also deals with the emotions of frustration / suppression / anger. So each of the Meridians and the Acupuncture points along these Meridians will have an affect either physically and /or emotionally.
Inserting a needle into an Acupuncture point along any of these Meridians, instantly moves the Blood and Energy (Qi) around that point, much the same as when a stone is thrown into a stream / river or pond, there is a ripple effect which can affect movement for quite a distance within the water. And thats how it works! Sometimes if the river /stream or pond is really blocked with leaves or debris, you need to throw more than one stone and maybe quite often, to achieve movement, but there WILL be movement, even if its only minute!
So when a person comes for Acupuncture, usually there has been quite a bit of clogging with rubbish, and the debris of life, either physical or emotional, and thus a succession of treatment is required to make the stream move as effectively as it needs to in order to give relief. Unfortunately, the “life” rubbish we accumulate is not easily shifted and because we are working in a very natural way, TIME is required! Thats why your Acupuncturist asks you to come for a succession of treatments.
In scientific terms, Acupuncture has been shown to release endorphins which are the “feel good” hormones, so you feel really relaxed and energised after your session. But also, because it MOVES things, the toxins which are released from tense muscles is also expelled, so it is a really good idea to drink a couple of glasses of water after a session to help flush these toxins out.
So THATS how it works!!