Acupuncture: Making the Most of Your Body’s own Medicine
Updated: May 30
Acupuncture is an effective form of integrated, modern healthcare based on over 2,000 years of tradition, practice, and empirical evidence. It has been the focus of a great number of clinical trials in recent decades to determine its efficacy and mechanisms with both promising and surprising results.
With this research, modern medical science is now finding ways to explain the physiological mechanisms that are activated during a treatment, as well as the healing effects it has on the body. For many years acupuncture has been shrouded in mystery from the Western world. Yet with the physiological processes now being better explained through scientific method, we are learning more about how the Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) concept of ‘Qi’ (vital force) translates to the bio-mechanical processes of the human body.
In TCM, pain and disease arise when there is a blockage of either Qi or blood in the organs or meridians. With the use of fine, filiform acupuncture needles, acupuncturists manipulate the flow of Qi and blood within the meridians in order to promote a smooth flow of these vital substances. Acupuncture addresses both the symptoms and cause of disease by promoting the body’s innate ability to heal itself.
While the modern version of acupuncture and its applications are somewhat different today, this unique form of natural medicine has its roots in a tradition that is believed to be up to 5,000 years old. While the needles used today are machine-manufactured with precision from surgical steel, our method of healing still relies on the time-honoured principles of maintaining a balance of Qi (Chi) and Blood, Yin and Yang in the body. Since modern medicine has shed scientific light on these ancient concepts, we now have a better understanding through the study of human physiology.
Qi can be likened to our energy levels, metabolism and nervous system; Blood is monitored by our cardiovascular system; and even Yin and Yang have their comparisons within the autonomic nervous system that controls our cycles of activity and rest.
Using the wisdom of the past and combining it with the knowledge of the present day, acupuncture practitioners of today now have the best of both schools of thought in order to provide the most effective treatment results for their patients.