What is Acupuncture?
Health & Wellness

What Is Acupuncture And How Does It Work?

What Is Acupuncture And How Does It Work?

Acupuncture is a type of integrative medicine that’s used to prevent and treat illnesses, as well as reduce pain and anesthetize patients for surgery. According to research, this technique originated in China and has been used for over 5,000 years.

The first account of this may be found in the book Nei Jing, which means Yellow Emperor’s Classic of Internal Medicine in English. This book’s contents date back to approximately 200 BC. They didn’t use metal needles back then; instead, they used stone needles, moxibustion, and herbs to heal patients.


How Does Acupuncture Works?

Acupuncture works by putting very thin needles into the skin at particular anatomic locations on the body to prevent and treat illnesses. This notion is based on the idea that diseases are caused by an imbalance in your life energy, also known as Qi. This is said to run along 14 meridians in the human body, which branch out into various organs and functions. If one or more of them gets blocked or obstructed, you will have a sickness or illness.

Because of Yin and Yang, the Qi may be imbalanced in one direction or the other. A person can only be normal if the two are in harmony, which is what acupuncture aims to achieve. Only by stimulating these acupuncture sites and adjusting, balancing, and harmonizing your Qi can this be restored. Aside from needles, practitioners employ friction, heat, electromagnetic energy impulses, and pressure to stimulate these spots in order to regulate the flow of energy in the body and improve one’s health.


Sonopuncture is one example of this, in which an ultrasound instrument sends sound waves to specific locations in the body. A tuning fork and other vibration instruments are used by some.


Another example is acupressure, which uses the fingers to relieve pain. It can be used alone or in conjunction with other manual healing treatments. Because our bodies produce small electrical discharges that impact the function, development, and maturity of specific types of cells, electromagnetic energy impulses are employed.

By placing needles in certain locations, the body’s neurotransmitters are stimulated and altered, helping the patient feel better following therapy. This is also used for diagnostic and testing on occasion.

Some Diseases For Which Acupuncture Is Used

The World Health Organization (WHO) has compiled a list of some of the diseases for which acupuncture is used. Acute bronchitis, the common cold, cataracts, toothaches, gingivitis, hiccups, ulcers, constipation, diarrhea, headaches and migraines, Meniere’s disease, osteoarthritis, and a variety of other conditions are among them. Acupuncture is commonly used in the United States to address chronic pain and mental health issues.

Acupuncture Is Not Without Danger

Acupuncture, on the other hand, is not without danger. If the needle punctures a vascular structure, a hematoma may form. If the needle is placed too far into the lungs, pneumothorax might ensue. If the needle was not adequately sanitized, there was also a danger of HIV and hepatitis. Now that you know what acupuncture is, keep in mind that it is only an option for traditional medical therapy. This implies that you should still be evaluated by a medical expert who can assess the severity of your ailment or disease.

Acupuncture Treatments Come In Various Forms

Acupuncture comes in a variety of forms. Regardless of which method you choose, they are all meant to reduce pain or cure certain ailments. The first is acupuncture based on TCM. It creates balance in the body by employing eight complementary opposites concepts. Internal/external, excess/deficiency, and hot/cold are examples of these concepts.

The next technique is known as French energetic acupuncture. MD acupuncturists frequently employ this technique. Meridian patterns, notably the yin-yang pairings of main meridians, are highlighted here.

Another is Korean hand acupuncture, which is based on the belief that the hands and feet have qi concentrations and that putting acupuncture needles to these regions can benefit the entire body.

The concept behind auricular acupuncture is that the ear is a microcosm of the body. Acupuncture needles are inserted into certain locations on the ear to treat specific addiction problems.

Acupuncture Treatment
Acupuncture Treatment Example


Physical therapists frequently use myofascial-based acupuncture, which includes probing the meridian lines for painful spots before inserting needles, as this is where aberrant energy flows. In diagnosis, Japanese forms of acupuncture known as “meridian treatment” tend to place a greater focus on the needling technique and sensing meridians.

Electromagnetic energy impulses can also be employed since the body produces small electrical discharges that impact the function, development, and maturity of specific cell types. By placing needles in certain locations, the body’s neurotransmitters are stimulated and altered, helping the patient feel better following therapy. This is also used for diagnostic and testing on occasion.

Needle-less Acupuncture Technique

Acupuncture can also be performed without the use of needles. Sonopuncture, for example, employs an ultrasound instrument to deliver sound waves to specific spots on the body to treat a patient. A tuning fork or other vibrating instruments are used by certain practitioners.

What is Acupuncture?

Another is acupressure. The professional will ease the discomfort with their hands. This can be used directly on the wound or combined with other manual healing treatments.

Number Of Treatments Required

The number of treatments required is determined by the condition of the patient. This might be anything from 10 to 5 treatments each week, on average. It might cost anything from $40 to $150, depending on the service. Some insurance companies and HMOs now cover it completely or partially, so check your policy to see whether this is covered.

Acupuncture As A Treatment For Discomfort

Acupuncture can be used to treat or prevent discomfort, but many practitioners will not visit a pregnant woman. However, if you’ve already begun, it’s typically safe to continue until the baby is delivered. As part of the treatment, certain acupuncturists may urge you to take some herbs. Because you don’t know what it can do, have it checked out by your local doctor to make sure it’s safe, as it could interfere with the medications you’re taking and cause adverse effects.

Which Acupuncture Technique Should You Try?

It’s all up to you. All of them work, so talk to your doctor about it and do some research so you know what you’re getting into. Each of these procedures is painless, so sit back and relax while the professionals do the rest. Expect no immediate results, much like with traditional treatment, as this takes time.

What Do They Do?

Acupuncturists are specialists who provide acupuncture treatments. To achieve harmony and balance in the body, he or she may employ needles or other tools, depending on the type.

You must first answer a few questions before this individual can accomplish anything. After that, a physical examination will be performed to check your pulse and examine the shape, color, and coating of your tongue.

The color and texture of your skin, as well as your posture, will be examined since they provide information about your health.

Acupuncture technique
Acupuncture technique

After that, you’ll be asked to lie down on a cushioned examination table while needles are placed into your skin. The difference with this type of needle is that when it is pushed deeper into the body, it twirls and jiggles.

You may not notice them at all, and if you do, it will be a fleeting twitch. Once they’re in place, they’ll stay there for 15 to 60 minutes, making you feel incredibly calm and drowsy, to the point where you could fall asleep. The needles are removed at the end of the session, and you are free to go.

What Is Moxibustion?

Acupuncture is sometimes more effective when the needles are heated first. Moxibustion is the name for this method. The acupuncturist ignites a tiny bunch of moxa (mugwort), a dried herb, and holds it above the needles. The herb, which burns slowly and has a lovely, incense-like aroma, will never come into contact with your skin.

How Does Electrical Acupuncture Works?

Electrical acupuncture is another option. Electrical cables are connected to the needles, and a weak current is sent through them, causing little or no feeling. It’s also likely that the acupuncturist will prescribe herbal drugs in order for your therapy to be effective.

Use A Certified Acupuncturist At All Times

If you’re looking for an acupuncturist, be sure they’re certified. Before obtaining one, he or she must finish four years of instruction at an accredited oriental medical institution. The California Acupuncture Committee is one of the regulating bodies in California that grants the title.

A copy of their license must always be conspicuously posted in the practitioner’s office if they receive it from another organization. The National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine is one example.

Ask Questions Before Hiring An Acupuncturist

Aside from their credentials, there are a few questions you should ask while hiring an acupuncturist. You should be aware of the many types of acupuncture that are utilized, as some procedures do not require the insertion of needles to treat a patient. Although no studies have been conducted to establish that one approach is superior to the other, some patients prefer one over the other.

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Another thing you should ask and explore more is how long the therapy will last. Patients suffering from chronic illnesses will need to be treated for months before any changes can be observed. Because you must visit the clinic 2 to 3 times a week, this will help you plan your schedule.

Acupuncturists, like medical doctors, are there to help you feel better. If you are not seeing any improvement with this individual, you may need to seek the assistance of another professional.

Please see other related articles on Acupuncture on this website if you wish to know more on this topic.

Leonard Henry
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