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The Magic and Science of Acupuncture

Written by

Deborah Freudenmann BHSc

Acupuncture has been helping people heal for thousands of years. From daily stress to complex health conditions, acupuncture is a simple treatment that offers a natural source of relief and restoration.

Despite centuries of using acupuncture and witnessing its benefits, one question remains: how does acupuncture work?

Let’s dive deeper into the world of acupuncture to understand this unique therapy better. What’s the magic and science behind acupuncture, and could it help you find your true health?

What is Acupuncture?

At its simplest, acupuncture is a holistic therapy that uses tiny needles to access specific points along the body to stimulate positive change. This may encourage muscles to relax, increase blood flow, stimulate or calm the nervous system, or create a shift in “qi” or energy.

In a lot of ways, acupuncture was an early version of “functional” medicine. Like modern functional medicine, it targets the root issues of illness rather than focusing only on eliminating symptoms. Acupuncture gives your body the boost it needs to heal itself and restore a healthy, natural balance.

Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine: The “Magic” of Acupuncture

While needles come to mind when we think about acupuncture, there is much more to this medicine than meets the eye. Acupuncture is just one aspect of the comprehensive medical system of Chinese medicine or Traditional Chinese Medicine. Let’s take a look at what Chinese medicine has to offer:

Therapies of Chinese Medicine

Chinese medicine combines therapies (like acupuncture) with lifestyle recommendations (like diet) and mindfulness exercises to help people achieve health – mind, body, and spirit. Here are some of the therapies Chinese medicine uses to help people heal naturally:

  • Acupuncture
  • Cupping
  • Gua sha
  • Herbal medicine
  • Topical herbal tinctures and oils
  • Medical massage (tui na)
  • Dietary therapy
  • Exercise therapy, tai chi, qigong
  • Mindfulness and meditation

Disease and Diagnosis in Chinese Medicine

Unlike biomedicine, Chinese medicine usually sees illness as various “patterns” of imbalance rather than defined diseases. To effectively treat a condition or even decipher your core constitution, Chinese medicine practitioners consider how the entire body functions to arrive at your diagnosis. This method allows for personalized treatments based on your body’s unique needs, rather than just deferring to treating symptoms or a disease.

For example, when treating migraines, a biomedical doctor may offer a painkiller or migraine prescription. But in Chinese medicine (or functional medicine), there are several different diagnostic patterns for migraines. Those who have one pattern may require a completely different acupuncture treatment, herbal formula, and lifestyle recommendations than another. For this same reason, two people with two very different diseases (one may have migraines and the other inflammatory bowel disease, for instance) may receive very similar treatments, despite how different their symptoms are. This is because Chinese medicine treats the root issue or imbalance, not the symptoms.

So, what are these patterns or imbalances? Chinese medicine has several ways of looking at imbalances and relationships in the body.

Here are just three ways Chinese medicine looks at the body:

Yin and Yang

Everything in life is a balance and harmony of yin and yang. When they are in balance, we are healthy. When out of balance, trouble arises. Chinese medicine and acupuncture aim to return the body’s balance of yin and yang.

Qi, Blood, and Body Fluids

In Chinese medicine, qi is the energy that activates all our body processes. Blood brings nutrients to nourish the body. And fluids keep the body lubricated. Like yin and yang, these can become imbalanced, excessive, or diminished and health issues result. Restoring the healthy flow of qi, blood, and fluids is a crucial aspect of Chinese medicine.

5 Elements

Chinese medicine sees the body as a microcosm of the environment. All five elements (wood, fire, earth, metal, and water) are represented by different organ systems, senses, emotions, and more. Certain health conditions can be related to an imbalance in a particular element or even between the elements. With acupuncture and other therapies, we can restore a healthy balance.

The Science of Acupuncture

The field of acupuncture research is not as large as pharmaceutical research, but it is growing. Each year, many new studies reveal more about how this “magical” medicine works with promising results for this natural therapy. Let’s see what science says about acupuncture.

How Does Acupuncture Work?

From the Chinese medicine perspective, acupuncture works by creating a healthier balance in the body through qi’s flow and direction (energy). But how does science explain this?

When placed, acupuncture needles cause damage to the impacted tissues. When this tiny microtrauma occurs, the body responds to the “damaged area” with a small electrical current. Acupuncture points or certain trigger points are actual anatomical structures where the resistance to the flow of electricity is less. Therefore, through acupuncture you increase the flow of electricity through those areas.

Every cell in your body function on the basis of an electrical dimension. Some cells or tissues respond by direct nerve stimulation, whereas others by the exchange of ions (sodium, potassium, magnesium, phosphorus) across a cell membrane. It is known that wherever there is an “imbalance, blockage or pathology”, the tissue is less resistant to the normal flow of electricity and ion exchange. Therefore, there is diminished cellular function, lack of nutrients as well as oxygen uptake. It can also result in a build-up of toxins, as waste products from cells are unable to be metabolised out of the cells.

Think of a river, electricity flows much like water – it flows around an obstacle and takes the path of least resistance. This is the same within the body, electrical currents within the body will pass an area of blockage or injury. Therefore, if we can boost the flow and provide more electricity through that area you can jump start the cellular respiration. Acupuncture is about restoring balance and optimising the electrical flow through the body.

In addition to that, it is well documented that endorphins are released into the circulating blood following acupuncture. The euphoria, relaxation and pain relief that is experienced right after acupuncture is related to the endorphin releases.

Acupuncture also releases tight or tense muscles. For issues like pain and stiffness, acupuncture needles can stimulate the muscle to release tension and trigger points. This is why PEMF therapy (pulsed electro magnetic field) supports the movement of these stagnant areas via electrical currents. 

The Benefits of Acupuncture

From minor issues to major health concerns, acupuncture offers many benefits – especially when paired with functional medicine. Here are some of the most common health benefits you can expect from acupuncture:

Symptom relief

From pain to constipation to insomnia, acupuncture helps relieve your symptoms by addressing the root issues. While significant changes can be seen after a few treatments, many people notice immediate relief or improvement even while still on the table!

Pain relief

Acupuncture is most famous for its ability to stop pain. Whether pain is your main concern or not, it’s common for pain to reduce after an acupuncture treatment. This is because acupuncture improves blood flow and releases endorphins, both of which have potent pain-relieving effects.

Reduced stress

Stress is just part of life, but we can use acupuncture to ensure our stress levels stay in a healthy range. Acupuncture relieves stress by calming the mind, reducing blood pressure, balancing stress hormones, and helping the body become more resilient. Over time, regular acupuncture treatments can help you feel less stressed and more in control.

More balanced moods

It’s normal to feel blue or anxious once in a while, but when your mood swings start to overcome your daily life, it’s time to find balance. Acupuncture helps reduce anxiety and lift depression so you can stay more focused, balanced, and happier.

Better energy and sleep

Acupuncture helps increase your body’s ability to make and replenish energy and lulls the mind into a calming sleep at night. One of the most common benefits people notice from acupuncture is that they sleep more soundly, feel more refreshed, and have more natural energy.

Improved overall wellness

Acupuncture helps to improve your energy, digestion, and immunity. With regular acupuncture, you may notice that you get sick less often, have better digestion, and generally feel stronger. Acupuncture can also help reduce your risk of developing chronic disease (like heart disease and diabetes) or age-related degenerative diseases (like Alzheimer’s disease).

What Does Acupuncture Treat?

Because Chinese medicine is a holistic system that focuses on addressing root causes rather than specific diseases and symptoms, it can help treat a wide range of conditions. Research about acupuncture is growing, offering new insight into what diseases can benefit from this natural treatment. Along with the general benefits above, here are a few common conditions that acupuncture may improve:

  • Acute and chronic pain
  • Chronic fatigue syndrome
  • Allergies and sensitivities
  • GI conditions, weight management, and gut health
  • Depression and anxiety
  • Stress and sleep disturbances
  • Reproductive health and infertility

Is Acupuncture Right for You?

Acupuncture is a safe and gentle procedure when done by a qualified and licensed acupuncturist. It treats a wide variety of issues, so it’s likely that it could help you heal naturally. People of all ages and backgrounds can benefit from acupuncture – even those who are afraid of needles!

You’ll likely be a good candidate for acupuncture if you…

  • Have a health condition you want to overcome naturally
  • Want to improve your physical or mental health
  • Have tried everything to overcome your health concern, but you haven’t gotten the results you hoped for
  • Have a stress-related condition, or your symptoms worsen with stress
  • Feel overwhelmed with so much health advice and want a personalized plan for wellness based on your body’s unique needs
  • Have an unresolved, stubborn, or undiagnosed condition
  • Feel unwell or “off” despite lab work and blood tests coming back normal
  • Have a range of symptoms that seem unrelated
  • Want to have a better, more holistic understanding of your body
  • Feel well, but want to increase your energy, focus, mood, or general wellness
  • Want to prevent illness and manage stress more effectively

 

But, like any treatment or medicine, acupuncture is not for everyone. Ask your doctor/practitioner about trying acupuncture if you relate to any of the following:

  • You have a fainting disorder
  • You have a blood disorder, like hemophilia
  • You are pregnant

Restore Your Balance with Acupuncture and Functional Medicine

Truly Heal believes in the power of healthy collaboration! When you pair acupuncture with functional medicine, you can heal quicker and more completely by solving the root of your health issues. 

  • Become A TRULY HEAL Functional Medicine Health Coach

    Start an exciting career as a functional medicine health coach and help your clients live a healthier and more fulfilled life.

  • The FREE Functional Medicine Training will give you insights into the workings of a TRULYHEAL Health Coach. You will learn that treating the patient and not the disease makes the real difference.

  • Learn how to save thousands of $$ for treatments you can easily do at home. 

  • Watch “TRULY HEAL from CANCER” now completely Free! You have also access to the original version “CANCER is curable NOW”

  • Learn more about PEMF Therapy at the PEMF Expert academy

  • At the O3 academy we will show you how to set up a little home clinic to treat many different maladies like open wounds, infections, cancer or even leaky gut. 

  • At the HYPERTHERMIA academy you can learn how every German clinic uses fever therapy once a week to boost the immune system, increase white blood cell count and detoxifies the body like little else. 

  • Providing You Truly Unique & Effective Vitamin Supplements

  • IF YOU HAVE QUESTIONS ....... PLEASE POST THEM HERE

    2 Responses

    1. WILLIAM ROBERTS says:

      All this information is incredible, I’ve listened to you guys for a very long time, brought your ozone product, you did send me wrong regulator, which I still have. I would love to have the PEMF 120, because of it’s power. I know you do a lot of research in all the different modalities, I think you said something about red lights, if not, there’s a lot good things they can do for your health. Money is always a problem when there’s a modality that can fix a problem that you have and or another person has. I’m working on opening up a clinic that has all the modalities I need to help a lot of people. A nonprofit, that we treat twenty percent of the people for free, the eighty percent we build more clinics. We will also train our therapist hypnotherapy because it can play a big part in wellness. I know that some day I will get where I want to be in helping a lot of people and I also know your program and most of your modalities will part of it.

    2. Shokat Ali says:

      I am on the same page as William and want to do the same thing. Look at my posting on Facebook. The whole of the allopathic system is designed to kill off any effective non-drug-based modalities. I have a passion to help people but I don’t know how the system works in the UK. Everything TrulyHeal does is fantastic but we can build upon that using other modalities such as micro-current therapies such as FSM and remote healing using quantum entanglement. Hypnotherapy is God’s gift to mankind and so are other modalities such as DMSO, Hydrogen/Oxygen/Hypothermia, ClO2, HOCL. I would love an alternative system to bring under one roof all the modalities rubbished by the allopathic medicine and give people a real choice. At the moment people don’t have a choice, it’s either their way or the highway. And if the client gets the wrong end of the stick, a doctor may go through hell and may even lose his license but a therapist can end up losing his livelihood and his liberty. One of the reasons I joined the TrulyHeal functional medicine course is not just to obtain a formal qualification but also to keep me safe from a hijacked criminal justice system that can put you in jail without a second thought.

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