Acupuncture works by stimulating the body to heal itself. In Chinese Medicine this is done by identifying the underlying imbalance in the body and tailoring the acupuncture treatment to correct this imbalance. I like to describe this process as hitting the reset switch bringing the body back to balance.
Acupuncture also works by releasing pain relieving chemicals and reduce inflammation.(1)
Treating the Root and Branch
In Chinese Medicine we say we need to treat both the root cause of the issue and the branch, the symptoms. The process is focuses on getting to the root cause of the issue in order to reset the body.
Many patients come to me after seeing others for long periods of time with intense symptoms. The first goal is to reduce the symptoms to make them comfortable. Then we work on correcting the root issue causing the pain which can lead to long term relief.
Napadow V, Ahn A, Longhurst J, et al. The status and future of acupuncture mechanism research. J Altern Complement Med.2008;14(7):861-869; PMID: 18803495.