The Theory Behind Acupuncture

cartoon acupuncture copyAcupuncture definitions usually sound like this, “Acupuncture is a therapy which is uses small solid needles inserted into specific points on the body to create a physiological effect.”

True.  Yet this misses the powerful theory of acupuncture.   This is what really makes it effective.  It is not about the needle itself, but the theory behind it.

In the next three articles, I will tell you about the theory behind acupuncture, how it works, and also some of the other treatments you may encounter in an acupuncturists office.  In fact, what we call acupuncture is really only one therapy in Chinese medicine, and a combination is often the most effective.

What is acupuncture theory?

Acupuncture is based upon the theory of Chinese medicine.  It uses thin solid needles, gently inserted into specific acupuncture points on the body.  The point prescription is created specifically for you in order to correct the imbalances that are causing your health concern.

blog what goes into an acupuncture treatment copyChinese medicine theory asserts that diseases are caused by imbalances in the body.  By correcting the imbalances, then the body can work to heal itself.  Imbalances are often related to the body’s energy, called qi  (pronounced chee).  Qi travels though channels in the body like water flowing through a winding river.  These channels connect the body’s surface to the internal organs and muscles, this is why acupuncture can treat diseases of the internal organs.

Acupuncture corrects imbalances by stimulating specific points on specific channels. When stimulated, these points help the qi to flow smoothly. Acupuncture points are located on the channels, each having a precise healing action.

Treatment will correct the imbalance and remove the impediments to the flow of qi. Other imbalances may also occur.  For example heat is a common cause of many illnesses from menstrual cramps to asthma.  If this is the case, the acupuncture is prescribed specifically to remove the heat from the body.

After the needles are inserted, they will remain in the points for about 30 minutes.  This is the period of time for qi to make one circulation through the channels in the body.  After the needle is in, there’s a feeling of warmth and tingling. People usually find that acupuncture treatments are very relaxing and often loose track of time.

Read more about qi and health

Joseph Alban, L.Ac.
Latest posts by Joseph Alban, L.Ac. (see all)