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Does Acupuncture Really Work?

The simple answer is ‘Yes’. However, most of us need more information to accept that answer– we are, after all, the “Show-Me” state. We have all witnessed healing in some form or fashion. The bug bite, the paper cut or the ankle sprain in which inflammation occurs then resolves leaving healed tissue. The same neurochemical pathways that guide healing in these simpler injuries direct healing in more severe injuries and illnesses such as broken bones or COVID-19.

For healing to occur, a series of chemical and electrical signals bring needed materials to the injured site or diseased tissue and direct the physical and energetic processes of repair. We can help speed these processes with conventional treatments such as antimicrobials to eliminate pathogenic bacteria, fixation procedures to bring broken fragments of bone into alignment or surgery to remove diseased tissue and also with traditional modalities such as acupuncture to promote the neurochemical messengers of healing.

The acupuncture needle attaches to microscopic fibers existing between cells. Stimulation of the acupuncture point causes electrical depolarization, pH change, temperature change and release of photons of energy. Layers of fascia that hold organs and tissues in place create pathways that transmit these signals. These “energy highways” are called meridians or channels. Acupuncture points lie along these meridians and depending on the location of the acupuncture point the effect of stimulation can yield both local effects as well as distant and internal effects.

Traditional Chinese Medicine describes the body as a network of carefully mapped channels through which nutrients and energy are provided to the entire body with specifically located acupuncture points giving access to the channels. Because traditional medicine existed long before modern scientific methods of study, the body is viewed as a group of functions with anatomical parts contributing to the individual functions. Through stimulation of the acupuncture points and related channels, the resulting treatments promote return to normal function, homeostasis and healing in the entire body.

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