How does acupuncture work?

Traditional Chinese Medicine, or TCM, is a treatment modality that was developed several thousand years ago in China that includes acupuncture, cupping, herbology, and therapeutic exercises like qi gong. The underlying principal of TCM is to look at health patterns and make a diagnosis based on things that can be detected using the five senses. It breaks things down into smaller parts to determine what may be out of balance. So, for example, if you have red, itchy eyes, a TCM practitioner might diagnose you with too much heat in the body. Or if you had low back pain, you might be diagnosed with a kidney deficiency. Of course, it doesn’t mean that you literally have too much heat in your body, or that there is a physical problem with your kidneys.

 

In actuality, you may have itchy eyes because you are suffering from allergies, and the back pain may be a strained muscle. This is just the “language” TCM practitioners use to describe what they are observing. Where TCM really excels is its ability to differentiate patterns for a similar condition, and the belief that one size does not fit all when it comes to treatment. From a TCM perspective, the underlying cause of a headache for one person could be different for another person. Based on factors such as the location of the headache, the quality and intensity of the pain, the duration, or the frequency or the headache, the treatment could be completely different. The true way acupuncture works is not completely understood, but more and more research shows that it has a physical effect on the brain, especially in the areas of pain perception. (1-3)

 

Acupuncture looks at the body as a whole, and not just the symptoms. It can be used as a standalone therapy(4) or as part of an integrated treatment.(5-7) At Kersenbrock Medical and Wellness, we recognize the strengths and limitations of all forms of healthcare. We have a great team in place to help with all of your healthcare needs.

If you would like to discuss how acupuncture can be helpful for you, call our office any time at (407)732-6920.

References:

  1. https://www.webmd.com/pain-management/news/19991201/mri-shows-accupuncture-reduce-pain#1
  2. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/10978711_Acupuncture_Neuropeptide_release_produced_by_electrical_stimulation_of_different_frequencies
  3. https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/acupuncture-is-worth-a-try-for-chronic-pain-201304016042
  4. https://www.medicalacupuncture.org/For-Patients/Articles-By-Physicians-About-Acupuncture/Acupuncture-and-Seasonal-Allergies
  5. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2830903/
  6. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5399325/
  7. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3689180/

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