How does acupuncture work in the body?

Thumbtack Editors
Answered

Acupuncture is a centuries-old traditional Chinese medicine practice that has been incorporated into mainstream Western health practices due to its proven healing powers. After a thorough health intake and diagnosis, acupuncturists insert hair-thin needles into targeted acupuncture points on the body. According to traditional Chinese medicine, energy (qi) channels (meridians) run throughout the body, and when any of these meridians are blocked the body suffers. Inserting acupuncture needles frees any blocks in the meridians and allows the qi to flow once more, enabling the body to come back into balance. According to the American Academy of Medical Acupuncture, the scientific explanation in Western medicine is that “needling the acupuncture points stimulates the nervous system to release chemicals in the muscles, spinal cord, and brain. These chemicals will either change the experience of pain, or they will trigger the release of other chemicals and hormones which influence the body's own internal regulating system.” Well-designed studies have found that acupuncture can help with conditions such as back pain, knee pain, headaches and osteoarthritis.

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