How Does it Work?

The main question everyone asks about acupuncture is how it works.

The answer is that from a Western perspective, we don’t know. We don’t know exactly what the needles do when they are inserted into the skin. We can see through various imaging that brain wave patterns change from before and after acupuncture treatments, but we don’t know the mechanism of why. One theory suggests that the needles work at level of the neurotransmitter. However, this is all speculation and until we find more sensitive instruments to measure what acupuncturists do, it’s unlikely that there will be a definitive answer.

From an Eastern perspective, acupuncture works at the level of qi. (For what is qi, click here) It moves the qi to various areas of body where there is too much or too little. It helps create balance in the body between the types of qi. This is the paradigm within which your acupuncturist understands what they are doing.