Thursday, January 15, 2015

Holistic Health Philosophy and Practice: So How Does Acupuncture Work?

""I was raised, like most everybody else, on the idea that diseases are to be attacked, usually by drugs or surgery. The more serious the disease, the more aggressive the attack should be. If you follow this thinking, minimally aggressive treatment, such as acupuncture, should be helpful only for very minor problems, and most of its effects would be “in the patient’s head.”
But that hasn’t been my experience. I have seen acupuncture help patients with serious problems, including those who were resistant to drugs and surgery: problems ranging from disabling headaches, digestive problems, back pain and sciatica, anxiety and depression — a whole range of conditions. While acupuncture is not the first choice for medical emergencies, it is a very effective and safe treatment for many conditions.

The most common question I get about acupuncture is, how does it work? I usually try to dodge the question by replying, “It works great!” The truth is, while I know how to do acupuncture, the basic concepts are foreign to those of us raised with medical care.
Acupuncture uses a type of healing that we Westerners are not very familiar with: the concept of chi, or life energy. Instead of seeing a disease as an entity that needs to be attacked, acupuncturists see it as an imbalance or blockage of this energy flow. The energy flow then can be restored by treating special points in the body. When the energy flow is restored, the body can finally complete the healing process.

When I put a needle in an acupuncture point in the foot — which, according to ancient principles, is supposed to treat a muscle in the groin — and the chronic spasm in that muscle, which had been resistant to chiropractic care, deep tissue treatment and stretching, relaxes instantly, I recognize there is something going on that defies easy explanation. I have seen similar, sometimes instant results with abdominal pain, headache, even sinus congestion. I have to believe there is a flow of energy from the point in the foot to the muscle in the groin, that this energy flow is very fast and piercing the point restored it — quite similar to electricity, really. Score another point for the chi theory.""

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