Acupuncture is a natural way to promote more radiant health and wellness by stimulating the body’s natural ability to heal. This regulatory medicine  help restore balance and function to all systems, including the muscular, digestive, nervous, endocrine, immune, and reproductive systems. Because of this, acupuncture is effective in treating many conditions.

So how does acupuncture work? Acupuncturists  stimulate specifically-chosen place along the 2,000-point meridian system  using fine, sterile acupuncture needles that are about the size of a hair follicle. Nerves transmit electromagnetic signals to the brain during the insertion, stimulation, and retention of the needles at these chosen points. The brain, in turn, activates specific areas that stimulate neurotransmitters. These neurotransmitters release biochemical substances that stimulate or inhibit nerve impulse and neurohormones that have a wide, positive impact on the activity and function of the body’s systems.

The central nervous system releases regulatory chemical responses into the muscles, organs, spinal cord, and brain during treatment. The biochemical changes stimulate the body’s natural healing abilities and promote physical and emotional well being.

Is acupuncture safe?

Acupuncture is drug-free and therefore avoids the side effects and dependencies associated with many forms of standard medications. The needles used are about the size of a only slightly wider than a strand of hair and are made of smooth stainless steel with smooth points, which rarely result in pain. Of course, tThe sterile needles are disposed of after each use, eliminating any risk of transference of disease.


How many treatments will I need?

The number of treatments required varies with each case. For longstanding conditions, one or two treatments a week for several months may be required. For acute problems, fewer visits are necessary. For general health maintenance and overall wellness, four sessions a year may be sufficient.


How can I help continue the process of healing started with the acupuncture session?

It’s a great idea to take good mental or written notes of your response to treatment. This can help your practitioner design any needed follow-up treatments so that the process supports your continuing healing and well-being.


Are there side effects?

Patients usually experience no side effects other than a feeling of deep relaxation or mild temporary disorientation. Occasionally, there are other short-lived effects. Sometimes the original symptoms are exaggerated for a few days or there are changes in appetite, sleep patterns, or bowel or urinary patterns. There may be slight changes in emotional states.


The meridian system, mapped out more than 2,000 years ago, is the very foundation of acupuncture and Chinese medicine. The meridians represent the principal pathways that our lifeforce, called qi in Chinese medicine is restored. They also are the main avenues that blood and fluids are circulated throughout the body, tissues, and organs, providing them with nourishment and energy. These channels are vital in the communication among the organs, muscles, glands, and digestive and endocrine systems, as well as the brain. These communication networks make the body a unified whole.

Acupuncturists believe that when qi flows freely, there is no pain or disease. But when there is stagnation of qi, pain, disease, or dysfunction shows up in the body. It is up to the acupuncturist to enhance and maintain the free flow of qi, blood, and fluid in the body. 


How do meridians work?

Meridians are complicated to understand and take years to fully comprehend.  To put it simply, the meridian system is a network of qi that links different areas of the body. Its pathways make up a complex system that supplies vital energy to every part of the body. 

There are twelve paired yin and yang meridians, and two unpaired channels. Each of the twelve meridians are bilateral and are associated with an organ of the body.

The two unpaired meridians are the governing or du meridian, and the conception or ren meridian. The governing meridian runs along the center of the spine, along the back of the body, and represents the yang or masculine aspect of the meridian system. The conception meridian runs along the center of the front of the body, and is the yin or feminine aspect of the meridian.

These two opposite channels represent the yin and yang at the center of the body. Balancing the yin and yang of the body is fundamental for life’s vitality and these two meridians are very important and useful in regulation of these energies. The conception meridian can be used to increase fertility, regulate the menstrual cycle, and treat impotence. The governing meridian can treat all the organ systems of the body, regulate the hormones, and increase stamina and adrenal functions.


What are acupuncture points on the meridian system?

The flow of qi in the meridian system is concentrated in certain areas just under the skin’s surface, and these are acupuncture points. Stimulating these small areas releases blockages in a meridian’s flow of qi.

Each meridian has its own specific acupuncture points that regulate the body. Acupuncturists artfully choose the most effective combination of points to balance and regulate a patient’s imbalances. Each acupuncture point has its own unique influence on the body and its own function.

There are 361 points along the traditional meridians and hundreds of extra points, like the auricular (ear) points and the scalp points — which complicates learning this vast network of intersecting points. In the West, we learn acupuncture points as numbers, but for the Chinese speaker they often have poetic names that give insight about the points themselves.For example, acupuncturists learn that Stomach 36 is a great point for increasing stamina, immunity, and regulating digestion. The Chinese name translates as Leg Three Miles, meaning that by stimulating Stomach 36, one can relieve enough fatigue to walk three more miles.


What is the science behind the needles?

Chinese medicine teaches us that the flow of qi circulating through our bodies is what connects us to the universal life force. But what does Western medicine teach us? We now have exciting stereomicroscopic photographs that show tubular structures 30 to 100 mm wide that overlay the acupuncture meridian system, called Bonghan channels. This may be the empirical evidence necessary to explain how acupuncture works.

In Mind and Nature, Gregory Bateson states that this could be the very system that controls growth at the embryologic level of development. Dr. Charles Shang, MD also noticed the physiological similarities between acupuncture points and the embryological organizational center. He found both are areas of high electrical conductance, high density of gap junctions, and cellular organelles that facilitate cell-to-cell communication. This points to the Eastern knowledge that meridians are the information superhighways of the body.

The acupuncture meridian system is a unique system of organization that is capable of carrying an enormous volume of information throughout the body. It is by regulating and keeping these systems balanced that health is kept at its optimal level.