How does acupuncture work?

The age old question…


To understand how it works one must use imagination. Imagine your body is a landscape. It has hills and valleys, oceans and rivers, roads, cars, people. This landscape is warmed or cooled by the winds, the water and the sun. It has a rhythm and it’s intricately connected. All these are necessary precisely in the right amount. Let’s face it, for a healthy landscape we need the “Goldilocks effect”. We need everything to be just right or else the wind, the cold, the heat, the dampness, and dryness can turn into nature’s “evil”. This “evil” invades the landscape and disrupts comfort. Too much dampness will cause mudslides; too much heat scorches and dries out the beautiful landscape.  Furthermore, the body also has energy pathways that carry information from one end to the other. These pathways are called meridians, networks or channels. Through these meridians energy flows at all time. Pain occurs due to a blockage in the meridians from the invasion of one or more of these “evils”.

So, how do you get rid of these “evils”? Well it works somewhat like this. On the meridians there are many points. You can view these points as exits or entrances to highways. There are small streets with small intersections, larger avenues with multiple crossing highways, and there are reservoirs from where we can draw from, or drain the excess to. By strategically placing needles at one or more of these intersections, we call upon the function of that point to direct the traffic of energy one way or another. When there’s too much traffic the acupuncture needle will redirect it. When there’s not enough, it calls for more. What’s even more fascinating is that grouping needles together will encourage communication among each other and this will get the best results. They will work as a team. This is where the beauty of this practice begins.  The acupuncturist is the maestro conducting an extremely sophisticated orchestra or traffic; however it works for you.  I hope this gave you somewhat of an idea. How it really works we don’t precisely know, but the evidence that is does work is there, so it doesn’t really matter how it works just as long as we can cultivate a beautiful landscape and feel healthy and happy living in peace and harmony with nature as Lao Tzu says:

“Life is a series of natural and spontaneous changes. Don’t resist them; that only creates sorrow. Let reality be reality. Let things flow naturally forward in whatever way they like.”

I believe he is simply encouraging us to observe the changes around us, and be in tune with them. In other words if your’re cold put something on. If you are hot drink something cold. If you’re tired rest. If you’re sick get a treatment.

 

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