How does Acupuncture work?

Dear Doctor: How does Acupuncture work?

ADear Patient: It is no secret that the body has energy. We receive energy through the food we eat and the air we breathe. We expend energy when we exercise, work, and study. This energy that is within us flows through meridians. When this flow is impeded, whether through scar tissue growing by an incision or a knot in a muscle, the body becomes unbalanced. It's like a river that had a rock thrown into it. If the rock is big enough, it will cause a block in the flow of water. One end of the river will be dammed up and flooding, while the other side of the river will be dry. This same analogy applies to energy flow through our meridians - on one side we will have energy building up and overflowing, while the rest of the meridian will be deficient. Acupuncture works to release the blockage, open the channel back up, and allow the flow of energy to return to normal. When the energy is flowing normally through the meridians, the body will be in balance again. Scientifically speaking, there are many theories about why acupuncture works. The most common idea is that nerves are stimulated to release endorphins, which are feel-good hormones, allowing a person to feel less stressed and be pain-free after acupuncture. However, once the endorphins stop being released, the "good feeling" is supposed to go away. With acupuncture, the results can last for days, weeks, months and years. So, there is more to it than just nerve stimulation and endorphin/neurotransmitter release.


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