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What is Acupuncture? 

Updated: Mar 12

Acupuncture is the practice of inserting very thin metal needles into specific points on the body. These specific points are known as acupuncture points, and are located on channels (also called meridians) that are associated with organ systems. The channels run over the entire body, allowing acupuncture treatment to access even deep anatomical structures by stimulating surface points. 

In Chinese medicine, the goal is to promote balance and the free flow of the body’s vital energy and function, or “qi.” When qi is flowing smoothly, the body, mind and spirit are balanced and harmonized; we experience good health and vitality. When there is blockage of qi flow, misdirection of qi, or insufficient qi, illness results. 

Acupuncture is one of the five pillars of Chinese medicine. The other four pillars are herbal medicine, tuina (a type of Asian bodywork), moxibustion (burning of warming herbs near specific points to strengthen qi and build blood), and qi gong (exercises combining breathing with movement and visualization to treat specific health conditions). At Mind + Body Acupuncture and Wellness, we provide treatments that incorporate elements from these pillars to optimize your health. 

How Does It Work? 

At its core, acupuncture works by restoring balance and harmony to the body and harnessing the nervous system’s natural capacity to heal itself. We can understand acupuncture and Chinese medicine as a way of gently communicating with our nervous systems to diagnose, treat and heal disease holistically and naturally. 

A great deal of the therapeutic benefit of acupuncture treatment comes from the activation of the parasympathetic nervous system. When activated, this branch of the central nervous system promotes rest, relaxation, healthy digestion, and reduces inflammation so that the body can heal. 

Acupuncture points are often located at or near neuromuscular junctions, places where nerves connect to muscles and organs. According to modern research, stimulating these points releases antiinflammatory molecules and immune modulators that improve circulation, encourage tissue repair, and regulate the body’s immune responses to reduce inflammation and promote healing (PMID: 37090714, 30335320, 11874310, 24215928). 


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