How Acupuncture Works
From an evolutionary perspective, in order to survive, our body developed the ability to spontaneously heal minor injuries by activating a neuro-immunologic reaction leading to tissue regeneration. Acupuncture, created at least 3,000 years ago, is based on this built-in survival mechanism. Needling-induced minor injuries from acupuncture treatments stimulate longer, stronger and deeper in situ neuro-immunological modulation than any other modality can produce or duplicate.
Acupuncture needling inoculates minor lesions inside the soft tissue, including the nerve tissue, perceived by the brain as a foreign invasion. Thus, a needling-induced lesion stimulates a neuro-immune response involving the cardiovascular and endocrine systems, and other physiological reactions through the release of neurotransmitters. Acupuncture does not target any specific symptoms or diseases, but effectively normalizes physiologic processes to activate self-healing. The results of this self-healing depend on the "healability" of the symptoms (for example, the severity of the pathological conditions) and the patient's self-healing capacity (for example, how disturbed the patient's homeostasis is; how much healing energy the patient's body has left to recover).
Acupuncture is not a pharmaceutical therapy; acupoints do not have a pharmaceutical function; and the professional practice of acupuncture does not have side effects.
Acupuncture will be most effective when the acu-points are precisely selected based on the interrelatedness between internal organs and the surface of the body.
The New Reality of Acupuncture Medicine
Yun-tao Ma, Ph.D, Lic.Ac
Director of Biomedical Acupuncture Institute, Boulder, Colorado, USA