A common question people have about acupuncture, is, “how does it work?” They often know needles are involved, but don't really understand the relationship of needles being placed in the body, and the reduction of pain or promotion of health. There is a reason acupuncture has been practiced for thousands of years, and that is, it works! From a more western scientific viewpoint, more and more studies are being done to prove exactly what happens physiologically during a treatment and why it is so effective at treating a variety of imbalances and pain in the body.
Ultimately, acupuncture works by returning the body to homeostasis. The body wants to be in balance and sometimes just needs a little direction and motivation to get it there. The way acupuncture works is based on the premise of Qi (pronounced chee) moving through Meridians (pathways in the body). Qi is our life force, our prana. Qi is created from breath, from food and essence, it's what animates us. The meridians are the pathways in the body that the qi moves through. When there is imbalance in the body, there is generally a block in the free flow of qi moving through the meridians. By regulating the qi through these meridians, we can help bring the body back to balance.
Some common conditions and habits can throw our bodies out of balance, these include stress, trauma, anxiety, poor diet, grief or illness, for example. When our body is out of balance, there is often suffering and pain or discomfort, if not immediately, then down the road. With acupuncture, we can elicit the movement of qi, so that those blocked pathways become open, and the body can return to it's state of balance.