By now you’ve probably heard about the endless benefits of acupuncture, and how sticking tiny acu-needles in specific points throughout the body can help combat or treat a slew of both physical and mental ailments. But have you ever thought about how, exactly, it works on the body?
In a previous post, we explained the concept of qi, energy that flows through the body. Acupuncture can help restore the flow and rid any qi that is stagnant or stuck – thus helping relieve tons of health complaints from anxiety to pain, depression to trouble sleeping, and much more.
But beyond that, what are the biological theories behind the practice?
First, where the needles are inserted are incredibly important. In a recent article on Greatist.com entitled “The Science Behind Acupuncture and How it Really Works,” it explains that, “researchers have found acu-points are packed full of neurovascular structures, which means that inserting a small sterile needle into a specific point in your leg actually can trigger a reaction in your eye,” an thus supporting the ancient notion of physical meridians within the body.
In regard to traditional medicine versus modern medicine, many agree that the merger of idea and supports is finally happening, The article states, “For a long time, acupuncture was the weird thing mainstream medicine gave the side-eye, but deep study of why it works and where it works best has formed a link between the traditional and the contemporary.”
One such example of modern and traditional medicine working together? The use of acupuncture treatment to support in vitro fertilization, or IVF. The post refers to a study from 2012 in which researchers found that using key points throughout the IVD process acupuncture can not only improve clinical pregnancy rates, but also live birth rates, too. While the science behind IVF is undoubtedly modern, the support acupuncture provides is holistic and traditional. Chris Chen, a licensed acupuncturist, is quoted as saying, “Even if acupuncture cannot be used to plant the seeds, it can be used to create strong soil.” The strong soil he is referring to, can include all the fertility benefits provided by acupuncture that can include an increase in blood flow and nutrients, improvement in digestion, sleep/rest and calming the mind.