How Does Acupuncture Work?
You say you have a problem,
but what is the root of that problem?
You say there is illness,
but what imbalance allowed it to manifest?
Although many people consider East Asian Medicine to be in conflict with Western (allopathic) medicine they are actually two sides of the same coin. The chief difference is one of perspective and philosophy.
A Natural Perspective
East Asian Medicine draws its wisdom from looking at nature and applies what they see in the landscape of the natural world to the inner workings of the body.
This metaphorical language, drawn from thousands of years of observation and empirical study, describes complex physiological processes that modern (allopathic) medicine is just beginning to understand. It also is a holistic model of healing, meaning that it looks at the WHOLE body instead of just the symptom. If there is a drought in the land, rather than just lugging in more water, why not look upstream where there is a dam and address the root of the problem?
A Philosophy of Balance
The basic philosophy behind all forms of Traditional East Asian Medicine is that the body functions best when it is balanced. Ultimately, the role of any practitioner is to give the body the support and tools to do what it does naturally -- heal itself. This is not unlike the idea of the immune system in Western medicine. When the body's immune system is healthy (balanced) the body naturally resists disease and heals better.
East meets West
In China it is not uncommon to see acupuncturists, herbalists and medical doctors working together in hospitals. In modern schools of East Asian medicine, students receive nearly equal training in Western and Eastern medicine to enrich their understanding of the body and interface effectively with Western medical practitioners.
The beauty of living in this modern era is that science is finding out things about the body that Traditional East Asian Medicine has known for years. Some promising areas of research include acupuncture's effect on the production of endorphins (or pleasure causing hormones), the myofascial system (a network of connective tissue that interconnects the body like a web and has a function in immunity) and the nervous system.
For the serious researcher, look under links for "Research" under Patient Resources. I also try to list the latest in research and articles of interest on my Facebook Page.