Cincinnati Acupuncture Clinic is an NCCAOM Certified Provider.
Please Know Your Acupuncturist

Acupuncture is the gentle insertion of very fine needles at specific points on the body. This procedure facilitates the flow of energy throughout the body, enabling the occurrence of natural healing. Acupuncture practitioners receive specialized training to select these points based on over 3,000 years of experience in China. Acupuncture helps to prevent illness by improving the overall functioning of the body’s immune and organ systems. 


Acupuncture is helpful for:
Treating existing illnesses and injuries.
Preventing both recurrences of illnesses and new illnesses.
Improving overall health.


Traditional Chinese Medicine Theory

The Classical Chinese explanation is that energy (Qi) flows in channels (or meridians) throughout the body and over its surfaces. The Qi comprises all essential life activities, which include the spiritual, emotional, mental, and physical aspects of life. These meridians are rivers of energy flowing through the body. Each major organ is associated with its meridian. The network of meridians connects the internal organs to specific areas and parts of the body, including the muscles, bones, joints, and other organs.

Under Chinese philosophy, the state of well-being is a product of equilibrium, encompassing the internal functions of the body and its connection with the external realm. "Heaven, Earth, and I are living together, and all things and I form an inseparable unity." - Chuang Tzu. When the body achieves internal balance and harmony with the external environment, Qi circulates seamlessly through the meridians to provide nourishment to the organs and tissues. The occurrence of an obstruction in any of the meridians hampers the smooth flow of Qi, resulting in disruption. When the flow of Qi is impeded or redirected, it disrupts the body's natural equilibrium, leading to the occurrence of illness.

Acupuncture points are the specific points on the meridians, where the Qi is both concentrated and accessible. Acupuncture engages the Qi by inserting needles at these specific points, the goal being to restore the proper flow of Qi. The restoration of the body's natural balance leads to the return of well-being.


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5 Western Medicine Theories on Why Acupuncture Works 

When people think about Chinese medicine, its effectiveness isn't the first thing that comes to mind. Typically, their question is, how does it work? Naturally, the Chinese possess their own theories regarding the mechanisms behind acupuncture, yet these explanations and theories may prove unfamiliar to Westerners, occasionally leading to confusion. The TCM explanation employs terminology and concepts such as "chi (Qi) and meridians" which may be unfamiliar to those in the western world.


The following are five prevailing theories posted by the western medical community, using scientific terminology, to explain acupunctures' effectiveness. These are based upon studies performed before and after acupuncture, using blood draws to measure biomedical changes in the body.


The Gate Control Theory:
Pain signals must pass through some high traffic gates as they move from the area of injury upward through the spinal cord into the brain. Like a road or a highway, these nerves can only handle a limited number of nerve signals at one time. Acupuncture generates competing stimuli and effectively interrupts the neurotransmitters of the pain signals from reaching the brain. This results in the patient never getting the pain signal and therefore never getting the pain. This is the most popular theory among Western scientists.


The Augmentation Theory: 
Acupuncture raises levels of triglycerides, specific hormones, prostaglandins, white blood cells (WBCs), gamma globulins, opsonins, and overall anti-body levels. Therefore, acupuncture can treat disorders relating to immune deficiencies. Raising WBCs can help every patient. According to research, more and more conditions are being linked with a weak immune system. Acupuncture treatments have the added benefit of boosting your immune system, regardless of whether or not you have a compromised immune system.


The Endorphin Theory: 
Acupuncture stimulates the secretion of endorphins in the body (specifically Enkephalins). Endorphins are our bodies’ natural painkillers. They are 1000 times stronger than morphine.


The Neurotransmitter Theory: 
This implies that acupuncture affects certain neurotransmitter levels (such as Seratonin and Noradrenaline). This is precisely why acupuncture is so successful with depression, mood disorders, and weight loss. Sugar intake affects Serotonin levels and low Seratonin levels may cause cravings for sugar. This is also why people feel so amazing after the treatment.


The Circulatory Theory: 
There is an effect of constricting or dilating of blood vessels from doing acupuncture. A plausible explanation for this is the release of the body’s vasodilators (such as Histamine), in response to acupuncture. Increasing circulation of fresh red blood cells (RBCs) and WBCs to an injured area helps to create a faster healing process. Acupuncture's effectiveness in treating edema is because of its promotion of dilation.


Remember, Oriental Medicine is not a substitute for Western medicine. It is complementary. Western medicine focuses more on acute health problems and treating them symptomatically, whereas the Oriental medicine focuses more on the prevention and the root cause of a problem. While both forms have their strengths, Oriental medicine’s approach has many more long-term benefits than conventional medicine.