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Acupuncture and Healing I

Updated on March 23, 2011

Opening meridians for healing to occur

Opening flow of Chi
Opening flow of Chi


      We know from pictorial and written accounts that Acupuncture has been around for at least four to five thousand years. There have been more people treated with acupuncture than all other modalities combined. The principle of modern or allopathic medicine has only been around for about one hundred sixty years.  Still, there are many theories about how acupuncture works. Following is a list of the various theories and the beliefs behind those theories.

      The hypnosis theory: Although hypnosis can be very powerful, it cannot explain how acupuncture works with babies and animals. Hypnosis is often involved in healing or even in creating an illness, but for most therapeutic benefits, it works best when there is a deep desire for change. The other theories will help explain even further why acupuncture is so effective.

      The placebo theory: The placebo theory is definitely out of the question in explaining the efficacy of acupuncture, because acupuncture works on small babies and animals. It is fast becoming more popular today as an effective treatment for animals and is used by more and more veterinarians. Its efficacy rate is about 80 percent, compared to placebo at only 33 percent.

      The endorphin theory: Endorphins are the body’s natural opiate. Endorphins have painkilling and anti inflammatory properties.  During an acupuncture treatment endorphins increase. These endorphins affect behavior, including abstinence of addiction and are responsible for homeostasis or the state of balanced health.

      There is plenty of evidence of the efficacy of acupuncture in affecting the endorphin response. First, there is an increased level of endorphins in animals and babies who have acupuncture treatments. Second, when patients were given Naloxone, also known as Narcan, a drug used for patients who overdose on opiates, the Naloxone blocks endorphins. It also blocks the effects of acupuncture. Endorphins help to relieve pain and are responsible for that “feel good” feeling of moderate to deep relaxation.

      The electromagnetic theory:  All living organisms have a measurable electromagnetic field that surrounds them. An electrocardiogram measures changes in the electromagnetic field as your heart beats. That energy travels through channels, called meridians, throughout the body. Changes in the electromagnetic field may occur even before symptoms are experienced. Acupuncture modifies and changes the flow within these meridians.

      The Chinese theory: the Chinese believe in the energy they called Chi. Chi is made of Yin, the feminine nurturing energy, and Yang (sounds like ‘on’, as in yong), the masculine protective energy. In all living organisms, balanced energy is vital for good health.  When a person or an animal is healthy, their vital energies of Yin and Yang are balanced. Chi can reproduce itself, which makes it unique, unlike other forms of energy, which can only change their form. The balance of Chi energy keeps the body in homeostasis, in other words, healthy.

Finding Effective Acupuncture Points
Finding Effective Acupuncture Points

A book on finding acupuncture points


Healing Powers of Chi with B Moyers

When disease occurs

When Yin and Yang are out of balance, or if the level of Chi drops significantly, disease occurs. Think of it as dis-ease, which is exactly what it means.  If Chi is blocked or restricted, pain occurs and healing is slowed.  Pain is the obstruction, imbalance or restriction or decreased level of Chi. The protective Yang energy is a normal healing response unless it persists.  As an example, a sprained ankle with excess pain, swelling and inflammation is indicative of excess Yang.  It could also be that there is not enough Yin to nurture and finish the healing process after the protective Yang's job is done. If Yin cannot reach the injury, Yang continues “protecting” the injury, causing the excess pain and swelling, because without the Yin, it does not know to stop its own process of protecting the injury because it waits for the Yin process of healing to begin.

Acupuncture helps restore balance of the Yin and Yang. In case of too little energy of both, Acupuncture can help increase the Chi that supplies Yin and Yang. This is common and happens when the body is in a low energy state.  Another example of an imbalance is constipation.  Constipation is an excess of Yin, and diarrhea is excess Yang. There are many individual reasons for decreased healing energy. Ordinarily, the body re-establishes its healing energy by itself, a process built into us. Constant stressors are what eventually deplete the bodily energy beyond the normal daily healing that goes on without your knowing. Many different stressors attack body, mind and spirit. When the stress in our lives outweighs the body's natural ability to heal itself and bring us back into a balanced state we have pain or become ill. Stressors that cause weak Chi are severe or long illness, repeated mental or emotional stress and even deep feelings of loss of the spiritual path. Today we live with far more stress than we were meant to deal with, so we have to take special care of ourselves when and where we can.

      There are different ways in which we can increase our Chi, help ourselves stay healthier and notice the signs of imbalance and/or decreased healing energy. My next article will help you understand symptoms of imbalances and decreased Chi, how Acupuncture re-establishes your Chi and how it affects your health and recovery.

Complete Idiot's Guide to Acupuncture and Acupressure
Complete Idiot's Guide to Acupuncture and Acupressure

Complete Idiot's Guide to Acupuncture and Acupressure


Benefits of Acupuncture with Surgery


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    • Dr. Cherie profile imageAUTHOR

      Cherie Santasiero PhD 

      8 years ago from Hamburg, NY

      Hi Pamela99,

      To find the right acupuncturist for you, first understand the difference between a Medical Acupuncturist and a Traditional or Five Element Acupuncturist. I have a new hub on Five Element Acupuncture. They both have advantages. I have used both. For your asthma, I would say that Five Elements would be best. And for the chronic pain of arthritis and lupus, medical acupuncture will probably help more quickly. CAVEAT HERE! Because you have the three together, the first thing I would advise is to have food allergy testing! We use one of the best, Alcat labs. I will try to put a link to their page.

      So many of our patients are truly amazed when they get the reports back. I also assume you know that the night shade plants/veggies, such Potatoes, tomatoes, sweet and hot peppers, eggplant, tomatillos, tamarios, pepinos, pimentos, paprika, cayenne, and Tabasco sauce are classified as nightshade foods and often cause inflammation in the joints, whether or not one has arthritis or not! So someone with your problems needs to be particularly careful. That doesn't mean all of them will cause you pain from inflammation, but you should have it checked out. You may save yourself a lot of problems and money.

      I am actually working on a hub on arthritis! Fancy that.

      Do find a holistic doctor who will do a saliva test and send to Alcat. You no longer need to go through the old getting poked with all sorts of needles, either.

      Please let me know how you make out. I am really interested. Following is a link to Alcat that may give you more information.

      God bless,

      Dr. Cherie

    • Pamela99 profile image

      Pamela Oglesby 

      8 years ago from Sunny Florida

      Dr. Cherie, Congratulations on your nomination. I have been interested in Acupuncture but haven't tried it but I feel a bit encouraged after reading your article. I wonder if it would help asthma? I also have joint pain due to lupus and arthritis. I wonder how to choose a good practitioner. Thanks for an interesting hub.

    • Dr. Cherie profile imageAUTHOR

      Cherie Santasiero PhD 

      8 years ago from Hamburg, NY

      Ghost Whisper,

      You're the one rockin' on! Wow! Do you sleep?

      Thanks :)

    • Dr. Cherie profile imageAUTHOR

      Cherie Santasiero PhD 

      8 years ago from Hamburg, NY

      Hey, Katrina Ariel, thank you! And thanks for the feedback on your approach to wellness. We need to change to a "wellness society", rather than our "sick-care" society! Bravo!

    • Dr. Cherie profile imageAUTHOR

      Cherie Santasiero PhD 

      8 years ago from Hamburg, NY

      Offshorebanker, you are right. The needle is only the diameter of a fine hair. It depends on where they are inserted and how much blockage there is.

      Thanks for reading and commenting!

    • profile image

      Dr. Cherie 

      8 years ago

      Hi Everyone,

      Sorry, but I've been on vacation! Had a productive and fun time.

      Harvey Stelman, First, how do you know acupuncture did not help? You were diagnosed 29 years ago. I do not know how you are doing, but hopefully pain is less of an issue because of acupuncture. As for MS in general, we have found, 100 percent of the time, that people who've come to us with MS have tested VERY high in heavy metal toxicity, particularly mercury and lead, respectively. We do "provocative" testing, using an IV chelation treatment, then send it off to a lab for testing of amounts of heavy metals. It is worth having done, though I would make sure it is done with IV, NOT hair, saliva or blood. You want to know if it's in the tissues, not just the blood stream. I will get more information if you'd like, but that's where I would start.

      God bless

    • Katrina Ariel profile image

      Katrina Ariel 

      8 years ago from The Highlands of British Columbia, Canada

      Two of my friends are TCMs and I'm so happy that I've been around them to benefit from acupuncture. I get so much more out of this approach to wellness than I ever have from western medicine. Congrats on your HubNugget status!

    • Ghost Whisper 77 profile image

      The IGNITER vs Corrupted Governments 

      8 years ago from The U.S. Government protects Nazi War Criminals

      Whoooooooo Whooooooooooooo Dr. Cherie! Congrats on your Hubnugget nomination! rock on! :)

    • offshorebanker profile image


      8 years ago

      to those that are afraid of the needles, you really shouldn't be. it's not the needles that 'hurt'.

      if you've ever had acupressure applied to your body you know the deep achy feeling you get -- like when someone squeezes the meat between your finger and thumb?

      well that's what the needle hits -- but at a deeper level -- in my experience anyhow. :)

    • Harvey Stelman profile image

      Harvey Stelman 

      8 years ago from Illinois


      Hi! Condition Multiple Sclerosis, diagnosed 29 years ago. Being open-minded I have tried almost everything all forms of medicine can do. Never have I experienced anything to do with a successful treatment.

      Acupuncture: I have been to five medical doctors that practice this treatment.

      1- A Chinese surgeon that has a private clinic for Oriental Medicine. He also treated me with urbal teas and Tiger Bone Pills.

      2- A Harvard doctor that trained for this in China.

      3- A doctor that studied this in Beijing, his ancestoral home.

      4- An anesthiologist that studied in a Chicago Medical school.

      5- A Pediatric Heart doctor that trains others.

      Chiropractor- Professional Football team attending.

      Neurologist- Trained at Yale, practicing at the Univ. of Chicago, MS specialist.

      I'm just venting; any suggestions?

    • profile image

      Dr. Cherie 

      8 years ago

      Hi Papa sez:

      How nice of you to say. We hold stress in our neck and shoulders, but it's usually worse for writers. Imagine that! I am fortunate to have a physician/acupuncturist in the house. It greatly relieves the tension, which left unchecked, often leads to headaches. Give it a go and see what you think. I'b be grateful to know what you think.

      Hope you read part II. Thanks again. I'll be checking out your hubs.

      Be well,

    • Papa Sez profile image

      Papa Sez 

      8 years ago from The Philippines to Canada

      Hi Dr. Cherie, I've been intrigued all my adult life with acupuncture but never tried it. I am thinking of it as possible relief to my chronically aching shoulder/neck area...the muscles are particularly tight during stressful (or excited) states. Hope to get to know more about it. I'll follow your hub submissions.

      Congratulations and good luck on your nomination.

    • Dr. Cherie profile imageAUTHOR

      Cherie Santasiero PhD 

      8 years ago from Hamburg, NY

      Hi Big Budd,

      Thank you for the testimony. You are a great example of not only the efficacy of acupuncture, but of someone who believes in taking care of themselves holistically, rather than popping dangerous pills, which heals nothing! Good for you.

      God bless,

      Dr. Cherie

    • profile image

      Big Budd 

      8 years ago

      I am a firm believer in acupuncture. I had bursitis so bad I couldn't put on my shirt without a great deal of difficulty and pain. With the acupunture treatments, I now have full range of motion and other benefits. Currently I am on a maintenance program which I am sure, is what is keeping me mobile. This is a sincere testimony to its benefits.


    • profile image

      Dr. Cherie 

      8 years ago

      Hi, ripplemaker,

      Thank you, thank you. I found it. And I will vote... except the decision is hard, because there are some really good hubs there! Okay, I'll vote... for Acupuncture.

      Thanks again, hope to hear from you again.

      Dr. Cherie

    • ripplemaker profile image

      Michelle Simtoco 

      8 years ago from Cebu, Philippines

      Dr. Cherie, congratulations to you! excited for you for being a Hubnugget Wannabe. To turn on your contact feature, please go to your profile page and click edit profile. Please check the box that says allow Hubpages to contact you. Hope this helps. Congrats again and do vote and promote okay?

      To acupuncture and healing!!! Vote over here:

    • profile image

      Dr. Cherie 

      8 years ago

      Believe me, most doctors and/or acupuncturists use disposable needles which are as fine as a hair on your head.They really don't hurt. Most people dose off or at least become very relaxed during a treatment. The next time you have problems with chronic head aches, muscle tension, etc., give it a try.

      Thanks for commenting, Money Glitch. I appreciate it. Feel free to ask me about anything!

    • Money Glitch profile image

      Money Glitch 

      8 years ago from Texas

      Congrats on being nominated as a HubNuggets Wannabe! This is a great hub, with a lot of information. I've often thought about doing acupuncture, however, I can't get pass the needles! Thanks for sharing!

    • Dr. Cherie profile imageAUTHOR

      Cherie Santasiero PhD 

      8 years ago from Hamburg, NY

      Hey, Shirley. Thank you!

      Now, if I only knew how to turn on my contact feature... I am sure I will find it.

      Thank you so much. I looked at the other articles. Boy, how does one know? They are all very good hubs. Well, we shall see. I am ready to publish "part 2" on acupuncture.

      I hope to hear from you again, neighbor, eh?


    • Shirley Anderson profile image

      Shirley Anderson 

      8 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Hi, Dr. Cherie. I've tried to contact you to let you know about your HubNuggets nomination, however you have your contact feature turned off.

      You can check it out here:

      Congratulations and good luck!

    • emievil profile image


      8 years ago from Philippines

      whoa! Acupuncture for infertility? That's great to hear. Too bad I'm from the other side of the Pacific. If I'm near you, I could have considered going there :(.

    • Dr. Cherie profile imageAUTHOR

      Cherie Santasiero PhD 

      8 years ago from Hamburg, NY

      Hi emievil,

      Thank you very much for the kudos. I appreciate that. I don't know about you, but sitting at the computer for hours at a time, creates tightness, then pain in my shoulders and neck, which, if let go, creates head aches. If I get acupuncture, it relieves it, usually with results withing a half hour or less. Of course, the longer you let it go the longer it might take. It is one of the best and quickest ways to relieve pain. Of course, it's great for a number of other problems as well. I would say the most amazing healing I have witnessed in our center is acupuncture for infertility! We have women who come in who have tried everything. They have heard about AP so they give it a try. IT STILL AMAZES ME AFTER ALL THESE YEARS!

      I'm almost finished with AP part 2, so check it out.

      Thanks again for posting. I hope to hear from you again.

      Dr. Cherie

    • emievil profile image


      8 years ago from Philippines

      Congrats on your Hubnuggets nomination. I've heard of acupuncture but I've never tried it. Maybe I will look for one this year. Looking forward to more of your hubs.


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