Acupuncture is neither a Miracle nor a Hoax

Two of the most common misconceptions I hear about from clients are the following:

  1. Acupuncture is miraculous. “My friend/relative got better right away after one treatment”

  2. Acupuncture is a placebo, or a hoax. “If it doesn’t make my symptoms go away or get better immediately, Acupuncture must not work for me (or at all!)”

If we put these two together, what we get is an impossible situation. In reality, Chinese Medicine is a science that is based on a very ancient way of looking at the world. We use different language and speak of different conditions than Western Doctors, but our process is just as precise and well thought out.

It is important to remember that acupuncture is not a pill. Like many other modalities, it does not often cause immediate pain relief or miraculously cure diseases. It works to increase circulation, relieve inflammation from the site of pain, and bring healing throughout the body.

This may require time and space for the effect to become stable. At first, a client may feel relief for part or all of the treatment, then for 20 minutes after, then for a day, then many days. We humans are stubborn creatures, and our symptoms are often the same. The ideal situation is to space out treatment in a way that avoids re-injury and encourages a steady trend towards healing.

Sometimes, the expected results are not what ends up happening after treatment. A client who is using acupuncture to avoid surgery may choose surgery because it becomes more obvious that the issue is not healing. Acupuncture may be used to help recover from that surgery rather than prevent the need. Someone with a chronic condition may realize that acupuncture helps them more with stress and sleep and that while their chronic condition may not go away, they are able to see to their health more clearly from a place of less stress and better rest.

Acupuncture & Chinese Medicine treats the whole person and gives time and attention to observing patterns that can cause pain and disease. This can help to shift the focus on healing and wellness instead of the primary symptoms that brought them into the office. A client’s pain may have only lessened slightly in a couple of treatments, but at the same time sleep and digestion improves. In other words, Acupuncture often helps the body heal in unexpected ways.

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