Acupuncture in its most current form is the placement of fine needles into specific areas of the body for a specific and intended result.
The historic view is that there is a lattice work of conduits (channels or meridians) in the body that generate and circulate a semi esoteric energy called QI, which both organizes and powers all of our different bodily functions. These energies and the paths they follow can be disrupted by injury, illness, or poor habits, which in this context are viewed as the root of many diseases. By the same token, these disruptions can be rectified by several methods. The most immediate is by the insertion and manipulation of needles in specific points along their path - acupuncture.
The more modern take is that acupuncture stimulates micro electric changes in the fascial bands (a dense type of connective tissue that lies beneath the skin and surrounds the organs, muscles, and bones) and their embryologically related tissues including the nervous and organ systems. It’s not hard to see that these two explanations are not truly at odds, but merely the differences between how people of different times and places make sense of the phenomena of the world around us.
Here at Center Medicine, our practice of acupuncture grows out of the border between these two schools of thought. Using the modern findings to clarify and, in places, correct the understanding of antiquity. We use the classical framework to fill in the gaps between what we know and what we still have left to learn.
Although no single theory on how it works has been thorough enough to satisfy both the historic (conceptual) and modern (mechanical) camps, acupuncture’s efficacy has been noted by the World Health Organization (WHO), the National Institute of Health (NIH), millennia of patients stretching back to at least 500 B.C.E. and was possibly know in prehistory. Learn more about the current state of acupuncture research.