I am often asked especially by new patients how acupuncture works. It's a bit hard to explain in the few minutes that I am inserting the needles, but I try because people are curious about it. I like to say in a nutshell that acupuncture uses the energy of the body to heal the body. The energy of the body, called Qi by the Chinese, travels in channels sort of like blood does. Most of the channels originate and end in an organ such as the kidney or the liver. The energy channels run the length of the body and this energy keeps us healthy and pain free. The acupuncture points give us access into these channels of moving energy and allow us to do things to that energy such as strengthen it, drain it, or make it flow faster; and also to effect the function of the organ associated with that channel. As you can tell it is very different from the way western medicine looks at things. I, having a western mind, have many times been amazed at how accurate this eastern model of how the body works is. What I really like about it is that it has a deep respect for the body's innate ability to be healthy and when necessary to heal itself. I now find the eastern way of looking at health and healing much easier to grasp and much more eloquent. After doing this medicine for 15 years I often find myself looking at western medicine, which granted did get a 2 or 3 thousand year later start, as actually less advanced than eastern medicine. As I read about new discoveries in western medicine, I usually end up thinking - that's what Chinese medicine has been saying for a thousand years!
Monte Jackson, owner Acupuncture Center of Richmond