The real truth is that despite modern science and research, we still do not know for definite how acupuncture works and this is why sceptics have the ammunition they need to call acupuncture a pseudoscience or hocus pocus (I personally prefer voodoo!). One of the most commonly held theories is that acupuncture influences the energetics within the body, but how?
It seems far fetched that putting a metal needle into someones body can influence so many aspects of health from headaches to pain to fertility. Therefore, if we are even going to get close to a possible answer, there are a few things we need to understand first...
So what do we know???
1) Everything within our bodies has a role, a function and a purpose which involves a specific direction.
This can be illustrated by the circulatory system that has veins and arteries which flow one way, our nerves which trigger in one direction, our digestive system moves food from top to bottom (literally!) etc etc.
2) All these bodily functions require an energetic input in order for them to function properly.
Energetic exchanges occur within our body in many forms, whether they be kinetic, thermal, chemical biological or electrical in nature.
3) EVERYTHING is comprised of trillions of atoms and the Kinetic theory of matter states that these atoms are in constant motion, vibrating with energy.
Another assumption is that each particle is in constant motion.
- In gases the movement is random and free
- In liquids the movement is constrained by the volume of the liquid
- In solids the movement is constrained to a small area to ensure that the solid maintains its shape.
4) Atoms vibrate at various frequencies and amplitudes.
Vibrational frequencies are determined by the mass of the atoms, the fluidity of the springs with the atom and the temperature.
5) Many Traditional Chinese practices involve various types of energy.
Traditional Chinese medicine has documented many different types of energy within the body, most of which fall under the broader term of Qi/Chi (as made famous by King Fu Panda). Physical activities such as Qi Gong and Tai Qi revolve around learning to control the energetics within your body. The understanding of energetics within the body is fundamental to Chinese medicine.
6) One of the largest components of the human body is connective tissue.
Connective tissues are specialized tissues, which provide support and hold the body’s tissues together. Connective tissue is made up of a small fraction of cells and a majority of extracellular substance which keeps the cells separated.
There are 7 types of connections give tissue within the body:
- Cartilage, Bone, Adipose, Blood, Lymphatic, Elastic & Fibrous.
Connective tissue that covers the bones and muscles is known as fascia and forms the largest system in the body as it is in contact with all other systems with in the body.
7) Collagen is present in all types of connective tissue & collagen is a semiconductor.
Collagen is a type of protein fiber found abundantly throughout our body. It provides strength and cushioning to many different areas of the body, including the skin. Collagen is found in all types of connective tissue and is therefore one of the most important building blocks in our bodies.
Collagen is also a semi-conductor and is capable of generating its own electric current by means of a piezoelectric effect.
CONCLUSION... where am I going with this...
It is the belief of some that the insertion of needles into fascia or connective tissue triggers a piezoelectric effect causing the generation of an electric current/surge. In simple terms, everything should flow smoothly and efficiently but things can prevent this such as muscle knots, system disfunction. Even medications can impact on the efficiency of other organs in particular the liver and kidney. Acupuncture is able to restore the smooth flow by clearing blockages in the meridian channels and by sending a boost of energy to organs that need it.
Other theories put forth by Mae-Wan Ho in collaboration with David Knight, who examined "The role of water in relation to the living matrix." They have suggested that the water associated with collagen constitutes a major part of the acupuncture meridian system.
There is also another emerging theory that acupuncture can stimulate the stem cells within key organs influencing the regeneration.
Classical Chinese texts date back centuries and document theories throughout a vast and tumultuous history. There significance today is just as relevant and the observations made provide a wealth of knowledge.
"When the five yin and six yang organs are diseased, it is like there is a thorn, a piece of dirt, a knot, or a blockage. Although the thorn may be longstanding, it can be removed. Although the dirt maybe longstanding, it can be wiped away. Although the knot may be long- standing, it can be untied. Although the blockage may be longstanding, it can be opened up. [Those who] say that old diseases cannot be taken up speak wrongly. Those [who] use needles should look for [the cause of] dis- ease. Then the thorn can be removed, the dirt wiped clean, the knot untied, and the blockage opened up. Even though a disease is longstanding, it can be stopped. Those who say [these conditions] cannot be treated have not yet realised their skill."
Inner Classic, Divine Pivot, Chapter 1.
If you would like to try acupuncture, contact us at Halo Acupuncture www.haloacupuncture.co.uk for more details.