Throughout all of its history, one thing that has remained consistent across time and geography is the belief that acupuncture is beneficial in releasing blocked ‘energy’ from the body and helps restore harmony both physically and mentally. The definition of ‘energy’ has evolved over time, and is interpreted differently by each culture. In the west, we are more comfortable thinking about ‘energy’ as the lymph and other fluids within the body, whereas in eastern cultures ‘energy’ is more of a spiritual term.
And although science still can’t fully explain how or why acupuncture works, research shows that it does, and that it is particularly effective in the treatment of pain.
In the UK it’s been endorsed by the NHS and the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) as a treatment for migraines and chronic tension headaches. Research has shown that acupuncture is as effective, and in some cases more effective than prescription painkillers for these conditions.
It’s also been shown to be beneficial for the treatment of chronic pain, joint pain, dental pain, or pain following surgery, although fewer studies have been conducted in these areas.
However, this is just the tip of the iceberg for the potential uses of acupuncture, and over the centuries it has been used, to great effect, for a huge variety of conditions and health concerns. These include fertility issues, mobility problems, symptom management in severe conditions such as MS and cancer, improvements in energy levels, mental ill-health, and nausea.
For those who experience benefits from acupuncture, it often becomes their treatment of choice no matter what arises. And while it doesn’t claim to be able to fix everything, the fact that there remains so much we don’t fully understand about the treatment means there could be many more benefits that we’ve yet to uncover. And ultimately, when it comes to your wellbeing, it always comes down to what works for you, and whether that’s acupuncture alone or a combination of many different forms of therapy, as long as it helps you stay well and healthy that’s really all that matters.