Acupuncture 101 – How and why acupuncture works.


You have heard before that the root of everything is stress. The perception of stress is that someone is overwhelmed, can’t cope with their current situation, which can be but this is simply one outcome of stress, not the definition.

Stress is tension brought on by the fight/flight/freeze response of the sympathetic side of the nervous system. This is a good thing we want that response, it keeps us safe navigating our day, the problem is that response is supposed to be temporary, just a flash then releases, when it doesn’t, the body starts to accumulate tension, building holding patterns, disrupting function.

Its these holding patterns that start to disrupt and alter our 3 measurements for baseline of good health;  Temperature, Pressure, PH

The immune system is fantastic at compensating, it can take a long time/lifetime after the original stress response that the system can no longer compensate, this is when we start to show symptoms.

Symptoms are just that, clues that there are underlying issues, an example would be running a fever, you aren’t sick because your body is hot, you are hot because your body is sick, it is past the point of compensating, the fever gives us the clue. A perfect example of the body compensating is taking someone’s temperature, it reads normal but somehow their hands and feet are always freezing. This is the immune system raising the warmth elsewhere to compensate for their cold extremities. The measurements read as normal but underneath the immune system is working hard to compensate the imbalance of the circulatory system.

You aren’t sick because you are pale or green and clammy, you are pale or green and clammy because your body can no longer compensate for the pathogens. The pathogens are there because one or more of the baselines are not functioning properly, due to tension/stress.

You aren’t restricted because you are in pain, you are in pain because you are restricted and your body can no longer compensate, due to internal tension/stress.

You don’t have a hormone problem because you aren’t sleeping, you are not sleeping because you have a hormone problem and your body can no longer compensate, due to internal tension/stress.

When you look at a person’s health, intuitively you look for signs on the skin. We look for colour, brightness, clarity, dryness, oily, and temperature. Acupuncture is the same it, uses the skin to look for clues, of stress/tension.

Stress is tension

Stress is the root of all symptoms in the body

Acupuncture was discovered over 5000 years ago. The weapons for war and sport were swords and arrows, the health professionals of the time noticed that often a new puncture wound would correlate to a previous condition spontaneously resolving.

Ex: a stab or puncture in the back of the knee would resolve a warrior’s lower back pain

They started to catalogue these injuries and resolve, for generations; voila the Acupuncture meridians were discovered. They couldn’t cut in and visually see the acupoints and meridians they flowed on, but they knew through experience they were there, just like emotions, you can’t see them but we all experience their presence.

They discovered over 400 points on the body and began to build healing formulas by manipulating multiple points at a time.

The study of Acupuncture (Acu means communication) is the study of point location and where they correlate internally, building point formulas for complex issues.

As skin colour and temperature can indicate internal imbalances, acupoints communicate where there is internal tension, disrupting cellular function, revealing the root of the problem.

There are 4 ways to release internal tension through an acupoint.

Puncture – Pressure – Friction – Suction

One modality isn’t inherently more effective than the other, it is subjective to each individual. If the thought of a needle is stressful or if lying facedown is uncomfortable there are different techniques available to the client to get the best healing potential to you.

Puncture – a small needle the width of a hair in an acupoint

Pressure – finger pressure on or over an acupoint

Friction – a dull instrument rubbed back and forth over acupoint AKA Guasha

Suction- a cup is placed over an acupoint and pulled upward from the bone using a pump or heat AKA Cupping

Acupuncture simply removes internal tension allowing the body to engage its own natural healing ability.