Why Acupuncture Helps So Many Things

Skeptics of acupuncture often cite the fact that it has been recommended as effective for so many different conditions as proof that it only works because of the placebo effect.

They ask how can acupuncture be good for both asthma and sciatica? Migraines and acid reflux? Autoimmune disorders and carpal tunnel syndrome? Depression and infertility? All these disorders are vastly different in both causes and symptoms, and it makes no sense that acupuncture can treat them all, right?

The question is an important one because it highlights a huge difference in the way Western and Eastern medicine think. The question betrays a fundamental misunderstanding about the Eastern approach to medicine, which is very different from the Western.

In a nutshell, acupuncture and Chinese medicine can treat all those diseases because we are not treating disease at all.


As an acupuncturist and herbalist, I do not treat diseases or disorders. I treat people with diseases and disorders. We ask what imbalance in this person’s system allowed this disease to arise? The focus is then on re-balancing the systems and functions of the human being in front of me. It is not about attacking the disease or just managing symptoms. It is an individualized approach based upon the person who is experiencing the health problem.

This means that two people can come to my office with the exact same Western diagnosis and get vastly different acupuncture and Chinese medicine treatments. Eastern medicine practitioners look at how a person’s body is out of balance (often upheld by a lifestyle that is out of balance), and ask how we can help harmonize and restore balance to the person’s system.

Even from a Western research point of view, restoring balance to the body is exactly what acupuncture excels at. Acupuncture regulates physiological functions. For instance, acupuncture balances the nervous system, normalizes levels of hormones, neurotransmitters, and other chemical messengers of the body, as well as regulates the immune system and circulatory system.

When any of these functions are improved, what condition would not benefit? Asthma? Depression? Infertility? Sciatica? Migraines? Yes, of course all of them would benefit.

The reason acupuncture can address so many dissimilar health problems is that the body can address and prevent so many dissimilar health problems. Acupuncture is just supporting the body in what it is designed to do: tend toward balance and health.

That acupuncture helps with so many different types of health problems does not disprove its effectiveness. Rather, it actually demonstrates the value and power of simply supporting the body to heal and prevent disease.

If you would like to experience acupuncture and Chinese medicine to improve your health, call for an appointment: 323-475-9282.