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The Benefits of Acupuncture Therapy

May 29, 2024
Acupuncture therapy, a key component of traditional Chinese medicine, offers numerous health benefits, including pain relief, stress reduction, and improved overall well-being. This ancient practice involves stimulating specific points on the body to restore balance and promote healing.
Homed-The Benefits of Acupuncture Therapy

Benefits of Acupuncture Therapy

Acupuncture: Benefits and Considerations

Acupuncture, a key practice in traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), has gained wide acceptance as a complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) therapy in Western countries. Practitioners of acupuncture may not always hold a medical degree, although some physicians, particularly pain management specialists, are trained and certified to administer this therapy. Every day, millions of people worldwide undergo acupuncture treatments.

How Acupuncture Works

Acupuncture involves stimulating specific points on the body by inserting very fine needles into the skin and underlying tissues. These points influence the flow of qi (pronounced “chee”), the life energy that flows through the body. TCM states that illnesses arise from disruptions in the flow of qi along energy pathways, or meridians, which encompass over 2,000 points. Stimulating these points helps restore the balance between yin (negative, dark, feminine forces) and yang (positive, bright, masculine forces).

In some treatments, practitioners increase stimulation by twisting or warming the needles. Additional methods to stimulate acupuncture points include:

  • Pressure (acupressure)
  • Lasers
  • Ultrasound
  • Low-voltage electrical currents (electroacupuncture)

Acupuncture is generally not painful but may produce a tingling sensation.

Medicinal Uses of Acupuncture

Acupuncture can treat a variety of conditions, including:

  • Pain relief after surgery or dental procedures
  • Alleviating nausea and vomiting during pregnancy or after surgery or chemotherapy
  • Managing addiction, carpal tunnel syndrome, fibromyalgia, headaches, low back pain, fatigue, and joint pain

Research and Efficacy

Conducting acupuncture research presents unique challenges, particularly in maintaining blinding in studies. “Sham” acupuncture, where practitioners insert needles at non-acupuncture points, can inadvertently stimulate acupressure points, complicating efficacy measurements. Studies in some regions, especially China, often report more positive outcomes, which might reflect either a practice bias or the comprehensive application of TCM, with acupuncture as a component.

Despite these challenges, acupuncture has shown effectiveness in treating several disorders and symptoms, though further research is needed. The control practice for acupuncture, often involving blunt needles or toothpicks pressed against the skin, still involves acupressure. Many medical institutions and organizations, including the World Health Organization, continue to explore and validate the benefits of acupuncture.

Possible Side Effects of Acupuncture

When performed correctly, acupuncture generally has mild side effects. However, the following should be noted:

  • Symptoms may temporarily worsen.
  • Needle insertion can injure or infect tissues such as skin, muscle, or nerves, although this is rare.
  • Headaches, dizziness, fainting, and sleepiness are infrequent.
  • Some individuals might feel faint and need to lie down during treatment.
  • Bruising or bleeding can occur, particularly in those with severe bleeding disorders or those on blood-thinning medications.
  • Deep needle insertion can cause serious complications, such as a collapsed lung or internal injuries, though this is rare.


Acupuncture is a widely accepted therapy that can offer various health benefits. However, understanding the potential risks and ensuring treatments are performed by qualified practitioners is essential for safety and efficacy.

For those interested in experiencing the benefits of acupuncture, visit us at Homed for professional acupuncture services.



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