Dysfunctional Straws: How Acupuncture Works

Now that I’ve discussed how long it takes to get a license in acupuncture, let’s discuss how acupuncture works. As I have stated previously, it takes 4 years to get a degree in acupuncture but it takes even longer (10-20 years) to master the medicine. Not all of you have 20 years so I will explain acupuncture in the most simplified way that I know how to put it.

The human body consists of nerves, blood vessels (arteries, veins, capillaries), organs, etc. And among these many intricate workings of the human body are what acupuncturists like to call meridians/channels. But who has time for an anatomy lesson? So a simple way to view all of these body functions, is to view them as straws.

If you have ever used a straw, you have probably experienced 3 things. First, you used a straw that had absolutely nothing wrong with it and had a smooth flow of whatever you were drinking go straight into your mouth. Second, you used a straw that had been bent or something was stuck in it that prevented any sort of liquid from coming through. You sucked and sucked as hard as you can until your face turned red and you became dizzy and light headed from the exertion. But still nothing came out. The last thing that you may have experienced is a hole in your straw. You bend down to take a sip of your drink from your straw but something is wrong. Liquid is coming through but it is a weak flow. Even here, you are to work twice as hard to get enough liquid into your parched mouth.

The first straw scenario is a healthy body. Everything is working the way it should. Everything is flowing the way it should in the direction that it should. Yay, health! But the majority of people are not as fortunate to get straw number one.

The second straw is what acupuncturists call an excess situation. Why excess? Because there is too much of something that is impeding the normal healthy function of the body. There could be too much stress in your life causing migraines. There could be too much processed foods in your life causing digestive issues. There could even be too much sitting in your life causing a clot in your leg. There are many excess situations. But as you can see, these scenarios are the same as a bent or clogged straw.

The third straw is what acupuncturists call a deficiency situation. Opposite of that to the second straw, in the situation of the third straw, there is not enough of something to make a healthy body. There could be not enough food going into your body causing anemia. There could be not enough exercise in your life causing muscle weakness. There could be not enough sleep and rest in your life causing fatigue. Just like a hole in the straw, there is a hole in your body’s structure either caused genetically or by lifestyle choices, causing dysfunction in the body.

Whether it is straw number 2 or straw number 3, both scenarios can cause pain in the body, which makes living more difficult than it has to be.  But have no fear, acupuncturists are here! Acupuncture can treat both excess and deficiency conditions. With the knowledge of the intricate workings of the body, acupuncturists will place needles at specific points (locations) in the body along specific meridians/channels (straws) to either unbend/unclog or to strengthen and support the body. This promotes proper circulation throughout the body thus relieving any discomfort experienced by the patient.

To see some of the things that acupuncture can treat, take a look below at a photo from Prevention.com.


To experience the medicine yourself, please visit Graceful Points.

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