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How Acupuncture Works

Acupuncture is viewed and understood differently from various perspectives, including the Classical Chinese, Modern Chinese, and Modern American viewpoints. Below, you'll find an overview of how acupuncture works from each of these perspectives.


Classical Chinese Perspective:

Acupuncture from a Classical Chinese perspective is deeply rooted in the principles of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). It is based on the idea that the human body is an interconnected system of channels (meridians) through which vital energy, known as Qi, flows. The balance and harmonious flow of Qi are essential for maintaining health, while blockages or imbalances lead to illness.


Key concepts in the Classical Chinese perspective include:

  • Meridians: These are pathways that correspond to different organs and body functions. Acupuncture points are specific locations along these meridians where Qi can be accessed and influenced.

  • Qi and Blood: Qi is the life force or vital energy, while blood carries nourishment to the body. Acupuncture is used to regulate and balance Qi and blood flow.

  • Yin and Yang: These opposing forces represent the balance of the body's energies. Acupuncture aims to restore Yin-Yang harmony by addressing excesses or deficiencies.

Acupuncture needles are inserted at specific points to unblock or redirect Qi, promoting balance and health. The goal is to address the root cause of the condition rather than just alleviating symptoms.

Modern Chinese Perspective:

Modern Chinese acupuncture has evolved with scientific and medical advancements while still retaining some TCM principles. From this perspective, acupuncture is seen as a neurophysiological therapy that works through various mechanisms:

  • Neurotransmitter Release: Acupuncture can stimulate the release of neurotransmitters such as endorphins (natural painkillers) and serotonin, which can relieve pain and improve mood.

  • Modulation of Nervous System: It is believed to influence the autonomic nervous system, helping to regulate functions like heart rate, digestion, and immune responses.

  • Blood Circulation: Acupuncture can improve blood circulation, enhancing oxygen and nutrient delivery to tissues.

  • Local Tissue Effects: Needling creates microtrauma, promoting tissue repair and regeneration.

  • Gate Control Theory: According to this theory, acupuncture may "gate" pain signals in the spinal cord, reducing pain perception.


Modern Chinese acupuncture often combines TCM principles with scientific understanding, allowing for a broader range of applications and integration with conventional medicine.

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Modern American Perspective:

In the United States, acupuncture is practiced within a framework that draws from both TCM and modern Western medicine. The focus is often on evidence-based practices and patient-centered care.


Key aspects of the modern American perspective on acupuncture include:

  • Pain Management: Acupuncture is commonly used to manage chronic pain conditions, such as back pain, migraines, and osteoarthritis.

  • Holistic Healthcare: Many American acupuncturists emphasize holistic care, addressing not only physical symptoms but also emotional and psychological well-being.

  • Complementary Medicine: Acupuncture is often considered a complementary or integrative therapy, used alongside conventional medical treatments to enhance overall health and wellness.

  • Patient-Centered Approach: Practitioners work with patients to develop individualized treatment plans, incorporating their health history and preferences.


Modern American acupuncture is supported by ongoing research, and its acceptance has grown significantly in recent decades. It is often considered a valuable option for those seeking alternative or adjunctive approaches to health and healing

To which perspective does Justin align his acupuncture treatments?

When practicing acupuncture, Justin draws upon techniques and principles from all three perspectives, tailoring his approach based on what would be most beneficial for each patient on an individual basis.

What conditions does Justin treat through acupuncture?

For a comprehensive, working list of conditions and concerns that Justin treats, visit our FAQs page.

Can I purchase a service as a gift card for someone else?

Yes, please visit our shop here, to purchase a gift card. Instructions and process will be provided within the gift certificate description and during check-out.

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