Acupuncture 101: Breaking down the benefits of Acupuncture

Posted by WTHN on

Acu-fact for the acu-curious: acupuncture has existed for thousands of years, first used as a healing modality in China. Even though there are currently thousands of practicing acupuncturists worldwide, we find that lots of people still have questions: where did acu come from? What does it do? And, most commonly, does it hurt? We’re here to get to the point on acupuncture.

Where does it come from/what is TCM?

Acupuncture is a central pillar of Traditional Chinese Medicine, known as “TCM.” TCM is an ancient system of preventative + curative care – meaning these practitioners believe in preventing illness and getting at the root of any existing ailments to cure their patients. This is exactly why TCM has been increasingly integrated into Western therapies to help address complex, difficult-to-treat conditions! Chinese Medicine follows a holistic approach to healing that is centered more on the patient than on the patient’s disease. Practitioners of TCM work to optimize their patient’s health and longevity by awakening and balancing the body’s own innate capacity to heal. 

To help them build their patient’s treatment plan, acupuncturists can use four basic TCM diagnostic methods to evaluate an individual’s health status, and these methods fall into four of the five senses: inspection (i.e. seeing), auscultation and olfaction (hearing + smelling), inquiry and palpation (touch) + tongue and pulse diagnosis. These findings, when combined with the patient’s history + symptoms, can be analyzed to find root causes of any issue and the nature and interrelations of any energy imbalances. 

What is Qi?

In order to understand energy imbalances, we must also get to know the concept of “Qi.” Qi is a vital energy source in our bodies. Acupuncture balances the flow and distribution of Qi within our body’s “meridians,” or energy channels. According to TCM, illness occurs when Qi is stuck, depleted, weakened or has a disrupted flow. 

How does it work?

Using very fine, painless, sterile + disposable needles on specific points + areas of the body, acu promotes healing by stimulating the movement of Qi back to its natural flow – removing any obstructions and addressing the root cause of any energy imbalance. This is why while you are resting and relaxing during your acu-session, you may experience a rushing sensation, a feeling of heaviness, tingling or even a jumping reaction. Your Qi is moving! 

What does it treat?

Thousands of years of practice have established acu for its effectiveness in treating a variety of issues, including pain conditions, infertility, immune diseases, gastrointestinal problems, mental and emotional issues + more. Acupuncture can be used to treat diabetes, dermatological disorders, promote weight control and stress reduction + even offset the negative side-effects of chemotherapy + radiation.


WTHN offers customized acupuncture treatments for over 300 conditions. When you’re ready to heal for real, one of our expert healers will be available.