How Acupuncture Works


What is Acupuncture & how does it work?

The ancient practice of acupuncture started in China approximately 3000 years ago. The first documentation of acupuncture that described it as an organized system of diagnosis and treatment is in The Yellow Emperor's Classic of Internal Medicine, which dates back to 100 BCE.

Acupuncture is the insertion of fine needles into acupuncture points on meridian lines. These meridian lines can be thought of as neurological response pathways that act to relay important information to the brain.


When an acupuncture point is stimulated, it sends a message to your brain via the nervous system which affects your physiology in order restore balance to the body. Acupuncture acts on the hormonal, lymphatic, vascular, muscular, immune, and nervous
systems simultaneously to achieve therapeutic results.

You can think of acupuncture as:

  1.  A nervous system regulator and

  2. A method to treat musculoskeletal imbalances and pain.


It is an effective treatment for hundreds of conditions and has been used as its own independent medical system for thousands of years.

What to expect during your first visit

Your acupuncturist will go through your initial intake form with you, look at your tongue and feel your pulse to determine your TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine) diagnosis. The TCM diagnosis is very different from what you would hear at your doctors office, and doesn’t always directly correspond to a Western Medical Diagnosis.

For example, if you are having loose stools, bloating, and lowered energy levels, TCM would call this a “Spleen Qi Deficiency” whereas Western Medicine would refer to it as IBS.

The intake form has many questions that may seem unrelated to your issue, but Traditional Chinese Medicine treats the patterns of imbalance causing a disease rather than the disease itself. Once the TCM diagnosis is determined, your acupuncturist will create an acupuncture point prescription, dietary guideline, and treatment plan unique to your specific pattern of imbalance. Your acupuncturist may also cover some orthopedic tests and suggestions for you to follow if you are coming in for musculo- skeletal pain.

What happens during my first acupuncture appointment?

Once your TCM diagnosis and acupuncture point prescription is determined, your acupuncturist will insert needles into acupuncture points all over your body. Typically, needles are placed on the front and backside of your body and retained for 15-20 minutes depending on the situation. This allows adequate time for the needles to stimulate nerves at the acupoint site to send messages to your brain which alter and restore balance to your body's physiology and correct muscular imbalances. An acupuncturist can also use cupping, guasha (soft tissue mobilization), tui na (acupressure massage) and needle into “ashi” points or “pain” points which typically correspond to trigger points as a part of your treatment.


After your acupuncture appointment

After your initial appointment, you may feel slightly sore or sleepy similar to the feeling you have after a therapeutic massage. This is due to the body’s natural opiates being released by the insertion of the acupuncture needles. Acupuncture also initiates the body into the parasympathetic, the “rest and digest” state of our nervous systems which can also have that effect.

How long does it take to see the results of acupuncture?

The short and simple answer is: it depends. If you are coming in for an acute injury, it may only take 3 acupuncture appointments to resolve. If you are dealing with a chronic ailment, this could take months to regulate depending on how long you have been dealing with the issue. Some people also come in for maintenance acupuncture treatments as a preventative measure to keep their nervous systems in check and prevent injury.

If you are curious to know more about acupuncture in Kamloops, please don’t
hesitate to reach out to us at our clinic with any questions:   or book an initial appointment online


Kristina Adams

Kristina Adams


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