Does Acupuncture Work?

Holistic health practices like acupuncture often come under great scientific scrutiny. Modern practices have been studied in depth and proven to be effective under modern scientific terms. Acupuncture is not a modern practice. An Eastern preventive practice, acupuncture has existed for thousands of years. Acupuncture is categorized as natural medicine, relying on the human body and natural practices for healing rather than modern medicine.

The practice of acupuncture believes that there are points throughout the body which are connected to organs, emotions, energy channels, and functions in both the brain and the body. Many Eastern practices believe that emotion is energy which is stored in the body. If the body is open and flowing properly, it is in good health. Poor health causes a blockage in the flow- simultaneously, a blockage in the flow causes poor health. By inserting small needles just below the skin level at these trigger points, blockages are cleared, stress is released, and the flow returns.

Measuring holistic practices is challenging because there is no one area that holistic health benefits. Rather than focused on one specific area of pain or one particular organ which is not functioning properly, holistic health focuses on the whole person. Success in treatment could be defined by everything including stress management, sleep habits, eating habits, change in skin complexion, and the original problem which necessitated treatment.

A study recently published in Evidence-based Complementary and Alternative Medicine found that acupuncture does work for effectively reducing pain when the practice is administered in a specific way. After conducting tests on acupuncture points and processes, the researchers discovered that acupuncture needles created an increase in blood flow and analgesic effect. The research found that at the site of insertion, there was an increase in nitric oxide, which produces increased blood flow and promotes the analgesic effect. According to the study, this positive effect was only achieved with an “insert-and-turn” technique which had to be conducted in an even more specific manner.

Despite scientific argument, acupuncture helps many people during the treatment phase of their recovery from addiction, alcoholism, and dual diagnosis disorders. Helping the body heal and detoxify, acupuncture increases the flow of emotional processing as well as regulation. Specific points can create calmness and stress relief, emotional release, or important organ function, like helping the liver.


Acupuncture is one of the many holistic health modalities we use at Infinity Malibu across all of our programs of care. Serving the greater Los Angeles area, our continuum of care offers a full range of options to help you attain lasting recovery through change. Change your life- change your legacy. Start your change today by calling us for information: (888) 266-9048.

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