Is acupuncture only for pain?

by Mary Beth Huwe

Acupuncture is often presumed to be simply a pain management technique because it is commonly used that way, and that use is getting some credible reports in scientific journals.

But pain relief is only a small part of what acupuncture can do. In fact, pain is usually the signal that something’s not right – something other than the pain, I mean. For example, if you come in with knee pain, we’re not simply seeking to alleviate that pain. Rather, we want to know why your knee hurts, and we’ll examine you for the cause.

Our diagnoses reflect these findings, and may sound strange to the modern ear: qi stagnation in the stomach channel, blood deficiency, gallbladder empty luo, to name a few. By correcting the pathology that’s causing the knee pain, the knee pain diminishes or departs.

More importantly (in terms of the big picture,) the progression of pathology stops so that nothing more complicated or serious develops.

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