No. Your belief is not required in order for the needles to do their work. You don’t have to know what qi is, or that your gallbladder has acupuncture points on your foot. Many people who have experienced great relief initially came to us feeling either very skeptical or completely unsure of the process.
That being said, there are ways you can participate in the healing process, and actually enhance it. This primarily starts when you begin connecting the dots between your acupuncture treatment and how you feel when you’re not on the table. Similar to exercise and meditation, acupuncture increases a person’s physical and mental awareness – both as independent forces (“Wow, my balance is better. Wow, my mind is clearer,”) and as related entities (“Hmm. When I feel anxious my stomach is also upset.”)
I also notice that people accelerate and enhance their healing when they rid themselves of the things that are hurting them – whether it’s giving up fast-food, getting out of a moldy house, leaving an unfulfilling job, or dropping a miserable relationship. Each of these things reinjures the qi on a daily basis. Removing daily injuries from our lives is a powerful augmentation of acupuncture’s benefits.
And just like you can enhance your progress, you can also sabotage it. This is quite common in the beginning; people unintentionally run themselves down after they start feeling good again. It can take a little practice, getting used to managing a renewed sense of health. But it’s worth doing – otherwise it’s kind of like winning the lottery and blowing it all.