As you are lying there on the couch, enjoying the unusual sensations, getting in touch with your body and mind, and feeling relaxed and calm, the thought drifts in to your head; how does acupuncture work?

I get asked this a lot, and the answer is interesting, and can be answered in a number of different ways, there are lots of theories and ways of understanding what is happening.

My favourite easy explanation, which has a deep consequence for our way of looking at health, is to look at the needles or other methods of stimulating the acupuncture points as sending messages to the body and mind. Think of the job of the acupuncturist as drawing awareness to particular points on the body so that part of your mind and energy can respond, and do a little bit more of this or a little bit less of that, and bring you back into harmony, whether that be less painful periods, a stiff back or a swollen knee.

The deep consequence part is the recognition that we have more control over our health than we might think. Now that doesn’t mean that we can always access that control, but it recognises that our bodies and energetic systems do really want to behave themselves, and a prod in the right direction can set off a train of events that can lead us back to health. Which is great!