Acupuncture: Placebo Effect or Just Effect?

A few years ago I decided to try a new technique to get my hormones in check. Well, the technique is actually ancient, but it was new to me. A few needling sessions and a half-drunk container of herbs later, I felt much healthier, and even my doctor’s noticed that I was improving in a few areas.

Was it the acupuncture? The herbs? The fact that I started to eat a bit healthier since paying a lot of money to stick myself with needles and lie still for a half hour twice a month? I’m not so sure.

I found out that my new insurance covers acupuncture with a $25 co-pay, so I figured now is the time to find out if that experience before was just a fluke. I’ve been in for two sessions so far this time around. If you’ve never experiencing acupuncture before, it’s certainly a strange sensation. The needles mostly don’t hurt, though today I got one in my foot that I had the acupuncturist take out and replace with a smaller needle. There are a lot of theories around why acupuncture helps health issues, ranging from solving energy flow to flight-or-fight response in your system because you are being stuck with sharp objects.

There is definitely something to it, though, for when the needles are in the right spots and I’m lying there I feel this tingling sensation. It’s an interesting heaviness that is both relaxing and disconcerting. At the very least, needling reduces stress because it forces you to lie still for a half hour (and who has time to do that these days?)

Have you ever had acupuncture treatments or any eastern medicine? What have been the results?

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3 thoughts on “Acupuncture: Placebo Effect or Just Effect?”

  1. I am so surprised to hear your health insurance covered your acupuncture treatment! I always thought it was the kind of “alternative medicine” that is often dismissed by insurance companies. To be honest, I was very sceptical before I started going for regular sessions but now I genuinely feel my neck pain has improved a lot. Also to consider is the different types of problems that acupuncture claims to solve, maybe it is a placebo for some and genuinely works for others?
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  2. I’ve never gotten acupuncture, but it is something I might like to try someday. The fact that it’s still used to treat so many different conditions shows that there’s something to say for it. Like you said, it might just be a placebo effect, but acupuncture probably does help in some way, even if it’s just helping you relax. Thanks for the article!

  3. I think that a persons belief that they can heal themselves will largely effect the outcome of any therapy. I work in the field of alternative medicine, and I see this frequently. Clients who have an optimistic perspective of their health and their chosen therapy tend to have a better success rate than those who doubt the treatment or see their condition as permanent.
    Thanks for the informative article:)
    Kind Regards,
    Melissa

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