What is Acupuncture?

Acupuncture is a traditional Chinese medicine practice that involves the insertion of thin needles into specific points on the body to stimulate and restore the flow of vital energy, known as “qi” or “chi.” These points, located along meridians or energy pathways, are believed to correspond to different organs and functions in the body.

How Does Acupuncture Work?

Acupuncture is based on the concept of balancing the body’s energy flow. When the flow of qi is disrupted or blocked, it can lead to various health conditions. Acupuncture works by stimulating the acupuncture points with thin needles, which can help restore the normal flow of qi and promote healing. Acupuncture has also been found to stimulate the release of endorphins, which are natural pain-relieving chemicals in the body, and to have anti-inflammatory effects, among other mechanisms (1).

What are the Benefits of Acupuncture?

Acupuncture has been studied extensively for its effectiveness in treating a wide range of health conditions. Meta-analyses and systematic reviews of clinical trials have shown promising evidence for the benefits of acupuncture in the management of various conditions, including:

  • Chronic Pain: Acupuncture has been shown to be effective in reducing pain and improving function in conditions such as chronic low back pain, osteoarthritis, and migraine headaches (2, 3, 4).
  • Mental Health: Acupuncture has been found to have positive effects on anxiety, depression, and stress-related disorders, potentially by modulating the release of neurotransmitters in the brain (5, 6).
  • Women’s Health: Acupuncture has been used for menstrual pain, infertility, and pregnancy-related conditions such as morning sickness and breech presentation (7, 8).
  • Digestive Disorders: Acupuncture has been shown to be beneficial in managing conditions such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), nausea and vomiting, and postoperative ileus (9, 10).
  • Musculoskeletal Conditions: Acupuncture has been found to be effective in reducing pain and improving function in conditions such as fibromyalgia, neck pain, and knee osteoarthritis (11, 12, 13).

What to Expect During an Acupuncture Treatment?

During an acupuncture treatment, the acupuncturist will assess your health condition and create a customized treatment plan tailored to your needs. The treatment usually involves the insertion of thin needles into the acupuncture points on your body. The needles are typically left in place for about 15-30 minutes, and you may feel a mild sensation during the treatment, such as tingling or warmth. Acupuncture is generally well-tolerated, and most people find it to be a relaxing and soothing experience.

Experience Acupuncture at McAlpine Chiropractic Group in Holland, MI

At McAlpine Chiropractic Group, we are committed to helping our patients achieve optimal health and wellness through natural treatments like acupuncture. Contact us today to schedule a consultation and learn more about how we can help you achieve your health goals.

Call (616) 392-7031 to schedule an appointment today!


  1. Langevin HM, et al. Paradoxes in acupuncture research: strategies for moving forward. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2011;2011:180805.
  2. Vickers AJ, et al. Acupuncture for chronic pain: individual patient data meta-analysis. Arch Intern Med. 2012;172(19):1444-1453.
  3. Linde K, et al. Acupuncture for the prevention of tension-type headache. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2016 Apr 19;4(4):CD007587.
  4. MacPherson H, et al. Acupuncture for chronic pain and depression in primary care: a programme of research. Southampton (UK): NIHR Journals Library; 2017. (Health Technology Assessment, No. 21.76.) Available from:
  5. Lee B, et al. The effectiveness of acupuncture research across components of the trauma spectrum response (tsr): a systematic review of reviews. Healthcare (Basel). 2021;9(5):508.
  6. Amorim D, et al. Acupuncture and electroacupuncture for anxiety disorders: a systematic review of the clinical research. Complement Ther Clin Pract. 2018;31:31-37.
  7. Chou LP, et al. Effects of acupuncture on menopause-related symptoms and quality of life in women in natural menopause: a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. Menopause. 2019;26(6):660-670.
  8. Coyle ME, et al. Acupuncture and women’s health: an overview of the role of acupuncture in women’s reproductive health. Int J Womens Health. 2014;6:313-325.
  9. Lim B, et al. Acupuncture for irritable bowel syndrome: a systematic review and meta-analysis. BMJ Open Gastroenterol. 2019;6(1):e000260.
  10. Shinbara H, et al. Effects of acupuncture on abdominal symptoms, quality of life and visceral perception in patients with functional dyspepsia. J Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2008;23(5):641-646.
  11. Deare JC, et al. Acupuncture for treating fibromyalgia. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2013;5:CD007070.
  12. Trinh K, et al. Acupuncture for neck disorders. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2016;5:CD004870.
  13. Manheimer E, et al. Acupuncture for knee osteoarthritis. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2010;1:CD004976.