Nobody can still say for sure how acupuncture exactly works, in spite of thousands of years of practical results. Ongoing studies are aimed to gather more information about the mechanisms that are in play during acupuncture treatment that helps the body heal itself, as well as the conditions that acupuncture can address. Both were the aims of Stimulating Points to Investigate Needling Efficacy (SPINE) trials done by scientists from the Group Health Center for Health Studies.
A comparison was made between three different ways of treating low back pain. This comparison used three methods including a standardized treatment, an individualized treatment based on a specific diagnosis, and “simulated acupuncture” treatment which used the tip of toothpicks to stimulate a healing response without piercing the skin.
All treatments were administered initially two times a week for three weeks, then one treatment a week for a whole month. After eight treatments, the subjects periodically came back over the course of a year to report their state of health.
The outcomes interestingly revealed that all the three ways of stimulating acupuncture points were superior to the conventional medical treatment alone in terms of treating the symptoms. It was also noted that there was little difference in the results of the non-penetrating stimulation of points to the actual acupuncture. The conductors of the study were baffled by this phenomenon.
But for practitioners who practice acupuncture every day, these outcomes aren’t surprising. They know that stimulating acupoints with needles, heat, magnets, tapping, laser, electricity, or finger pressure is less important than the actual stimulation of these points.
Besides that, all three approaches to stimulating the acupoints effectively strengthens the notion that by merely stimulating the correct meridians), a healing reaction is achieved. However, it should be noted that the best outcomes for the treatment of low back pain with acupuncture is the result of stimulating the correct acupoints.
When it comes to treating low back pain, the acupoints near or in the lower back are the points recommended for stimulation. However, there are also patients who may positively respond when the other parts of the body remote to the affected area are stimulated. These parts may include the feet, hands, ankles, and wrists.
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