[Opening title and music]>>DR Zhen Zheng: Acupuncture involves stimulating
body walls like skin and muscle to produce therapeutic effect. It can be used for a very wide range of conditions
– acute pain, chronic pain, and respiratory conditions, skin problems, and gastric problems. So if you can imagine your body is the city. So in the city there are big roads, highways,
there are small roads, there are lane ways. So if everything is fine, then traffic flows
nicely. But when there’s a car that breaks down, the
traffic will jam up. And if the broken car is not fixed, the traffic
jam will become worse and worse. Let’s imagine that in the body there are meridians. And in these meridians we have chi flow – we
have energy flow. Say, for instance, if you hurt your back,
the local muscle will become very tight. And this kind of tightness is a way of blocking
the chi flow. So to restore that, to reduce that problem,
we have to put needles into the local area to help the broken car in a way, but also
we will put needles away from the lower back, to divert traffic and restore the chi flow.

81 thoughts on “How does acupuncture work? | RMIT University”

  1. Can "chi" be measured or defined? The peer-reviewed literature is abundant with studies that show acupuncture as being no more effective than placebo. Could you point me in the direction of peer reviewed studies that support acupuncture as an effective treatment?
    I am just very skeptical of a treatment that has no clearly defined causal mechanism, holds a potential risk of infection and nerve damage, and to my knowledge has never been shown to be more effective than placebo treatment.

  2. Excellent video. I've never understood the aims of acupuncture and this video is an excellent illustration that explains how acupuncture may effect change. As a microbiologist I also appreciate that this is now performed by qualified personnel that must comply with infection control standards.

  3. The video describes the body as a city full of traffic. And then goes on to explain how to fix the traffic. But is the analogy correct? Any evidence for this mechanism?

  4. @MicrobeGarden It explains how acupuncture _might_ effect change, if the imaginary chi meridians were real. If only they treated the imaginary meridians with imaginary needles, there might be less risk of infection, nerve damage and punctured lungs.

    As for complying with infection control standards, I can't see any gloves on that practitioner's hands, nor any sign that the needling sites have been swabbed with any disinfectant. Maybe they're using imaginary gloves and disinfectant?

  5. This is a great video for our patients(include prospective patients) who don't know acupuncture well.
    We should make Japanese version.

  6. This pre-scientific vitalistic notion of how the body works is patently false. And the data on acupuncture further demonstrate it to be so. There is not only no evidence of effect from acupuncture, but significant evidence demonstrating that is has no effect beyond transient placebo based responses. It is not a valid healing modality to be practiced or taught in any legitimate institution.

  7. Thanks for your comments.

    Acupuncture has a strong scientific base. Over 40 years, 3,975 papers have been published in peer-reviewed journals. Many studies have identified biomedical mechanisms that can explain the effect of acupuncture. It is now accepted for non-specific low back pain by the NHS in the UK, & is recommended for pain after operations by the National Health & Medical Research Council in Australia.

    Shoot us an email at [email protected] if you'd like the academic references.

  8. There is no valid evidence of effect from acupuncture I can show you hundreds of my patients recovered from therapies with acupuncture, anda ll you have to do them is asked them your self, how many people have you treated with needles in order to say that there is no evidence? It is not valid? ANYTHING THAT CAN HELP THE HUMAN BODY IS VALID!

  9. Actually there is dark just as there is light, maybe you are blinded with too much fiction, but there and too much George Lucas, but a negative influence jus like a thought or a disease is CAN AND DOES AFFECT OUR BODY JUST LIKE SEDENTARISM DOES so yes we can protect ouserlves by strengthening the body against waht you call the dark..

  10. It does require Imagination, just as you require imagination to see how an electron spins, or how the Universe expands every second (scientific facts)

  11. So are we gonna base everything on one single book???? Why dont we then see 100 books that have millions of records in the chinese annals and their history? Science is in diapers, since the microscope was only invented 100 years ago or less while this art has been around for 2000 years, and has worked for 1 billion people. If a trick work and enables your body to cure and feel better without causing harm isnt it better than surgery or chemo?

  12. Actually we dont use gloves in the US or any part of the world to introduce needles since the needeles themselves are sterile. And of course you need to receive anatamic education so as not too puncture dangerous areas, in order to prevent damaging the tissues, it is an art performig acupuncture not just a kids game and their imagination.

  13. I like the simplicity of how it is explained, of course there is much more regarding the therapeutic effect, but for mainly managing pain this is good explanation through the eyes of TCM, of course by Western medicine would be different, REGARDING THE RELEASE OF ENDORPHINS, MACROPHAGES, OPIOID PEPTIDES,etc. that mitigate pain, have anti inflammation properties, etc I did my masters thesis regarding this. Thanks for the visual add I will post it in my website too

  14. fascia,piezeO electrical response accounts for the nervous system inability to respond at the speed of light which is what is required..ps whats the difference between god and a doctor?…GOD DOESNT CALL HIMSELF A DOCTOR..

  15. Hello everyone. I have been suffering from anxiety the majority of my life. Lately, it's been extremely bad. Panic / anxiety attacks are becoming common place. I decided I'm ready to try whatever it takes to stop it. Pills aren't always the answer. Yesterday I had my first acupuncture treatment. All I can say is that by the time I was done, my mind was as clear as its been in a very long time. I felt at peace. I felt balanced. I will be continuing my treatments. I think it works.

  16. Thanks for agreeing with me, I think they actually CENSORED my questions because I don't see it here. If they DID take my comment down, is utterly unacceptable and unprofessional. Maybe I should make a detailed response video and send it to all their viewers and subscribers

  17. @rmitmedia
    I see that you have CENSORED my comment, and my new comments are "pending approval". I recommend that you RESTORE my previous comment and allow this one in the name of good character and academic honesty. I've been very patient with you, while at the same time keeping a close eye and documenting your behavior here on YT.
    I take the issue of censorship VERY SERIOUSLY, and so should RMIT University. Lets keep YT a place for honest and open discussion backed with real data.
    Thank you

  18. how much did it cost and did you pay right out of your pocket..im 18 and thinking of getting one…i have 80 dollars saved up

  19. there afraid that western medicine is crumbling becuase they dont really care about patients ,they just want money
    but acupuncture on the other hand actually works

  20. You're missing the point, a well known phenomena called the placebo-effect. Through science we can discern if a given treatment is truly effective. If the effectiveness is not consistently better than a similarly administered placebo, then we can safely conclude it's not causing the supposed effect. I recommend the following video to gain a better understanding of acupuncture, and specifically the burden of proof.
    /watch?v=pp5eiHUdwb4&playnext=1&list=PL451957CB8B79A422&feature=results_video

  21. "Can "chi" be measured or defined? The peer-reviewed literature is abundant with studies showing acupuncture as being no more effective than placebo. Could you point me in the direction of peer reviewed studies that support acupuncture as an effective treatment?
    I am very skeptical of a treatment that has no clearly defined causal mechanism, holds a potential risk of infection and nerve damage, and to my knowledge has never been shown to be more effective than placebo treatment."
    -Posted 12/2011

  22. If you want to play the peer-reviewed literature game, than I will mention that there is evidence that there is no such thing as a placebo. According to studies, placebos are simply "random occurrences" which happen during studies. So please, shut your mouth 🙂

  23. @mrjasontutt
    According to studies placebos are random occurrnces? Could you please provide a link to those studies. And please watch your manners here on YT, I have been polite on this form despite the PM hassel im getting from rmitmedia. Thank you

  24. Forget scientific or not. If only we knew what modern science really knows….If only we knew what modern science would know 10, 20 years from now! Why scoff at ancient leads and clues of life and living?

  25. It would require an "active imagination" if the channels of the body hadn't already been proven to exist by Western scientific means over five decades ago (and many times since). Perhaps you're ignorant of the science on this (as well as most other healing modalities?) surely not.

  26. oh, and homeopathy efficacy sudies are everywhere, you just have to be not closed minded and extremely ignorant and to actually take the few minurtes to find and read them.

  27. chi has been measured and defined as much as the limiting factors of modern instruments can achieve that. You know nothing of the subject, or of science.

  28. haha, your whole raison d'etre is to censor acupuncture and many other things–and you people DO! If you believe in ""good character" and "academic honesty" (oh, Lord, is there REALLY such a thing haha!!!) I suggest you look into the extensive POSITIVE research for acupuncture, the channels and chi–I dare you .

  29. Part 1
    You have got it all wrong my friend. I don’t want to censor anyone, all I ask is that positive claims are supported with demonstrable evidence. If there is evidence showing acupuncture consistently outperforming a similarly administered placebo, then just send me a link. Its easy, watch

    Arch Intern Med. 2009;169(9):858-866
    by DC Cherkin (2009)

    and here’s a video that reviews that and other papers in a ‘user friendly’ way.

    /watch?v=pp5eiHUdwb4

  30. Part 2
    Science is a METHOD, not an agenda. If acupuncture is real I have no reason to not believe it. However acupuncturists do have a vested interest in making money, and RMIT in particular has a bad track record for creditability, google search "RMIT bent spoon award"

    Check out the links and if you do have evidence that supports acupuncture then please send it my way. I can learn too, and I’m open to evidence that you or RMIT would like to discus.

  31. Its not enough for homeopathy to be effective, it must be consistently more effective than a similarly administered placebo. A real study would something like this: random selection of 10,000 people with illness X, random assignment to one of two groups, group A gets real homeopathy, group B gets a sugar pill, group C gets no treatment. If the measured improvement is not significantly greater in group A, then homeopathy remains unproven until sufficient evidence shows otherwise. Any questions?

  32. I don't believe you and think you're making that number up, but maybe I'm wrong. So I would love a quick reference to some of those studies, surely you can post a link to one or two studies on the comment section.

  33. We have had some requests for these references. We have listed 2 good sites in the video's description which outline some of the research behind acupuncture.

  34. we know what corporations and capital interests want us to know, and that means what they CAN CONTROL and what they can SELL back to us, not amazing things like "energy medicine" and homeopathy which is essentially free.

  35. Asking the tough questions. I have a background in biology and happen to agree with most of what you've said on this video. The biggest problem with alternative therapies is that they direct patients, time, money and attention away from empirically tested medicine. I have eczema and nothing infuriates me more than someone trivializing my condition by asking me "oh, have you tried taking lemon myrtle supplements?" or "you should rub manuka honey all over yourself every night before bed."

  36. thanks, I even made a detailed 2 part video response to RMIT but they didn't approve them or respond. If this comment gets through their approval process then I suggest you check those videos out on my channel. You'll be shocked how shady these guys at rmit are

  37. How does acupuncture work? Through the abundance of people that lack the critical thinking skills needed to distinguish between the anecdotal based evidence of pseudoscience and real science-based medicine.

    Current studies (Google is your friend) show that the efficacy associated with acupuncture is no different to the placebo effect experienced with random "sham" acupuncture points used as the control.

    This means a pair of dice is equal to a 4 year degree in this rot. RMIT what a disgrace!

  38. Acupuncture "theory" was proven to be pseudoscience back in 2009 with a study entitled "Acupuncture for migraine prophylaxis".

    They showed that the efficacy associated with acupuncture is no different to the placebo effect experienced with random "sham" acupuncture points used as the control.

    This means that even if pricking the skin with needles can be clinically shown to be effective in rare situations, the acupuncture "theory" has the same validity as a pair of dice.

    Shame RMIT

  39. To elaborate, the acupuncture "theory" of Chi meridian points was invalidated back in 2009 with a study entitled "Acupuncture for migraine prophylaxis".

    It confirmed that the efficacy associated with acupuncture is no different to the effect experienced with random "sham" acupuncture points used as the control.

    Studies may have shown the benefits of needle pricking in some cases, but acupuncture "theory" (or unsubstantiated 'hypothesis') has the same validity as a pair of dice.

    Pseudoscience!

  40. Actually the earliest records of suspected acupuncture are from a 5000 years old EUROPEAN mummy named Ötzi. Just Google "otzi acupuncture"
    Furthermore, this has nothing to do with race. Valid criticism is valid criticism. Any proposed treatment must demonstrate itself to be consistently more effective than a similarly administered placebo before it can be considered real medicine. The same rules apply to all assertions regardless of race.

  41. I think I know what you mean. I'm an asthmatic and even with insurance my meds are close to $600/month until I hit my deductible…usually at the end of the year. So I get angry when people ask "have you tried acupuncture?" If it really worked like this vid claims, than it would be a literal life saver for me. But it doesn't work, and thats too bad 🙁
    Maybe if we stop wasting money on treatments we know are bogus, then we might be able to afford the medications that have proven to be effective

  42. Considering that the Electron Microscope is already 82 years old, you must be joking and I just cant detect your sarcasm on the keyboard. Do you just wear that lab coat for fun or do you want others to take you seriously? The age of a methods says nothing about its effectiveness…i guess its demonstrable effectiveness would be a better measure of its effectiveness dont you think? By that measure acupuncture fails, but we can test it again and again if you like. lmk when you get the data

  43. But that is my point exactly! Why waste time studying a pseudoscience when Chi meridian points, said to be linked specific organs and ailments, have been proven bogus by showing it doesn't matter where you place the pins.

    Acupuncture is not a generic term for pin pricking. The only effective thing in common with 'sham acupuncture' are pins.

    'Sham acupuncture' = random pin pricks = 1 hour of study.
    ..as effective as..
    'Acupuncture' = specific points for specific ailments = 3 years study.

  44. Tell that to David Ho, named "1996 Man of the Year" by Time Magazine for his role in developing the "drug cocktail" therapy that has been largely successful in prolonging the life of HIV patients.

    The only difference between alternative medicine, and science based medicine, is that science based medicine has been vigorously tested and proven to be effective, without relying on anecdotal evidence.

    It's best not to ignore all the valuable contributions from multitudes of real Chinese scientists.

  45. Tell that to David Ho, named "1996 Man of the Year" by Time Magazine for his role in developing the "drug cocktail" therapy that has been largely successful in prolonging the life of HIV patients.

    The only difference between alternative medicine, and science based medicine, is that science based medicine has been vigorously tested and proven to be effective, without relying on anecdotal evidence.

    It's best not to ignore all the valuable contributions from multitudes of real Chinese scientists.

  46. scientists and other rational-thinkers are skeptical of anything that isn't supported by evidence. Anecdotal evidence is not considered relevant evidence in the academic community, because if it was then there is plenty of evidence for ghosts, miracles, ufo's, etc. Because we know that pain is the result of nerves communicating back and forth to the brain, and that the placebo effect is very real and demonstrable, we can have a theory that explains acupuncture, but this doesn't justify its use.

  47. Won't let me post the link, but
    "More Evidence Acupuncture Can Ease Chronic Pain
    Ancient technique outperformed 'sham' acupuncture in large review"
    from September 10, 2012.
    By Alan Mozes

  48. This forum doesn't allow web addresses to be published. Try google.com. enter: acupuncture + research. It's pretty simple.

  49. Perfect example of a scientific mind being made up before doing any investigation… oh, wait, that's not science. That's quackery.

  50. Cure is a strong word. Acupuncture can re-align your Chi flow and this usually causes symptoms of insomnia to melt away. Is that effect permanent? Probably not, considering something in your lifestyle threw you out of balance in the first place. But there are many different causes even in Chinese medicine to insomnia… some require some lifestyle change in order to "cure" it.

  51. You have a citation? Or just your empty skepticism? You "scientific thinkers" in this group who talk placebo blah blah blah yet cite no single study to back up your claims and demand proof (when it is all accessible on the Web, mostly) are a trip. Do your own research. Prove your skepticism is accurate. We have a 6000 minimum year old health care system that stabs people with sharp objects, has amongst the lowest malpractice rates, and is thriving and growing… I don't need to convert you.

  52. Considering the study showed that "acupuncture" and "sham acupuncture" outperformed every other system tested, your theory still has holes in it. For instance, there are 12 meridians (pathways of Chi flow) that pass through the head, including quite a few extraordinary meridians (2 with acupuncture points on them). And since no acupuncturist of a deep and pure lineage would treat 10 headache patients with the same x number of points, you tested sham acupuncture against sham acupuncture….

  53. and thus the outcome is consistent with any real acupuncturist's expectations. But hey… i love to hear pseudo-intellectuals blather on as if they know something, when they don't blaming science for their lack of inquiry and non-attempt to actually understand something before condemning it.

  54. See, the true MASTERS of acupuncture could care less about your scientific scrutiny. They are hear to heal people and wouldn't waste time trying to pass your scientific muster. Because you want the same treatment for 500+ headaches, the reality is you force our medicine to alter itself to submit to your testing standards, which degrades and destroys our medicine. Those of us who are pure would never waste our time on your scientific approval.

  55. I have treated eczema in two patients with success. But you are free to choose to compare a 6000 year old, tried and proven through thousands of generations of experiential scrutiny and compare it to new agey herbal medical with not even half that level of scrutiny and consider yourself a scientist. Riiiiiiiight.

  56. Right… cause higher education systems shouldn't evaluate anything outside of what is already accepted? I'm not sure you really understand what scientific thought means…. the absence of proof is not the proof of absence.

  57. You have 5 or so comments on here. Maybe they are busy and you need to have patience rather than crying censorship…

    Interesting you want "real data," have have provided NONE to support your claims here.

  58. Thank you for sharing your EXPERIENCE here, as I doubt any of these haters and skeptics that claim they are scientific thinkers have actually had one.

  59. We don't require your belief any more than the sun requires your belief to seemingly rise in the sky every morning. Besides, who cares about the beliefs of uninformed and inexperienced people making beliefs from nothing?

  60. (Add three w's here, and then a period)
    well.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/09/11/acupuncture-provides-true-pain-relief-in-study/?smid=fb-share

  61. It's sad but true. I agree 100%. Ask an MD how to treat a yang deficiency and they will look at you like you're crazy. Why? Because that is not there paradigm. Yet most all acupuncture studies are directed by western MDs trying to limit proof based on western diagnoses. This is clear cultural bias– and bias is considered a problem in any scientific inquiry.

  62. What skeptics fail to realize is that there is now converging evidence from fascia experts on the role of connective tissue in chronic pain and in the mechanisms of acupuncture, manual and movement based therapies. Dr. Helene Langevin's research along with other world renown researchers like Dr. Robert Schleip at University of Ulm show that mechanical tissue stimulation during tissue stretch and acupuncture causes dynamic cellular responses in connective tissue.

  63. this is just propoganda for the ignorant 'science' bods you are spouting. In the late 90's the Americans set up a permanent government review body that found there is little or no science/evidence/proper studies for over 80%!!!! of western medical drugs then on the market. Oh, that's why so many people die or become damaged from taking them…. Shortly after the findings that body was DISBANDED! You are for censorship, not science my friend.

  64. homeopathy is more effective than a placebo–it's the fraudulent studies by ideologists (scientists) that are wrong. this is VERY easy to understand once you take the prejudicial blinkers off your eyes/brain.

  65. try homeopathy–its incredible and can be very quick and complete. Eczema is one of its specialities–look online if you want to look into it. but of course you don't haha

  66. Had it done for the first time today in china town in chicago………aaaaaaaand it hurt. It was for lower back pain…quadratus lumborum actually….

  67. If acupuncture did not work, the chinese would not use it for 4000 years. they are a pragmatic people. The west can not understand chi, because chi is felt and experienced. the scientific method requires measurement, Chi can not be measured or defined according to a "western" model. therefor it rejects it. Ask a scientist to measure the love they have for their husband or wife. chi is know to exist because it's effects are observed and felt. The west has a left brain view of the world only.

  68. I broke my back, left shoulder and left ankle 6 months ago in a high speed  race crash at Phillip Island.  Had constant pain since that day. I finally gave in to pressure and tried Acupuncture. 24 hours later, im in almost no pain. Im totally blown away by the results. Physiotherapy did help, but nowhere near as much as Acupuncture. View crash at ''Fast Highside at Phillip Island.''  If you're hurtin' give it a shot folks.

  69. Here is how it works, It does not. At most its a placebo, that's all. All studies have debunked it. I guess when you have no real cures at least the patient feels better. 

  70. Many studies in animals and humans have demonstrated that acupuncture can cause multiple biological responses. These responses can occur locally, i.e., at or close to the site of application, or at a distance, mediated mainly by sensory neurons to many structures within the central nervous system.

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