In my 15 years of practice, I have answered many questions about acupuncture:
How does it work?
When should I come back?
Will it hurt?
These are common and valid questions, especially from people who had not experienced it before.
The question that I get sometimes that I actually love to answer is this:
“If I don’t believe in it, will it still work for me?”
My short answer is: Maybe?
Here’s the thing: acupuncture is not for everyone, just like how pharmaceuticals or physical therapy, or any other medical interventions are not for everyone. Sometimes you have to spend time and energy to figure out what works best for you.
Acupuncture is a wonderful tool and an effective modality, for those who respond well to it.
But do you have to BELIEVE in it for it to work?
I have had a fair share of new patients who walk in (usually reluctantly) with a skeptical mind about the new experience they were about to have. I have had people who explicitly tell me that they don’t think it will work, but their wives or husbands or mothers encouraged them to try.
Because acupuncture accesses your own healing potential, it all depends on your body’s receptivity to this particular modality. I have had skeptics walking in with excruciating pain who walk out with none (and at that point, they are no longer skeptics). I have also had believers who want to feel better so badly, but they feel no change after several treatments.
Bottom line is this: it really depends on your body, and whether or not it’s ready to receive the treatment. When it is, there is almost nothing that will stop it from succeeding (not even your mind!).
The best thing to do is to give it a try, and watch what happens.