Do you need to believe in acupuncture for it to work? I’ve come across this concept often in the thirteen-or-so years that I’ve been familiar with acupuncture and Chinese Medicine (CM). Although this question hasn’t been posed in this exact way, I’d be rich if I had a dollar for every time someone said to me that they don’t want to try acupuncture because they don’t believe in it.

I’m hoping to clear up this idea that faith or a belief system has anything to do with the effectiveness of acupuncture. I think the most compelling explanation I’ve heard is that acupuncture is effective for animals…like dogs, cats, horses, elephants, bear burn victims, and all the rest. To my knowledge (or our scientific ability to test) animals don’t have a belief system. But they heal with acupuncture anyway.

Now, I’m not saying that the power of positive thought isn’t powerful, it is! The more you believe in something, the easier it’ll be to see the effects everywhere. Have you ever bought a new car, and all of a sudden, you see that same type of car EVERYWHERE? I fell in love with the Toyota FJ Cruiser when it was released in 2007…and I saw them everywhere, everyday after that. It’s like I could spot them from a mile away. Belief works like that too; when you’re tuned into something, it’s more noticeable. However, belief doesn’t make or break the healing process of acupuncture.