The World Health Organization defines health as “a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity”. That is to say, health is not confined to one’s physical health, their lab tests and BMI measurements. In saying that social and mental well-being are a part of one’s health, we are thereby saying that everyone’s health is uniquely their own. That was the belief of French Doctor Georges Canguilhem, who, in his 1943 book, The Normal and the Pathological, defined health as the ability to adapt to one’s environment. There was not one normal, objective, fixed state of health. Rather, it was fluid, dynamic and unique to each person. As a 2005 journal titled Stress and Health: Psychological, Behavioural, and Biological Determinants notes, “Our future as individuals and as a species depends on our ability to adapt to potent stressors”.
So, how can acupuncture help?
The goal of acupuncture is to promote a change in the body. Acupuncture’s ability to stimulate change, therefore, can help support the body’s homeostatic ability to maintain health through it’s systemic interactions. The World Health Organization notes that acupuncture supports the body’s natural processes, stating that acupuncture’s “therapeutic actions are achieved by mobilization of the organism’s own potential”.
Dr. Wang Ju Yi, who spent 3 decades working in Beijing’s hospitals, notes that acupuncture’s benefits often lie in its regulatory effects. The World Health Organization notes that “The therapeutic effects of acupuncture are thus brought about through its regulatory actions on various systems”.
 World Health Organization. https://www.who.int/about/who-we-are/frequently-asked-questions. 2020. Date accessed: February 28, 2020
 The Lancet. What is health? The ability to adapt. March 7, 2009 https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(09)60456-6/fulltext. Vol. 373, Issue 9666. Date accessed: February 28, 2020
 Schneiderman, Neil et al. “Stress and health: psychological, behavioral, and biological determinants.” Annual review of clinical psychology vol. 1 (2005): 607-28. doi:10.1146/annurev.clinpsy.1.102803.144141
World Health Organization. Acupuncture: Review and analysis of reports on controlled clinical trials. https://chiro.org/acupuncture/FULL/Acupuncture_WHO_2003.pdf. page 6 – Date accessed: February 28, 2020
 Applied Channel Theory in Chinese Medicine. Wang, J.Y., Robertson, J (2008). Eastland Press.
 World Health Organization. Acupuncture: Review and analysis of reports on controlled clinical trials. https://chiro.org/acupuncture/FULL/Acupuncture_WHO_2003.pdf. page 6 – Date accessed: February 28, 2020