What is Acupuncture?
Traditional Acupuncture is based on ancient Chinese theories of the flow of Qi (chee), which can be loosely translated as energy. Qi flows in channels (or meridians) throughout the body and over its surfaces. These meridians are rivers of energy flowing through the body, distributed much like nerves and blood vessels. The meridians are often compared to a series of interconnected highways. Each major organ is associated with its own meridian. Through the network of meridians the internal organs are connected to certain areas and parts of the body, including the muscles, bones, joints, and other organs.
In Chinese medicine, health is a manifestation of balance, both within the body itself and between the body and the external environment. When the body is internally balanced and in harmony with the external environment, Qi flows smoothly through the meridians to nourish the organs and tissues. If an obstruction occurs in one of the meridians, the Qi is disrupted and cannot flow properly. When Qi cannot flow smoothly or is forced to flow in the opposite direction, the body’s innate balance is disrupted and illness results.
Acupuncture points are the specific points on the meridians where the Qi is both concentrated and accessible. Acupuncture adjusts the flow of Qi in the body, leading it to areas where it is needed and draining it from areas where it is stuck or in excess. In this way, acupuncture restores balance to the body. When balance is restored, health returns.