Acupuncture is an ancient traditional medicine that began over five thousand years ago in China. It has become one of the most popular alternative treatments in our society. In fact, millions of people believe that acupuncture works for conditions in which mainstream medicine fails or they simply prefer this natural path to wellness. Some people view it as a miracle solution which provides relief where nothing prior has worked.
Acupuncture is based on the fact that the body is made up of channels (or meridians) that lead to the organs and cells. Qi, also called Chi (pronounced ‘chee’), or “life energy,” is the vital force of life and it flows through these meridians to the entire body. This is the difference between life and death. When you die, there is no life energy. When qi flows freely throughout the body, your body is nourished, healthy and it thrives. When you are healthy your energy is balanced, your blood flows without obstruction and your physical, mental and emotional states are functioning properly.
Chinese medicine believes illness is caused when the qi is obstructed or is deficient. Qi stagnation occurs when there is a blockage of qi. Qi deficiency is when there is not enough qi in a particular area. When a blockage or deficiency occurs, there is not enough energy (qi) to flow to the area involved. Acupuncture restores the proper balance of qi by stimulating strategic points within the meridian that correspond to the deficiency.
A great analogy can be made with the idea of a garden hose. If the garden hose is kinked or twisted, the water cannot flow out properly to water the garden. Those “kinks” interrupt the normal flow of water (or in this analogy, “life energy”), and when the kinks are eliminated by manipulating the hose, the water can once again flow at full strength.
Acupuncture began with the discovery that if someone felt pain or discomfort somewhere in their body, and a needle was placed at a certain point in the body, it would cause a sensation and immediately the pain would disappear. It was noticed that specific points on the body could heal or benefit specific ailments or conditions.
Before there were available metals, acupuncture needles were made out of bone or stone, sharpened to a point with a grinding stone. The point was made fine enough to pierce the body. The body has 14 main energy channels – meridians – that run throughout the body. Each of these is associated with a particular organ or system
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