Acupuncture is an effective form of medical treatment that has evolved into a complete holistic health care system. Practitioners of acupuncture and Chinese medicine have used this noninvasive treatment method to help millions of people become well and stay well.
Acupuncture promotes natural healing. It can enhance recuperative power and immunity, support physical and emotional health, and improve overall function and well-being. It is a safe, painless and effective way to treat a wide variety of medical problems.
While its mode of action is still not fully understood, over the ages of its use various explanations have been proposed to account for its effects. These range from a traditional theory of Taoist inspiration to contemporary ideas of a more empirical bent.
What is Qi?
Traditionally, at the core of this ancient technique is the philosophy of Qi (pronounced “chee”), or vital energy. Qi flows through and animates the body while protecting it from illness, pain and disease. A person’s health is influenced by the quality, quantity and balance of Qi.
How does Qi move?
Qi flows through specific pathways called meridians. Meridian pathways are like rivers flowing inside the body. Where a river flows, it transports life-giving water that provides nourishment to the land, plants and people. Similarly, where meridian pathways flow, they bring life-giving Qi that provides nourishment to every cell, organ, gland, tissue and muscle in the body.
How is Qi disrupted?
An obstruction to the flow of Qi is like a dam. When Qi becomes backed up in one part of the body, the flow becomes restricted in other parts. This blockage of the flow of Qi can be detrimental to a person’s health, cutting off vital nourishment to the body, organs and glands.
Physical and emotional trauma, stress, lack of exercise, overexertion, seasonal changes, poor diet, accidents, or excessive activity are among the many things that can influence the quality, quantity and balance of Qi.
Normally, when a blockage or imbalance occurs, the body easily bounces back, returning to a state of health and well-being. However, when this disruption is prolonged or excessive, or if the body is in a weakened state, illness, pain, or disease can set in.
Blockage of the flow of Qi can be detrimental to a person’s health and leads to various signs and symptoms or health concerns.
What does an acupuncturist do?
During the initial exam a full health history is taken. Questions are asked regarding health, symptoms and lifestyle and an appropriate physical exam is conducted which includes pulse and tongue diagnosis.
Gathering this information enables the practitioner to effectively diagnose and detect any specific imbalances that may have contributed to a person’s health problems. The practitioner can then create a well-structured treatment plan.
During treatment, an acupuncturist will place fine, sterile needles at specific acupoints along meridian pathways, ultimately inducing the desired and corresponding time-tested therapeutic effects.
These can include the elimination pain, the restoration of balance, and the stimulation of the body’s natural ability to heal itself.