Acupuncture has been practiced in China unchanged for approximately 3000 years. It is considered part of a larger system of medicine called Traditional Chinese Medicine that includes the use of herbs, moxabustion (heating of the needles), massage, diet, and Qi Gong (gentle exercise concentrating on breathing and balance) to correct imbalances within the body.
Acupuncture is defined as the insertion of very fine stainless steel needles into the body at points along a series of meridians. These meridians can be thought of as “rivers of energy” which connect all parts of the body in a network that runs from our head to our feet and hands. This network can best be compared physiologically to our nervous system. In Traditional Chinese Medicine, disease is defined as the disruption of life energy (called Qi) in these meridians. The Qi can either be deficient or in excess within the meridians or organs of our body. This concept is really no different than the Western diagnosis of an organ overworking (such as the thyroid over producing hormones) in a hyper state, or under working in a hypo condition. Continue reading