Acupuncture is a branch of Traditional Chinese Medicine that has been practiced for over two thousands years. The principles and theories behind can be easily understood:
Fourteen major energy channels called meridians run vertically throughout the whole human body, covering the head, arms, hands, legs, feet, torso, and internal organs. These invisible meridians are connected
to form an energy channel system just as blood vessels are connected to form our circulatory system or as nerves are connected to form our nervous system.
A subtle energy called Qi or Chi (pronounced Chee) circulates via the meridians to all parts of the body, even the most remote cells at the extremities. Qi/Chi is the vital force – its presence separates the living from the dead. The balanced and unimpeded flow of Qi/Chi is critical for optimal health. Any misdirection, blockage or other disturbance of the amount, flow or balance of Qi/Chi may result in pain, dysfunctioning, and thus sub-optimal health or even illnesses. With acupuncture needles, or other means, the acupuncturist stimulates certain points (acu-points) along the course of meridians. Such stimulation helps restoring the normal balance and flow of Qi/Chi so organs and systems can work together in harmony as intended. This sets the stage for the body to repair itself and maintain its own health.
From Modern Western medicine’s point of view, the acupuncture points are concentrated in nerve endings and blood vessels. Inserting needles into the acupuncture points stimulates the nervous system via peripheral afferent fibers (nerve fibers that carry signals to the central nervous system) to release chemicals in the muscles, spinal cord, and brain.