Acupuncture is a treatment modality that is a part of Chinese medicine. Chinese medicine is an ancient system of healing that was developed in China over 2,500 years ago. Acupuncture is the most popular modality of Chinese medicine. It’s practice began thousands of years ago in China and traveled to other Asian countries. Acupuncture as a procedure is the insertion of hair-fine, sterilized medical-grade stainless steel needles into specific places in the body. The over-arching goal of an acupuncture treatment is to stimulate the body’s natural healing response.
The basis of Chinese medical theory is that qi (pronounced “chee” and loosely translated as a type of life force or energy) flows through energetic pathways, called meridians, in the body. Each meridian corresponds to a group of organs that affect our body’s physiology. Qi maintains the dynamic balance of yin and yang, which are complementary, co-creative, and codependent opposites. According to Chinese philosophy, everything in nature is and contains both yin and yang. Achieving and maintaining the proper flow of qi creates health and wellness. An imbalance of qi (too much, too little, or stagnant qi) causes disease. To restore balance to the qi, an acupuncturist inserts fine needles at specific points along the meridians. These acupuncture points are places where the energy pathway is close to the surface of the skin.