Acupuncture is a system of health care that is widely used around the world.  Dating back thousands of years, acupuncture is based on a holistic view of the world in which everything in nature is interrelated with the human body.

Different from western medicine, acupuncture does not concentrate on a symptomatic approach to healing.  Rather, it looks for and treats the underlying causes of illness.

To get a basic understanding of acupuncture, it is important to comprehend the basic underlying concepts which govern it. 

In acupuncture, it is thought that everything in the universe is dualistic in nature or, as we know it by the term, Yin and Yang.  For example, there is day and it’s opposite night, as well as hot & cold, male & female, etc… Each one is influenced by its opposite, and one cannot exist without the presence of the other. This interplay between these two qualities happens in your body just as it does in nature, and the balance of these two aspects is what produces well being and health in your body.

Everything in nature is related to one of the Five Elements (Wood, Fire, Earth, Metal, & Water).  These Five Elements are connected in a cycle where one element can influence another.  For example, influences include water “feeding” wood and wood “feeding” fire, just as in nature where water nourishes the trees through the roots and trunk, and the wood from trees provides fuel for a fire.  And opposing influences can also take place, where water can “put out” fire and fire can “melt” metal, etc…

These Five Elements are also associated with every organ in your body, and when one element becomes either too deficient or too excessive, it affects the other elements and organs associated with them.  Any ailment in the body, whether it is injury or sickness, is associated with an imbalance of one or more of the Five Elements and the Yin Yang relationship.

In acupuncture, it is also thought that pathways of energy (the Chinese word for this energy is “Chi”) run along the surface of the body in channels called meridians, and are connect to your organs through branches that extend from the meridians to the inside of the body. 

In a healthy body, this Chi energy flows freely throughout the body, bringing vitality to the organism.  When there is a deficiency, blockage, or even excess of this vital force, imbalance will occur and illness will ensue.

There are 12 main meridians in your body, each with specific locations where very thin, sterile needles can be inserted. These are called acupuncture points. Every one of these points has an effect on the body and can influence the balance of the elements and Yin and Yang in the body and its organs.  The stimulation of these points is the primary way to restore, decrease, or increase the flow of chi in the body, thereby inducing the return of health and balance.

Acupuncture uses various diagnostic techniques (i.e. pulse reading, tongue analysis, etc…) as well as many complementary forms of treatment (i.e, herbs, moxibustion, and electric stimulation of the needles while in the body).  Although foreign in concept to western eyes, these techniques are very effective in the treatment of many ailments, illnesses, and even injuries.

Ancient in terms of its history, practice, and functionality, acupuncture has now been adopted all over the world as a modern system of health care with decades of positive scientific research, and it is well appreciated for its positive effects on health without side-effects, making it one of the best health care tools available to mankind.

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