Acupuncture is the insertion of single use, sterile needles into points along meridians, pathways of the body where energy called “qi” flows. The needles are thinner than a human hair. The meridians traverse the body’s surface and connect internally to organs such as the kidney, liver, spleen and so forth. By stimulating specific points along meridians, qi is allowed to flow, blockages are cleared, and qi is strengthened.
Acupuncture is one part of Traditional Chinese Medicine, a comprehensive system of health care that treats the body holistically, meaning that not only the symptoms are taken into account but the entire body and mind are taken into consideration when forming a treatment plan. The particular points on the body are selected according to the theories and principles of Chinese medicine for the purpose of restoring balance to the functioning of the body, its internal organs and the spirit, or “shen” in Chinese.
Modern science is finding out more about the importance of the body’s regulation of the immune system. Acupuncture helps the body regulate its immune system, strengthening or reducing pathogenic activity that may be hindering its functioning.
Other techniques that are part of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) and may be used when needed are guasha, cupping, moxibustion, and Chinese massage called tuina.
All of the facets of Chinese medicine help to reduce inflammation in the body, enhance the immune system, restore function to the body’s systems and promote circulation.