Acupuncture is a technique developed in China 2,500 years ago and has seen many changes as the practices have been passed down through family and lineage. It is based on the idea that the flow of energy in the body favours particular directions and different movement patterns that bring about overall health and harmony.
You can imagine many rivers that move throughout the landscape of your body. All these rivers are connected and rely on one another to supply and move substance throughout the body in a symbiotic nature. They work together. What is contained inside of these rivers, called meridians, is a life force that is referred to as “qi.” The meridians are the pathways and the qi is the substance contained inside.
When we experience illness, discomfort, and pain; this is seen as a sign that the qi is not moving correctly. Qi can be blocked, or deficient, or it can be running in excess in a particular meridian. It can even move in the wrong direction. Blocked channels can express as pain, and keep one meridian from nourishing another. Deficient channels have a similar effect, but you also may feel lethargic and exhausted. Excessive channels may carry things recklessly through the body and lead to deficiency.
This is where acupuncture comes in. These tiny filiform needles are placed in particular points throughout the body. These points influence the qi to move, nourish, and release. It is a way of reminding the body of its own healing potential. You can think of it as placing flags throughout the body and saying, “hey, take a look over here!” Recent research suggests that the body’s communication systems are activated with the insertion of the needles to stimulate nerves, muscles, connective tissue, and the immune system.