Acupuncture is one of the oldest, most commonly used systems of healing in the world. A branch of Traditional Chinese Medicine, acupuncture views the mind and body as one energetic structure along with organ systems that work together to keep the body functioning. Acupuncture aims to treat the whole person, emotionally, physically and mentally, and to help a person gain and maintain optimal health. Acupuncture works with a person’s qi (pronounced “chi”), which is considered a vital force or energy responsible for controlling the workings of the human mind and body. Qi flows through the body via channels, or pathways, which are called meridians. These meridians map directly onto the body’s lymph, circulatory and and nervous system. Imbalances in the flow of qi cause illness; correction of this flow restores the body to balance.
To restore balance, acupuncture uses painless, hair-thin needles to stimulate and harness the body’s natural healing powers. The body responds to the stimuli by increasing blood circulation, releasing anti-inflammatory agents, endorphins, and natural painkillers, which in turn produces feelings of pain relief, calm, and relaxation. In other words, acupuncture encourages the body to create optimal conditions for healing and health.