Long before medical science developed biochemical and laboratory testing, the ancients developed their own unique methods of assessing what was going on in the body.
Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) is a healing system that can treat health problems in virtually every area of medicine. Its roots date back some three thousand years in China. It has three major components: acupuncture, tai chi, and Chinese herbal medicine.
TCM is based upon the concept that qi (pronounced chee), a life force, circulates through our body via channels called meridians. The meridians are like train lines. We can affect the qi in the meridians at acupuncture points, which are like the stations along the train lines. At these points, we can get on or off the train, increasing, decreasing, or altering the flow of qi.
Every twenty-four hours, the qi passes through each of the twelve paired meridians on each side of our body. If there is enough qi, if it is balanced and flowing, the result is health. If the amount, balance, or flow of qi are erratic, then illness results. By applying pressure with our fingers, placing needles, burning moxa (an incense-like preparation of mugwort), and performing cupping, the amount, balance, and flow of qi can be restored, and health returns and can be maintained.
The needles that are used in acupuncture are very slender and do not have the cutting edge which is found on hypodermic needles. They are sterile, individually packed, and disposable. Because of this we do not see infections as a complication.
Needle insertion is usually painless. However, sometimes the patient may feel a tingling, tightening, or a momentary mild pinch which are regarded as “de qi,” the arrival of qi, and considered normal. Your comfort is of the utmost importance.
There is world-wide interest in acupuncture. Research continues to push the field forward exploring the new while honoring and preserving the traditional.