Acupuncture is a healing method that has been used in China and the Far East for many centuries. It involves the insertion of fine needles at specific points in the body known as acupoints. According to Daoist philosophy, the body possesses a life force energy known as "qi" which flows through established pathways known as meridians. There are 12 main meridians and several extraordinary meridians, with several hundred acupoints along the meridians. When the flow of qi is blocked or if the energy is not in balance, the body becomes suspectible to disease and pain conditions. By insering the needles as specific acupoints, the balance and free flow of qi is restored allowing the body to heal. Ideally acupuncture is used to keep the body in harmony, preventing disease from occuring in the first place.
Acupuncture is a part of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) and has spread all over the world to Japan, Korea, Vietnam, Europe and North America. It is based on ancient knowledge but has adapted and evolved to treat medicaly conditions that affect modern society. Western medicine has become fascinated with the inner workings of acupuncture. Much study has has been done in an attempt to understand how acupuncture works on a physical/anatomical level, not just an energetic level. The existence of energy flow through the meridians has been demonstrated by the injection of tracer materials and observing its pathway throught the body. Acupuncture has also been shown to stimulate the body's natural painkillers, decrease inflamation and improve the body's ability to heal. Acupuncture regulates the body's nervous system, balances the endocrine or hormonal system, boosts the immune system and reduces stress. It is a holistic approach of treating the complete individual, with the aim of not just treating "disease" but achieving wellbeing.