Acupuncture, a component of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), has been practiced in China and other Asian countries for thousands of years and thus is among the oldest healing practices in the world. In the United States, where practitioners incorporate healing traditions from China, Japan, Korea, and other countries, Acupuncture is a complementary and alternative medicine, a group of diverse medical and health care systems, practices, and products.
In TCM the body is seen as a delicate balance of two opposing and inseparable forces: Yin represents cold, slow or passive aspects of the person, while yang represents hot, excited or active aspects. Qi is the vital energy or life force proposed to regulate a person's spiritual, emotional, mental, and physical health. The theory is that health is achieved through balancing yin and yang and disease is caused by an imbalance leading to a blockage in the flow of qi. Qi flows along pathways known as meridians. Meridians are 12 main channels "connecting the body in a web-like interconnecting matrix" of at least 2,000 acupuncture points.
Acupuncture seeks to aid healing by restoring the yin-yang balance and the flow of qi through a variety of techniques combined with Chinese herbs, meditation and massage. Acupuncture treatment most often involves penetrating the skin with thin, solid, metallic needles that are manipulated by the hands or by electrical stimulation. Qi can be unblocked, according to TCM, by using acupuncture at certain points on the body that connect with the meridians.
The most common conditions that people seek help in acupuncture are for:
- Acute and chronic musculoskeletal pain (back, neck, joints, etc.),
- Infertility problems,
- Menstrual cramps and other menstrual disorders,
- Weight management,
- Stress and anxiety,
- General well-being,
- Low functioning immune system,
- Chronic sinus infection,
- Facial rejuvenation,
- Low energy