Acupuncture is based on the assumption that Qi courses through channels in the body just as streams and rivers ebb and flow across the surface of the earth. Every Organ Network has a corresponding set of channels. The acupuncture points are located in small depressions in the skin called "men" or "gates" where the channels come closest to the surface. In ancient times, when cities were fortified by walls, gates were opened to receive sustenance and closed to keep harm away. With acupuncture, the gates of the body are opened and closed to adjust circulation in the channels and expel noxious influences from them.
Thin, solid, sterile stainless steel acupuncture needles are inserted into acupuncture points to communicate from the outside to the inside. Acupuncture mobilizes Qi, Moisture, Blood, invigorating proper function of muscles, nerves, vessels, glands, and organs.
Insertion of the slender needles goes unnoticed by some, and to others feels like a small pinch followed by a sensation of tingling, numbness, ache, traveling warmth, or heaviness. Sometimes people feel Qi moving at a distance from the point of insertion. Needles remain in place for twenty to forty minutes. Usually relaxation and an elevation of spirit accompanies treatment. It is as normal to want to continue resting as it is to be immediately energized. Some notice a relief of symptoms or feel more energetic in the days that follow treatment. Most people are pleased to find that sessions are not uncomfortable and even look forward to them.
Because Chinese medicine reverberates in the body and spirit, it can be a catalyst for subtle yet far-reaching change.
It would be most accurate to say that acupuncture treats disorders of Qi, Blood, and Moisture, and disturbances of the Organ Networks - but this does not correspond to the Western vocabulary of named diseases and conditions. Acupuncture may be helpful for: withdrawal from addictions such as sugar, coffee, cigarettes, alcohol, and cocaine; stress reduction; post-surgical recovery; chronic fatigue; the signs of aging; and decreased immunity. [Some of the many conditions for which acupuncture is considered appropriate as listed by the World Health Organization of the United Nations.]
© 1991 by H Beinfield & E Korngold. Between Heaven and Earth, A Guide to Chinese Medicine. Ballantine, 1991.
© 1973, 1987 by C Huang. Embrace Tiger, Return to Mountain. Celestial Arts, 1987.
© 1980 by Beijing College of Traditional Chinese Medicine, et. al. Essentials of Chinese Acupuncture. Foreign Languages Press, 1980.