WHAT IS ACUPUNCTURE & HOW DOES IT WORK?

BY KATHRYN KURASH

WHAT IS ACUPUNCTURE? 

Traditional Chinese Medicine (including acupuncture) is a 3000-year-old healing tradition. It originated in Asia with the use of tattooing and tapping specific areas on the body (alongside Chinese Herbs) to encourage the body to self-heal. Acupuncture uses hair-thin needles to redistribute and focus energy and blood.

HOW DOES IT WORK? 

Acupuncture is an energy-based medicine, the basic idea being that when the body’s vital substances (yin, yang, qi, and blood) are flowing abundantly and harmoniously, there will be no pain. The system is functioning. When one of these vital substances out of balance (too much, too little, or blocked) there is pain and dysfunction in the system. Acupuncture works to release, move, or change the direction of energy flow to bring the body back into balance.

We derive our vital substances from different sources. We are born with a certain amount of qi, this determines our ‘constitution’. However, we weaken or strengthen our system with our diet, lifestyle, and environment. Every day, we build qi from food and air. With enough rest, adequate exercise, and intuitive living, we can use the energy we build daily, to strengthen our body. When we don’t eat or sleep enough, we get weak. When we don’t exercise enough, or eat food that is hard to digest, energy stagnates. If the body is out of balance, acupuncturists use needle and non-needle techniques to move energy where it needs to go.

Acupuncture points, are (mostly) located along energetic pathways that traverse the entire body. They run through organs, bones, blood vessels, muscles, tendons, and skin. It is where these meridians reach the body’s surface that we can manipulate the energy flow with needles, seeds, pressure, cupping, or massage.