Acupuncture is an ancient healing practice of Traditional Chinese Medicine. It started in China approximately 3000 years ago. The earliest documentation of acupuncture that describes it as an organized system of diagnosis and treatment, is in The Yellow Emperor’s Classic of Internal Medicine. This dates back to 100 BCE. Over the next few centuries it developed and became more specific as to the precise sites of the acupuncture points. It eventually developed into being standard practice in China, combined with herbs, moxibustion, massage and dietary regulations.

Over the past 40 years, it has grown in popularity in the United States. Partly due to its effectiveness in alleviating pain, and scientific studies began to prove its efficacy. Acupuncture can also be used for prevention and treatment of a variety of health conditions and to stimulate the immune system.

It entails the stimulation of certain points on the body by the insertion of very thin, filiform, single-use needles through the skin. The Chinese found that stimulating certain points restored the balance of the flow of Qi (pronounced chee) and blood, and thus restored balance in the body. This is done in order to alleviate pain and treat various physical, mental and emotional conditions. This aids the body to repair itself and maintain health and vitality.

At the core of this Chinese medicine is the philosophy that Qi circulates through meridians throughout the body. Each meridian is connected to a specific organ and function. A person’s health is influenced by the quality, quantity and balance of Qi.

The type of illness that occurs depends on how the energy is out of balance or disrupted, and can include symptoms on physical, mental and emotional levels. Energy becomes imbalanced due to a number of possible factors, including poor nutrition, genetic predisposition, lack of exercise, poor lifestyle choices, injuries, chronically poor posture, environmental toxicity, dietary & pharmaceutical chemicals, intense emotional situations, overwork, stress, lack of rest and outside pathogenic influences, such as viruses, bacteria and parasites.