Acupuncture is an ancient healing method using needle-insertion at specific points to work with the subtle energy called qi (pronounced “chee”) that flows through each layer of the physical body via a web of channels. All traditional cultures have a word for this energy, such as prana in Sanskrit and ki in Japanese, as well as well-developed methods of working with it to restore health.
The Chinese place great importance on qi, having studied it for thousands of years. Qi is essential to all life and is present in all substances – air, food, water, bone, muscle, etc., as well as in thoughts and emotions. As long as something is alive, it has qi circulating through it and emanating from it. And at death, the qi departs. Disturbances in the flow of qi lead to symptoms, and eventually disease. Using acupuncture, qi can be gathered and circulated to clear blockcages and excess and to nourish deficiencies to bring about health.
Acupuncture was practiced for thousands of years before it was written about extensively in the Yellow Emperor’s Classic of Internal Medicine written in 2,697 B.C., as confirmed by the discovery of bone needles dating back to 10,000 B.C. In China, acupuncture, herbal medicine and qi gong are fully integrated into hospitals as an essential part of a treatment plan. These healing modalities are widely available in the United States, though usually not in conventional settings.