Traditional Chinese Medicine is a holistic approach that dates back about 2,500 years. The focus is on the interaction of all bodily systems to restore the health and well being of the whole person–body, mind and spirit. This means to balance yin and yang, balance between the five phases, balance between the viscera and bowels, and the balance between Qi, blood, and bodily fluids. The practice of acupuncture is founded on the concept according to which vital energy (qi) flows within the human body following specific pathways, which we call acupuncture meridians. A smooth flow of qi ensures that vital substances carried by blood reach and nourish all the tissues and internal organs. It is based on the stimulation of the body’s self – balancing mechanisms in order to maintain physical and emotional health and well-being. As an holistic therapy, acupuncture is focused on addressing the root cause of every health issue rather than just treating the manifestation of symptoms.
The practitioner determines what is out of balance in the body by employing four basic examinations. The first is questioning about one’s signs and symptoms and taking into account the whole persons health and family history. The second is by visually inspecting one’s face, body and especially the tongue. The concentration is placed on the coating, color and any demarcations on the tongue. The third is by listening to one’s voice and the sound of one’s breathing as well as any odors emanating from their body or excretions. The fourth method is by palpation. They palpate various parts of the body and also take pulses on both sides of the wrists. Incorporating all four of these methods, the practitioner can determine the pattern of disharmony and re-balance the body.
If the body has too much of something; environmental toxins, external pathogens, physical or emotional trauma or inadequate nutrition this could lead to an obstructions of the smooth flow of Qi in the meridians. This is turn can cause stagnation and create areas of excess in some parts of the body and areas of deficiency in others. Through the insertion of fine, thin, sterile stainless steel needles in selective points, along the meridians, acupuncture can stimulate the body’s own healing response by dispersing any blockages or accessing reservoirs to replenish exhausted energy, thus helping to restore natural balance and helping to treat and prevent disease. Acupuncture as well as cupping or moxibustion may be employed. In addition, an emphasis on diet and lifestyle is also discussed.