The goal of acupuncture is to re-establish healthy body function by restoring the natural circulation of energy, or life force known in Chinese medicine as Qi. Qi is a fundamental concept of everyday Chinese culture which is simply defined as “air” or “breath” and more comprehensively as “life force” or “spiritual energy” that is part of everything that exists. Traditional Chinese medicine believes there is constant interaction between Qi of the body and Qi of the environment. Internal Qi is said to protect against harmful Qi. If Qi is weak, resistance is lowered and you may become ill. If strong, Qi acts as a defence. Along the body’s meridians, there are over 500 acupuncture points. Good Qi is thought to be restored to these areas by stimulation with needles, although occasionally massage, herbs, or suction cups may be used on these points.
Acupuncture is described as an effective form of preventive medicine because it helps detect and treat energy imbalances before they lead to disease. It can also treat specific disorders to relieve symptoms, help reduce complications and recurrences, or can be used for the maintenance treatment of a long term problem, possibly reducing the need for medication or surgery. The acupuncture practitioner takes note of your current medical history, current medications and present day complaints. Combining this information with pulse and tongue diagnosis assists the practitioner to determine a diagnosis and formulate a treatment principal through the many different traditional methods available to them.