What is acupuncture?
Acupuncture may be defined as the stimulation of a specific point on the body with a specific method, resulting in a therapeutic homeostatic effect. The specific point on the body is called "Shu-xu" or acupuncture point (acupoint). The ancient chinese people discovered 361 acupoints in human beings and 173 acupoints in animals.
Modern research shows that acupoints are located in the areas where there is a high density of free nerve endings, mast cells, small arterioles, and lymphatic vessels. Most acupoints are motor points. A great number of studies indicate that stimulation of acupoints induce release of beta-endorphin, serotonin, and other neurotransmitters. Therefore, acupuncture for pain relief is well supported by these scientific studies. As more studies are conducted, the mechanism of this ancient therapy will be better understood.
Vital Energy or Qi
The ancient Chinese discovered that the health of the body depends on the state of Qi (pronounced chee). Qi is the life force or vital energy of all living things. There are two opposite forms of Qi: Yin and Yang. Physiologically, Qi flows throughout the body 24 hours per day, maintaining a balance of Yin and Yang. When the flow of Qi is interrupted by any pathological factor the balance of Yin and Yang will be lost and consequently dis-ease may occur.
Pain is interpreted as the blockage of Qi flow (or no free flow of Qi). Acupuncture stimulation resolves this blockage, freeing the flow of Qi and enabling the body to heal itself. Homeostasis is restored when Yin and Yang Qi are in balance.