The Theory Behind Acupuncture

The Flow of Chi and the Acupuncture Channels

One of the fundamental concepts of acupuncture and Chinese medicine is chi, the primary force in the universe that flows through everything, including us. In our bodies it travels along regular pathways called channels or meridians, nourishing all of our tissues, passing through all of our internal organs, and weaving us into a unified whole. The acupuncture points are spots on these channels where the chi comes closest to the surface and can be tapped with specialized acupuncture needles. The smooth flow of chi all over the body is absolutely essential for health and healing. Please click here for more information about chi.

5 Elements

Chi and the Emotions

The flow of chi is essential not only for our physical health but for our emotional health as well. In Chinese medicine, these two things are completely intertwined and an imbalance in one can cause symptoms in the other. All emotions are seen as valid and appropriate; it is only when they are out of proportion to the circumstances that they may become an issue. Chi is supposed to flow along regular pathways called channels, but different emotional imbalances can disrupt this flow in different ways. Please click here for more information about chi and the emotions.

The Theory of Yin and Yang

Yin and yang are ancient Daoist philosophical concepts that describe the universe and everything in it as being divisible into two principal categories that balance and complement each other. In nature, examples of this include night and day, moon and sun, winter and summer, valley and mountain, ocean and desert. Within our bodies, yin and yang are reflected in things like the balance of cold and heat, dryness and moisture, activity and rest, and in the interdependent relationship between our mind and body. At its core, the theory of yin and yang expresses the true nature of all phenomena as it continually shifts and cycles in and out of phase. Please click here for more information about yin and yang.

Five Organ Systems

In Chinese medicine, there are only five systems in the body, also known as the five elements or the five transformations. Every system is connected to all of the others, interdependent, functioning as an essential part of the bigger whole. Because there are only five systems, everything in the body is divided up quite differently than it is in Western medicine. For example, for each system there is a corresponding pair of internal organs, as well as a tissue and a sensory function. However, there are also other correspondences for which western medicine would see no relationship, such as emotional qualities. Please click here for more information about the five systems.
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