The theory behind acupuncture is complex and rich in detail, however is quite easy to understand. The idea of acupuncture is based on Qi. Qi is described as a form of energy force that consists of all essential life activities, which include the spiritual, emotional, mental and the physical aspects of life. A person’s health is influenced by the flow of Qi and the union of yin and yang in the body.
According to Chinese medical theory, Qi is circulated in all components of the body via energy channels, called meridians. The energy flow is more or less almost like the circulatory system and nervous system. Each meridian exists in a corresponding pair and has many acupuncture points along its path. The meridian system consists of twelve main channels. These meridians conduct qi between the surface of the body and its internal organs.
The underlying principle is that illness and pain occur when the body's qi cannot flow freely. The body's energy meridians can become obstructed, in much the same way as a trapped nerve or blocked artery. This can be for any number of reasons such as emotional and physical stress, poor nutrition, infection, or injury.
By inserting ultra-fine, sterile needles into specific acupuncture points, a traditional acupuncturist seeks to re-establish the free flow of qi to restore balance and trigger the body's natural healing response.
Qi is believed to help regulate balance in the body. It is influenced by the opposing forces of yin and yang, which represent positive and negative energy and forces in the universe and human body. Acupuncture is believed to keep the balance between yin and yang, thus allowing for the normal flow of qi throughout the body and restoring health to the mind and body.