This is a very brief outline of acupuncture theory. There are many books that cover the theory behind acupuncture in more depth. This is meant as a general informational page about the theory that your acupuncturist may use when treating you as a patient.
Acupuncture is an ancient form of healing that originated on the Asian continent thousands of years ago. It is based on the tao, which is a philosophical theory of life. Acupuncture strives to help the person maintain the balance of qi and of yin and yang.
What is qi?
Qi is what flows through the body. It is like the energy system of the body. Hence, you hear terms like energy medicine or energetic medicine. Any type of medicine that is really an energy medicine is working with qi. Qi is not something that Western Science currently has the ability to measure.
What is yin and yang?
Yin is the feminine or quiet energy. It is nurturing and watery. It is our cooling energy. It is more earthy. Bodily fluids like blood and saliva are yin. Nighttime is considered yin time. Yin gives us form.
Yang is the active or masculine energy. It is what makes us move and keeps us moving. Yang is fiery and warming. It is more of the air . Our spirit is considered yang. Daytime is considered yang time.
How do we balance yin and yang?
Because yin and yang are pairs of opposites, sometimes one side becomes more prominent than the other polarity and they need to be balanced. We are each prone, by lifestyle and by genetics, to certain types of imbalances. Acupuncture can help.
Another way for the two to become out of balance is through a trauma, such as a car accident. This can block the flow of qi and then some areas get too much qi and other areas, not enough.
Acupuncturists use needles to move the qi where it needs to go. They also move qi out of areas where there is too much. They can also balance the yin and yang qi of the body so that it works more harmoniously.