In Chinese medicine there is a universal life energy called Qi (pronounced “Chi”) present in every living creature. This energy is said to circulate throughout the body along specific pathways that are called meridians. As long as this energy flows freely throughout the meridians, health is maintained, but once the flow of energy is blocked, the system is disrupted and pain and illness occur. The goal of acupuncture and Chinese herbs is to restore normal functions by stimulating certain points on the meridians in order to restore the flow of Qi. Acupuncture is an ancient healing art that has been practiced for thousands of years. It has its roots deeply planted in China and Taoism. Receiving acupuncture from a trained professional is very safe. As Jeffrey Grossman, L.Ac describes, “acupuncture needles are approximately the size of a cat’s whiskers” and they do not cause trauma as they do not have the cutting edge like the hypodermic needle used to draw blood.
Different Styles of Acupuncture
Traditional Chinese (TCM)
Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) is the most common form of acupuncture studied and practiced in the United States and Canada. Naturopathic Physicians learn Classical TCM theory and acupuncture at school. The main focus in this style is to promote balance to the body, no matter what the condition is. If one is balanced, then their physical, mental, emotional, and even spiritual well-being is optimally functioning.
Japanese style acupuncture takes a more subtle route than TCM. Fewer and thinner needles are used with less stimulation. Japanese acupuncture is also called Classical Acupuncture. It really focuses on applying laws of the Five Element Theory.
When a Western Doctor or chiropractor performs Acupuncture; it is defined as Medical Acupuncture. Medical Acupuncture’s main goal is the cessation of pain, or pain management. Acupuncture points are selected to yield neurological responses to block pain. Many times electric simulations added to the needles at a specific setting to act as a nerve block.