The classic Chinese explanation of acupuncture is based on the concept that the body is full of special energy known as qi. This energy flows in channels (meridians) throughout the body and over its skin. These meridians flow qi through every organ and tissue of the body, supplying the life force necessary for our bodies to conduct all of the processes necessary for life.
From the perspective of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), the unobstructed flow of adequate amounts of qi is necessary for good health. If an obstruction or stagnation occurs in any of the meridians, the qi is disrupted and does not flow properly. When the qi cannot flow smoothly, the body's natural harmony is disrupted and illness results.
Acupuncture points are specific points on the meridians where the qi is concentrated and accessible. By inserting needles at these points, acupuncture engages the qi and restores the proper flow. As the body regains its natural flow, well-being returns.
The vast majority of western research on acupuncture focuses on the simple question of whether or not acupuncture really does work. Over and over, and for a wide variety of health conditions, the research shows that acupuncture does have a genuine healing effect on the body.