Acupuncture points are all over the human body, and number over four hundred. The idea of acupuncture has been developed from traditional Chinese medicine, and aims to return balance to a body that has become ill due to an imbalance. It is believed that a life force called qi flows through every living thing, including us, and when that goes out of balance or the flow is blocked, then sickness can occur. The qi flows in specific patterns within the human body called meridians, and it is these meridians that acupuncture aims to restore if they are out of balance.
As well as balancing the flow of qi, practitioners of acupuncture also believe that it is important to address the balance of yin and yang within a person’s body. Yin and yang are essentially opposing forces which exist in everything – light/dark, hot/cold, near/far, etc. It is essential that these two forces are balanced within the body, and so acupuncture points are often used to address any issues that a person has in this area. However, the natural balance of a person does not mean that half of them should be yin, and the other hand yang. In fact, the natural balance of a human being’s yin-yang is actually about 2/3 yang and 1/3 yin, and the acupuncture points reflect this.
The most common method of acupuncture is to gently push needles into the body at the acupuncture points in order to re-direct the flow of qi. This may look very painful, but it is not! The point at which the needle goes in may not be close to where the sickness is, but further up the path of the meridian to sort out the flow of qi. Acupuncture points are often where nerves will enter into a muscle, the middle of a muscle, or where a muscle joins a bone.
Acupuncture points are often titled with a traditional Chinese name, as well as the meridian that they lie on and a number. This makes it possible for everyone that practises acupuncture to understand that they are discussing the same parts of the body. There are specific acupuncture points that are believed to heal certain organs or conditions, and when these points are stimulated using a needle, then the flow of qi is restored to how it should be, allowing the body to naturally heal itself.