What You Should Know About Acupuncture

One of a number of treatment used in traditional Chinese medicine, acupressure involves applying pressure to precise points on the body to improve the flow of vital energy. Acupuncture applies needles to the same points. The first medical textbook written on acupuncture was the yellow emperor's classic of internal medicine published a long time ago, but there is archaeological evidence that acupuncture has been practiced in China for at least three thousand five hundred years.

It is still practiced there alongside conventional medicine and is increasingly popular in the west. An orthodox doctor may concentrate on the diseased or ailing part of the body, but a practitioner of this medicine views a patient holistically, taking into account his or her physical, emotional and mental state, as well as specific aches and pains. In Chinese medicine, the body is believed to possess a network of invisible pathways called meridians, along which courses a form of energy, vital force or subtle breath.

The concept of a vital energy pervading all things is fundamental to many oriental systems of medicine, which maintain that as long as this energy flows freely, you remain healthy. When the energy becomes sluggish or stagnant, blocking the meridians, you fall ill. For perfect health you should be mentally and physically in harmony. Emotional as well as physical disturbance create disharmonies in the body.

Equally important is the belief that the energy should not only be balanced in your body but it should also be in harmony with the energies in the universe. This means that you are in harmony with nature and in tune with the seasons.