Acupuncture works through the activation of “points” along pathways called acupuncture meridians. There are twelve primary acupuncture meridians that flow throughout the body covering all major areas on the torso, arms, and legs. These acupuncture meridians flow from one into another, coupled together like the two ends of a hose.
These paths ensure an even flow of a substance throughout all areas of the body. This substance that is circulated is referred to as chi, which translates loosely as energy. When this energy circulates evenly throughout these pathways it positively affects the more substantive tissues surrounding it like bones, muscles, and connective tissue.
This energy is thought to provide these tissues with the vitality and motive force they need to do their functions like waste elimination, repair, and growth, among others. When the chi is flowing properly and these processes are in turn happening, the organism is healthy.
Acupuncture points are locations along a meridian where the energy in that meridian coalesces and can be accessed and affected. An effect to the point is done through stimulation with very tiny, stainless steel, pre-sterilized needles inserted precisely into a defined location. There is no medication on the needle, and stimulation of the point is done simply by the application of mechanical action. Heat, or a slight electrical micro-current can be applied to the needle. Each of these affect the point in different ways, ultimately helping the energy move in a more balanced way along the meridian.
Depending on the intention of a given treatment, six to twelve points are typically stimulated in one session.