Acupuncture 101 – from Ancient China to SF Bay Area to Your Body

Acupuncturist's Tools
Acupuncturist’s Tools

As the word acupuncture continues to gain momentum in the western medical community and in the general public alike, there are some who may still be wondering what acupuncture is all about and how it works.

Origins of Acupuncture

Acupuncture dates back to thousands of years ago, at least 5,000 years to be exact.  It originated in Ancient China and its popularity has spread out to other countries over the centuries including the United States.

The practice of acupuncture includes placing very fine needles in specific areas of the body to elicit a response whereby the “qi” or vital force energy is regulated and balanced.

This response  of “qi” flowing smoothly throughout the body is what reduces pain and other ailments over time.

What Does Balancing “Qi” Mean?

Some may still scratch their head wondering what this really means. Take for example, the case of a traffic jam on a busy highway like 101 N heading to San Francisco.

Someone’s speeding because they’re late for work and accidentally collides into another car thus, rolling over and blocking the middle two lanes.

At first, traffic comes to a stand still at the moment of impact.  Eventually some cars are able to move around the accident, being able to slowly pass through or around the area of chaos.

Those involved in the accident are stuck there until help arrives.

Meanwhile, more and more cars are piling up miles further down as traffic funnels through the accident zone, eventually leading to little or no movement until paramedics and law enforcement personnel arrive to assess the scene and eventually remove the obstacle–the rolled car in the middle lanes.

Minutes or even hours may pass before the normal flow of traffic is resumed.  The faster help arrives, the faster normal flow is obtained.

When Your Qi Gets in a Traffic Jam

Now imagine this same scenario going on in your body.  Traffic is supposed to run smoothly everywhere.

The highway is like your veins, arteries and such, flowing smoothly to maintain balance at any given time.

The rolled up car in the middle of the highway is a blockage in your body as a result of stress, sleep deprivation, poor nutrition choices and late of exercise.  Qi or “vital energy force” is likened to traffic or the rest of the cars/drivers on the highway needing to get to their destination.

If the “blockage” doesn’t get removed soon, the flow gets backed up and/or diverted elsewhere which, eventually leads to other problems such as pain, depression, digestive disorders, skin disorders, wrinkles, you name it.

Homeostasis or balance can only occur when the “rolled car” is removed so that the “flow of traffic” is resumed.

How a Qualified Acupuncturist Can Help

Through a thorough exam, an acupuncturist can accurately place needles in the problem area to remove the blockage and restore flow/balance to the body.

This is why acupuncture is so powerful and important!

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