We have all heard of acupuncture, but the fact of the matter is for many of us, that is all we know. We know it involves putting needles into parts of our body to help relieve our pain. But the idea of needles in itself sounds painful. This is were it gets interesting because this is not the case at all.
Acupuncture is a branch of TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine.) This approach of medicine begins with the belief that our body is a balance of two opposite yet inseparable forces – the yin and yang.
It is also believed that this applies to the entire universe. Yin represents forces such as the cold, the slow and other passive forces, while Yang represents heat, excitement and other active forces. It is a combination of these opposite forces and the balance between them that actually determines our mental and physical well-being.
Another pinnacle of TCM is the concept of energy referred to as ‘chi’ (pronounced chee). Chi is the life force of the entire universe. In the body, it is the ‘chi’ that creates and animates life. We are all born with a certain amount of energy or chi and we continually acquire it throughout our lives through the food we eat, the air we breath, the water we drink and the sunlight we take. Chi moves through our bodies in channels called meridians. The quantity and quality of this chi in our body depends on the state of our mental and physical balance or well being as represented by yin and yang.
As a matter of fact, imbalances of the yin and yang in our bodies block the channels through which chi travels resulting in disease and ailments.