goal of acupuncture is to establish healthy body function by restoring
the natural circulation of energy, or life force known in Chinese
medicine as Qi. (This is pronounced as "chee" and is also commonly spelt as ch'i, chi or ki).
Qi is a fundamental
concept of everyday Chinese culture, most often defined as "air"
or "breath" and, by extension, "life force" or "spiritual
energy" that is part of everything that exists.
pathways through which this vital energy flows are known as meridians.
According to Chinese
medical tradition, theres constant interchange between the Qi of
the body and the Qi of the environment: external Qi, which can be
good or harmful. Within the body, Qi is said to perform several
functions, one of which is protection against harmful Qi. If this
protective Qi is strong, it acts as a defence. If it is weak, resistance
is lowered and you may become ill.
Along the bodys
meridians, there are over 500 acupuncture points. Good Qi is thought
to be restored to these areas by stimulation for example with needles,
although occasionally massage, herbs, or suction cups may be used
on these points.
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