Early Chinese physicians discovered that there is an energy network transversing just below the surface of the skin which communicates from the external to the internal organs. This energy works in harmony with the systems of the body and by painlessly applying very small needles to key points, one can experience relief of their symptoms in just a few visits.
In Traditional Eastern Medicine, the body is treated as a whole that is composed of several “systems of function”. These systems are named after specific organs though the systems and organs are not directly associated.
Health is explained as a state of balance between YIN and YANG with disease ascribed to either of these forces being unbalanced, blocked or stagnant.
Yin and Yang is explained as direct opposites. Yin is the HEART, LUNG, LIVER, SPLEEN AND KIDNEY. Yang is the SMALL INTESTINE, LARGE INTESTINE, GALL BLADDER, STOMACH AND BLADDER.
The YANG force is “chi”, a concept that is roughly translated as VITAL ENERGY. Chi is present everywhere on Earth. This is the energy that connects people with their environment.
The YIN counterpart is BLOOD, which is linked to but not identical with physical blood.
Chi flows in the system of channels called meridians. In the body, each organ is linked to a meridian. Acupuncture can affect or manipulate chi to treat a specific imbalance. Traditional Chinese Medicine uses a variety of interventions including pressure, heat and acupuncture needles applied to the body’s “acupuncture points”, to modify activity and bring the body into Harmony.
There are many meridians that channel chi/blood flow through the body, but there are 12 main Meridians which are listed here. You will notice they are named after the organs, and although they are in many ways related to those organs, many times they have nothing to do with any specific organ. For instance Spleen 6 located 1 hand width above the medial malleolus (ankle) is used for releasing water retention in the lower limbs and is also great for circulation. (Along with helping to clear the spleen.) Local pain is treated by needling the tender “ashi” points where “chi” or blood is believed to have stagnated (arthritis, sprains, strains, etc.) This is called “Surrounding the Dragon”.
There is a 2 way communication between the skin, organs, glands and tissue of the body. By stimulating certain skin points, the progress of the condition can not only be arrested but even reversed, bringing the patient back to health with normal function. What affects a meridian can affect anything along that course. Stress, hot or cold air/weather changes, drugs, alcohol, smoking excesses or deficiencies
Anything that interferes with an organ affect the Meridians unfavorably.