Acupuncture — What’s it all about?

Acupuncture. What’s it all about? I got asked this at a party over Christmas and I thought actually, this is a good question. I started by saying that acupuncture aims at ensuring a smooth flow of qi through the body and a balance of yin and yang.

Blank stare. “oh”.

Ok. Let’s strip this down. Put it in a nutshell so to speak. What we are really talking about is the circulation of the blood.

You need to get the nutrients, the oxygen, the defensive substances — all the things that the body needs — around the body and to all the internal organs, the muscles, the glands, the bones, the sensory system, the skin. Everywhere. In the quantities needed. In addition, the blood transports metabolic waste for disposal. This is health. In health the body, the mind and spirit are in balance. This is how things should be.

An acupuncturist starts with a very simple idea. The body, the mind and the spirit “know” how to be in health. They have just got stuck for some reason. The simple idea is that if you can give them an appropriate nudge they will fix themselves. The blood will circulate. We look for the kinks in the hose. We look for the parts of the system that are stuck and we use our needles to give that nudge. That is pretty much what we do.

We take pulses and look at tongues. We ask lots of questions. We may examine your ear. We are looking for clues, so we can make a diagnosis.

All we are trying to do is figure out how to administer the right nudges to get everything back into a balance so the blood circulation flows, so that everything works, and health is restored.

Chinese medicine can sound very complex. We talk about yin and yang and qi, but it is really as simple as finding the right nudge.