Acupuncture has been around for thousands of years, but only became popular in North America in the 1970’s. There are many variations of acupuncture but the two distinct forms are referred to as classical acupuncture and modern acupuncture.
Classical acupuncture has many origins but the most commonly referred form is a component of Traditional Chinese Medicine otherwise known as TCM. There are a 361 TCM acupuncture points that are located on 14 different meridians. Meridians are like rivers that interconnect different parts of the body. Some examples are the liver meridian and bladder meridian. It is said that within each meridian circulates Qi. In TCM Qi, pronounced “chee” is the body’s life energy that supports the activities required to sustain life. Acupuncture points are specific points located on meridians close to the surface of the body. These points are comparable to adjustment valves, and they enable the practitioner to manipulate and regulate Qi. A true TCM practitioner will usually diagnose with different methods than we are used to in western medicine, and will use acupuncture points that are in different areas to where your complaint is (ie. Hand points for neck pain). However, due to acupuncture’s recent popularity in North America, specific TCM points have been identified as being effective for many western conditions such as muscle strains, hemorrhoids, neck pain, menstrual pain etc. Now western practitioners can use TCM points without diagnosing with TCM methods.