Acupuncture is a holistic approach to health based on over 2,000 years of development and refinement in China . The tradition is as much about the maintenance of health as the management of disease. Although sometimes described merely as a means of pain relief, traditional acupuncture is actually used to treat people with a wide range of illnesses. Its focus is on improving the overall wellbeing of the patient, rather than the isolated treatment of specific symptoms.
The ancient Chinese believed that there is a universal life energy called Chi or Qi present in every living creature. Qi moves in a smooth and balanced way through a series of meridians (channels) beneath the skin. As long as this energy flows freely throughout the meridians, health is maintained, but once the flow of energy is blocked, the system is disrupted and pain and illness occur. The flow of Qi can be disturbed by many factors, physical, mental and emotional: anxiety, stress, anger, fear or grief, poor nutrition, weather conditions, hereditary factors, infections, poisons and trauma. Acupuncture works to "re-program" and restore normal functions by stimulating certain points on the meridians in order to free up the Chi energy.
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