How Does Acupuncture Work?
Wherever there is pain or dysfunction, there is stagnation and/or deficiency in the channel flow. By accessing the qi flow through circuits, we can move the stagnation. This improves health, reduces pain and relaxes the nervous system.
The 12 main channels of qi are organized in a circuit that looks a bit like a parallel electric circuit with three branches. There are an additional 8 extraordinary channels that have powerful effects. However, with the balance method, we will discuss the 12 main channels associated with organ function as they flow in a circuit that can be mapped on a 24-hour clock. Each channel is most active for 2 hours of the 24 in a day.
1. Each branch of the circuit starts in the chest with a yin channel that moves out the inner arm to the fingers.
2. Then a yang channel flows from the fingers back up the outer arm to the head.
3. At the head, the circuit switches to another yang channel and travels down the legs to the toes.
4. The current returns to the chest by a yin channel flowing up from the toes, legs, and torso.
Acupuncture is anatomical medicine.
By using the acupuncture channels, we can address one area of the body in different areas by using an anatomical mapping system.
Because of this holographic nature of the body, to treat anywhere on the torso or head, we can use acupuncture points on the legs and arms. Since the whole channel is connected, we can influence the face at many points along the channels.
To visualize how the circuit works, think of turning on a light via a switch on the wall. Although you aren't touching the light bulb, your action affects the circuit, which turns on the light.
To better understand the holistic system of the body, imagine your garden at home. Your plants need water and nutrients to grow. Now imagine a climate with no rain. The only water the plants receive is from you. If you're watering your garden using a hose, and your hose kinks, what happens to the garden? It will eventually die.
The same thing happens in the body. We need our qi, blood, oxygen, and nutrients to get to every cell in the body or we have problems. The body’s way of signaling the problem to you is through health symptoms. So if acupuncture meridians are like the important nurturing hose, you can see why it's so important to unblock the stagnation.
Following this analogy, it is easiest to unkink the hose (or unblock the qi channel) at the opposite end of the channel. When you attempt to unkink a hose at the blocked section, the high pressure can make it almost impossible. When you go to the opposite end of the hose and whip it, the hose straightens out and water resumes.
Similarly, in acupuncture, we commonly needle the opposite end of the channel with the stagnation to get the desired results. This is why we put needles in your feet and hands when we are addressing symptoms showing up on your face.