Acupuncture has its roots in classical Chinese medicine, which was based primarily on works ascribed to three legendary emperors. Ancient Chinese cosmology states that the universe was created through the interplay of nature’ s basis duality: the active, light, dry, warm, positive, masculine yang, and the passive, dark, cold, moist, negative yin. All things are combination of these positive and negative energies. If the yin yang balance is maintained, good health, long life and a youthful physique will ensue. Disregard of this balance leads to illness.
The Chinese believed that the vital force, called ch ‘i , circulates in the body through meridians, traveling a set route between organs and systems. The meridians are either yin or yang depending upon which way chi ‘i flows. If it flows freely and correctly through each of twelve meridians, then the body is kept in balance and in good health.
If illness occurs, there are five methods of treatment according to the Nei Ching: cure the spirit, nourish the body, give medications, treat the whole body and use acupuncture. This consists of inserting needles into specific points located on the meridians. The different techniques used to manipulate the needles, once inserted, either disperse or draw energy into a meridian.
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