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Learn About Acupuncture
What is acupuncture and how does it work?
Acupuncture strengthens the body's self-healing ability by stimulating a wide range of internal healing resources including increased release of natural pain relieving substances (endorphins), anti-inflammatory changes in blood chemistry, regulation of the autonomic nervous system (decreased "fight or flight" activation), and strengthened immune system function.

Acupuncture stimulates specific points on the human body with needles to regulate this self-healing ability. The pathways of these points make up the acupuncture channels, which create a network throughout the internal and external areas of the body; the channels travel through the arms and legs and they condense into the internal organs, and regulate all of our physiological and psychological functions. 

What is the Chinese medical theory behind acupuncture?
Chinese medical philosophy recognizes that there is a close relationship between the activity and life of    
  human beings and their natural environment. Just as the health of a plant’s life
  depends on its ability to adapt to the changing seasons, our health as 
  humans depends on the way we adapt to changes in our
  external and internal environment. The acupuncture channels
  are the setting for this process; they are active from the 
  exterior surface of the body, where they play a significant role
  in protecting us from infectious external pathogens, to the
  deepest interior of the body, where they connect with internal
  organs and regulate the way that we digest food and manage
  emotions and thought processes. Specific channels and their associated
  internal organs mediate the positive and negative effects that our diet,
 emotions and environment have on our form and function. When there is a
specific pain or dysfunction, acupuncture points along the related channel can be treated to relieve pain and
restore function. The health status of the channels and their associated organs can be diagnosed from a
person’s health history, and from palpation of the channels. This diagnosis can tell us where the current
pathology is located, where it came from, and where it is going, so that we can treat current symptoms,
treat and resolve the original cause, and prevent it from recurring.

Acupuncture works by regulating the movement of Qi and blood in acupuncture channels and their associated organs, so that they can return to the form and function which is necessary to restore and maintain an individual's physical, mental and emotional health. We can regulate the movement of Qi in acupuncture channels by stimulating points that lie along the course of the channel, using acupuncture needles, and/or moxibustion, a type of heat treatment. Many of these channels connect to the internal organs, and this is why we can needle a point for example on the leg, which will have an effect on digestive function.

What is Qi?
Qi is a simple concept, but there is no direct word for word translation into the English language. Qi is the constant movement and change that defines the state of being alive. This movement requires a force and a structure for the force to act upon (this structure can range from the density of bone to the transparency of an exhaled breath), and so Qi is both the form and function of a person, and is both the motive force and the physical structure and fluids of the human body which are animated by the motive force. Qi is a way for the body to exist and function as an organizing whole, and not just the sum of its parts. In health, Qi and blood continually flow and move forward in the body in a way which is comparable to the constantly regenerating quality of nature. Acupuncture channels are the pathways by which Qi and blood move and progress. In a physical sense this ongoing movement of Qi and blood enables functions of the body such as digestion, respiration, elimination and physical mobility; and in a less substantial sense this movement entails things such as the continual flow of emotions, thoughts, memories, and the process of aging. If the movement of Qi and blood are impaired, illness may result, and injuries may be slow to heal. Many things can influence the way that Qi and blood flow, including our emotions, the weather, external traumas/injuries and pathogens, the way that we move and breathe, and the food that we eat. And of course, acupuncture!

How does acupuncture work from a Western medicine perspective?
Western medicine is still searching for a complete answer to this. It is proven that acupuncture has a regulatory effect on the immune, endocrine and nervous systems. A developing theory that has great promise and resonates strongly with the holistic nature of acupuncture has been put forth by Mae-Wan Ho, a biophysicist who describes a liquid crystalline matrix, (accounting for the way that the water molecules in our body are aligned), which permeates throughout the connective tissues and into the interior of every single cell, i.e. it is a system which has a connection to every part of the body. Dr. Ho posits that this system supports a conduction of communication that is faster than nerve conduction, and it may be physical proof of the acupuncture meridian system, which can have instantaneous effects that are unable to be explained via the nervous system.