One of the fundamental beliefs of traditional Chinese medicine is that meridians or energy ley lines exist in the body. These meridians have actually been mapped by TCM practitioners thousands of years ago. Each meridian exists in a pair and has a number of Davis acupuncture points or acupoints running over it on the skin surface. The entre meridian network or system consists of twelve main energy vessels. Each vessel is dotted with several numerous identified acupoints. The meridians in Western medicine seem to be concepts since it hasn’t been able to prove its existence yet. They are invisible pathways which can only be “detected” by monitoring the flow of energy as well as by stimulating the acupoints.
Acupoints can vary in number with each meridian. Some meridians have dozens of points while some may have a handful. Some acupoints are clustered closely together and others can be be remotely spread across the body. They are considered gateways to help manipulate the flow of vital energy or chi inside the body.
You can compare the movement of chi in the body to the flow of a river. A river always has a source. The river flows in one direction and eventually ends to a bigger body of water usually a lake, bay sea or ocean. Its flow may often meander to places spots which either is shallow or deep. It also has points wherein its flow becomes furious and fast or tranquil and slow. Sometimes the river develops vortices that tend to drag water and everything near them into their center. A vortex can be likened to an acupoint which is an energy vortex that have the power to drag chi in or out of the energy flow of the body. It us used by the acupuncturist to manipulate the flow of chi.
Applying pressure in an acupoint will affect the meridian system and results in various kinds of physiological effects. Acupuncturists utilize this knowledge to provide treatment for any energy imbalances. Even you can see the effect of applying pressure on an acupoint by rubbing or putting pressure to an acupoint such as the temple when you have a headache and begin to feel the pain slowly relieved. Acupuncture is a more potent way of treating headaches compared to the mere massaging of the temples.
The needles used for acupuncture are not the ones you see and are used in hospitals or clinics. The acupuncture needles are non hollow and are considerably thinner than a hospital needle. It also is not intended to cause significant pain. More often than not, acupuncture needles do not cause any pain at all especially when applied by an experienced and licensed practitioner. Some believe that the acupuncturist can conduct his own chi or energy to his patient during an acupuncture session to help treat his patient.