The Chinese use the term “jing luo”, meaning channels, or meridians. According to the school of acupuncture these are invisible channels carrying Qi (energy) through the body. The acupuncture points are areas where the Qi in the meridians approach the surface. There are 12 main meridians, 6 yin and 6 yang, and many extra meridians, which form an intricate network of energy channels throughout the body. Each of the main meridians is linked to a vital organ or a bodily function, i.e. lung, spleen, stomach or small intestine, and their energy can be influenced by needling acupuncture points.

There are also 8 extra meridians. These act as reservoirs feeding the 12 main meridians with Qi and Blood. In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) the notion is that these are closely linked to the Kidney-energy.

Along these meridians there are in excess of 400 acupuncture points as classified by WHO. (There are up to 2000 points that can be used depending on the method of treatment.) These are identified by name, number and which meridian they belong to.

When Qi circulates freely the body is in balance. If the energy stagnates, is blocked or weakened, this can result in physical, mental or emotional poor health. An imbalance in the body can be the result of an emotional overreaction such as; excitement, strong anger, self pity, grief and anxiety. External factors that influence our health can be cold, humidity, wind, drought and heat. Additional factors may be poor diet, overexertion, or generally being overworked.

In order to restore balance in the body the therapist will treat different acupuncture points. Should you suffer from i.e. stagnant Qi the therapist will choose points that will stimulate the energy to move through, should Qi be weakened the therapist will strengthen it, etc. In this way, the acupuncturist is able to effectively balance the system of energy and heal the patient, or stop the condition from developing further. The acupuncture points the therapist chooses will not necessarily be in the same locality as the problem area.