Acupuncture and East Asian Medicine is a culmination of thousands of years of observation and study. Originating in China over 2500 years ago, it has evolved into a system of medicine that includes several styles and techniques from many nations including China, Japan, and Korea. At the root of this medicine is an extensive herbal pharmacopeia used to treat many diseases and disorders that affect our modern society.
Commonly known in the United States as Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine, this medicine is based upon the theories of Yin and Yang and their complimentary yet opposing traits. Yin is seen as solid matter, it has the property of being cool and dark, and is likened to the moon (darkness) and Earth (solid matter). Yang is seen as active energy, it has the property of being warm and bright, and is likened to the sun or heavens.
It is said that our human existence and experience is based upon the combination of these two forces. That the Yang of heaven comes down and combines with the Yin or solid matter of the Earth; where these two energies meet is the perfect culmination of the human experience, half spirit and energy, half matter and form.
The meridians, or energy pathways, mirror this. With the anatomical position being with the hands raised above the head, the yang meridians begin at the top of the body and stretch down to the feet to connect to the yin of the Earth. The yin meridians begin at the bottom of the body, starting at the feet and traveling upwards, moving through the body to connect to the yang energy of the sky or heaven.
The Yin meridians are found on the whiter, softer skin of the body: the chest, belly, underarms, inner legs, and the inside and bottoms of the feet. The yang meridians travel along the darker or tanned portions of your body: the head, back, and tops of the arms, legs and feet. These pathways have associated organs or structures that are accessed through acupuncture points. The energy from the meridians surface at these points and act like routes or channels to the energy and function of both the yin/yang aspect of the body as well as the organ system they are associated with. These points can be activated through the insertion of needles that are manually or electrically stimulated, or with acupressure. Points can also be influence through “puncturing” with sound, light, color, heat, or with universal energy as practiced in Qi Gong.