The philosophical framework for the practice of acupuncture is grounded in Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM). TCM offers a perspective on the nature of illness and health that is uniquely different from, and is complementary to Western Medicine. In TCM, human beings are deeply connected with all the phenomena of nature; formed from, and nourished by natures’ essential elements, influenced by its rhythms and subject to its laws of growth and change. Health can be defined as a harmonious relationship between ones’ own internal condition and ones’ external environment; there must be a balance between ones’ body/mind/spirit and ones’ relationship with nature.
In TCM theory, the human body is an energetic system in which energy (QI) flows along defined pathways (meridians) throughout the body. When the body is in harmony and balance the flow is smooth. An imbalance disrupts the flow of QI and manifests as pain, dysfunction, injury, disease and/or disorders. Acupuncture is a therapy to restore the flow of Qi to promote health and balance.
The theories of Yin and Yang, the Five Elements, Qi and the Fundamental Substances, pathogenesis and differentiation of syndromes and meridians and points provide the framework for the fundamental understanding of human health and illness and for the use of needle acupuncture, herbology, moxibustion, cupping, acupressure and other TCM modalities. The main emphasis is prevention of illness by maintaining the balance of harmony within.
Proper diagnosis in accordance with TCM theories is critical for planning and carrying out effective treatment with TCM & acupuncture techniques. By correctly identifying the pattern of the disorder according to TCM and by applying the appropriate treatment to correct imbalance, the TCM Practitioner and Acupuncturist help the patient to regain health and balance naturally. The TCM Practitioner and Acupuncturist may combine treatment with other TCM modalities such as the ingestion and topical use of herbs, dietary considerations and cultivation of a positive life philosophy and life style to enhance vitality.