Acupuncture is one of the key components of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) and traditionally it has been used to maintain health. By keeping the body in balance it can prevent disease, or when an imbalance occurs, it can help return the body back to homeostasis. This is achieved by using the acupuncture needles to stimulate what is known as "Qi" in Chinese medicine. Qi is thought to be the energy that flows throughout the body, following pathways called "meridians". These meridians encompass the entire body, from the most superficial to the deepest layers. When the Qi is stuck or not moving properly, this creates an imbalance of energy, and disease is able to take over. You can think of meridians and the Qi that flows through it like water flowing through a hose. If there are no kinks in the hose, the water is able to flow freely from one end to the other. If you squeeze it, the water stops flowing and it gets backed up. Our goal as acupuncturists is to maintain this natural flow of Qi and allow it to nourish the body, maintaining balance otherwise known as health.