Excerpt From Adventures in Chinese Medicine – Acupuncture: Understanding An Invisible Process


Acupuncture is both an art and a science. Previously, I described it as inserting fine needles into specific points along meridians in order to assist the free flow of qi. I know that this isn’t an easy idea for those of us used to Western ‘science’.

I have a wonderful analogy, borrowed from Dr. Richard Tan, that will make the concepts of acupuncture, meridians and qi clearer. Imagine an overhead light (a single bulb or fancy chandelier, whatever you prefer) and now picture the switch on the wall that turns it on and off. You don’t see the wires that connect the light to the switch but you feel confident that, when you flip the correct switch (the one corresponding to that particular light), the light will indeed go on.

Now, apply this concept to acupuncture and meridians: Think of the light bulb as your health problem and the switch as the needles and the wires that connect the two places as the invisible networks called meridians. When I insert the needles (flip correct switch) that link to meridians (wires running through the wall) sending qi (electric current) to reach the light bulb (your health problem) it changes the situation from dark to light.



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