The use of acupuncture points has long been a part of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), reflecting a deeply held belief about the flow of energy through the human body.
This universal life energy, or Qi, flows along meridians, just below the skin. In ancient times it was believed that there were 365 acupuncture points, reflecting the number of days in the year.
These acupuncture points were mapped to the 14 major meridian lines - one meridian line for each of the 12 major organs, one along the spine (the governing vessel), and the final one along the centre line of the abdomen (the conception vessel).
Modern therapists, however, have identified a growing number of acupuncture points, especially on the outer ears, the nose, the scalp, the hands, the feet, and the wrists and ankles.
Despite this, most treatment still focuses on the traditional meridians and the locations identified thousands of years ago. Indeed, a lot of treatment will return again and again to certain key locations because of their proven effectiveness.
By inserting needles into these key locations, the skilled therapist can unblock the flow of Qi and help the body to begin its own healing process. The goal at all times is to respect the essential theory of balance, so that sometimes a particular location might be chosen simply to keep the flow of Qi in balance.
If you have any questions about how this works, your therapist should be more than happy to explain it to you.