Acupuncture is a technique within traditional Chinese medicine which uses needles inserted at specific points on the body. Acupuncture points are on channels relating to the Chinese medicine concept of organ systems. The idea of stimulating these points is to restore balance to the organ systems.
The same points can also be stimulated with acupressure, applying pressure to the points with the fingers, and moxibustion, which is a way of gently heating the points using a traditional moxa stick.
Traditional Chinese medicine is about gaining a flexible perspective on the dynamic texture of a person’s life. For the Chinese medicine practitioner, the first goal, after asking questions about the patient’s history, is to organise signs and symptoms into an emblematic image. Any description of imbalance allows the practitioner to reflexively consider a suitable clinical response. Any label, or diagnosis, is understood to be a set of words that allows discourse between patient and physician. It is different to a clinical diagnosis using the Western biomedical approach, as the patient may find it easier to understand the therapeutic intention without an in-depth knowledge of anatomy, physiology and biochemistry.