How Acupuncture and Moxibustion Works

Traditional Theory

Acupuncture was developed on the understanding that there are twelve main channels, or “regular meridians” running vertically across and throughout the human body connecting the internal organs. It is a tenet of acupuncture that Qi flows along these meridian lines. Qi is somewhat equivalent to the western idea of vitality or life-force.

The operating philosophy of traditional acupuncture is that disease is caused by interrupted energy flow at specific points on the body’s surface. Acupuncture thus involves the insertion of a needle(s) at the affected point(s) in order to stimulate Qi flow and harmonize energy flow in the body.

Acupuncture Meridians

The operating philosophy of traditional acupuncture is that disease is caused by interrupted energy flow at specific points on the body’s surface.

Acupuncture Meridians

"Chinese medicine suggests that good health requires a balance of forces in the body. Illnesses, pain and discomfort arise when the flow is blocked. The primary therapeutic intent of traditional acupuncture is to remove these blockages and restore the proper balance. The acupuncturist inserts hair thin needles into the skin at acupuncture points distributed along meridians, or channels, along which the Qi flows. Points used may be local or distal to the site of the complaint."

WHO Standard International Acupuncture Nomenclature

he 14 Main Meridians:

lung meridian (LU)

large intestine meridian (LI)

stomach meridian (ST)

spleen meridian (SP)

heart meridian (HT)

small intestine meridian (SI)

bladder meridian (BL)

kidney meridian (KI)

pericardium meridian (PC)

triple energizer meridian (TE)

gallbladder meridian (GB)

liver meridian (LR)

governor vessel (GV)

conception vessel (CV)

Read More

Acupuncture Cannels
Acupuncture chart

Standard Acupuncture Point Locations?

Quest for the Acupuncture Point – WHO Standardized Locations

Tim H. Tanaka, Ph.D.
Director, The Pacific Wellness Institute
Visiting Research Fellow, Acupuncture and Moxibustion Division, Tsukuba University of Technology

August 28 2008

Physiological Effects of Acupuncture

Effect of Acupuncture on Local Blood Flow

Our circulatory system maintains efficient delivery of oxygen and nutrients to our organs and tissues, as well as the removal of metabolic waste. Disturbance of blood flow to our major arteries and vital organs can result in serious health consequences.

Flare response by acupuncture
Human pupils

Autonomic Nervous System

Findings from Recent Research

Tim H. Tanaka PhD.

May 2010

A new study entitled “Is There Any Difference in Human Pupillary Reaction When Different Acupuncture Points Are Stimulated?” examined the effect of different acupuncture points by measuring the size of research participants’ pupils (the black central part of the eye) using infrared pupillography (Mori, Tanaka, et al.).