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What Is Acupuncture?

Acupuncture Meridian Pathway Chart - Figure front and back
Acupuncture, a complete medical system over 2,000 years old, has helped millions of people become well and stay well.  It promotes natural healing by enhancing recuperative power and immunity, supporting physical and emotional health, and improving overall function and well-being.

How does Acupuncture Work?

We can explore its mechanism through the lens of both TCM and Western medicine.

Western biomedicine has discovered that acupuncture points are located near or above nerve bundles.  Stimulating the points with needles is believed to trigger the brain to release endorphins that reduce pain and promote relaxation.

From a TCM perspective, there are 12 main pathways or meridians in the body.  Qi (pronounced “chee”), or vital energy, flows in the meridians throughout the body.  Acupuncture points are located at specific areas along the meridians, and each point has a particular effect on the Qi that passes through it.  Qi is believed to maintain balance in the body, and when it is disrupted the result can be pain and illness.  Trauma, prolonged illness, stress, seasonal changes are some factors that disrupt the flow of Qi in the body.  A person’s health is influenced by the quality, quantity and balance of Qi.

Blockage of the flow of Qi can be detrimental to a person’s health and leads to various signs and symptoms or health concerns.

What does an acupuncturist do?

During the initial exam a full health history is taken. Questions are asked regarding health, symptoms and lifestyle. An appropriate physical exam is conducted, including pulse and tongue diagnosis.

Gathering this information enables the practitioner to effectively diagnose and detect any specific imbalances of Qi that may have contributed to a person’s health problems. The practitioner can then create a well-structured treatment plan.

Once the imbalances of Qi are detected, an acupuncturist will place single-use, thin, sterile needles at specific acupoints along meridian pathways. This safe and painless insertion of the needles can unblock the obstruction and balance Qi where it has become unbalanced. Once this is done, Qi can freely circulate throughout the body, providing adequate nourishment to cells, organs, glands, tissues and muscles. This can eliminate pain and restore balance and harmony, as well as the body’s ability to heal itself—ultimately leading to optimal health and well-being.

Acupuncture and Chinese medicine are safe, effective and drug-free therapies that can help address a wide variety of common ailments and problems.


FREE 30 minute consultations are available to discuss any questions you may have about acupuncture and your health needs in a calm, relaxed environment.  No obligation consultations are always complementary.

Serving Hilo, Puna, and East Hawai‘i.

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