Common Terminology

What is Qi?

Acupuncture, TCM and Tuina are based on the principles of harmonizing the body’s energetic system. The best way to describe Qi (pronounced chee) is as an essential life force, which travels through 12 primary meridians. However, although the organ may have a Western name, the meridian itself will be responsible for a variety of symptoms that are only relevant in Chinese medicine.

Qi travels along the 365 acu-points that exist along these meridians. Emotions, diet, lifestyle and long-term health conditions all affect the free flow of qi and can lead to disharmony and disease. Acupuncture points are needled or massaged to release the blockage, and therefore reinstate homeostasis so that the body is able to heal itself.

Yin & Yang – Two opposing, yet interrelated and interdependent elements. There is always an element of yin in yang, and vice versa. Deficiency or excess of either results in imbalance, which acupuncture aims to treat.

Stagnation – When qi gets blocked it can result in stagnation, which can manifest as pain.

Damp/phlegm – damp or phlegm can make you feel sluggish and slow. Internal heat or cold develop into damp. Damp tends to affect the genito-urinary system, and phlegm more commonly affects the lungs or heart.

Wind – this refers to the way infection or disease behaves (as it does in nature), both as in invading the body and moving within it.