Western medical studies continue to reveal what it already known about acupuncture: that it is an effective method of treating pain, boosting immunity, and calming emotional suffering. For example, one study examined cerebrospinal fluid of patients after acupuncture treatment and discovered higher levels of endorphins**. Endorphins are endogenous opioid peptides that have the same mechanism of action as opioid painkillers (such as morphine). This is one explanation for acupunctures’ pain-fighting abilities.
TCM is based on the concept of ‘life energy’ or ‘Qi’ that flows throughout the body on channels known as meridians*. Qi is responsible for all physical processes of the body, and must flow freely throughout the body for good health. Disorder, pain, and disease result when Qi is deficient, excessive, or blocked for whatever reason. Acupuncture works to restore the healthy balance of Qi in order to help patients regain natural harmony and overall good health. Another central concept of TCM involves the opposing forces of Yin and Yang. Yin and Yang govern the organs; they must remain balanced for good health.