"Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) is one of the oldest medical practices, and some evidence suggests that it dates as far back as 5,000 years. The ancient Chinese developed this unique medical system through careful and diligent study of the body, mind, emotions, spirit, and the natural world around them. This system is based on the idea that pathways of energy, or "qi", run in regular patterns through the body and over its surface. These channels are called meridians and they flow like rivers through the body to irrigate and nourish the tissues. An obstruction in the movement of these energy rivers is like a dam that backs up, creating imbalance and pain. Energy can also become depleted as a result of stress, overwork, chronic illness, etc., and this may cause the water in the stream to dry up and eventually stop flowing.More generally, acupuncture needles are used as conductors, and when placed in specific areas that have increased conductivity, they can tap into the various energy pathways to correct imbalances and clear blockages. Acupuncture works with the body"s innate ability to heal itself; once pathways have been unblocked, the body"s natural healing response can take place. Every individual is made up of a unique combination of constitution, health history, family, environment, diet, emotions, beliefs, thought patterns and so on, therefore every treatment is specifically tailored to you as a whole being."