There are a few ideas floating around about the basic theory of Acupuncture and why it works. From my perspective, I don’t care about opinion or who’s right or who’s wrong, rather I’m interested in what makes sense and gets the best result for the patient.
With that in mind, I want to humbly clarify a few things:
The conecpt of “Qi”
“Qi” as it is defined by the vast majority of Acupuncturists is likely incorrect. The most accurate definition I have found from Chinese to English is “vital vapor”…by which I believe they meant “Qi” is, in fact, oxygen! No kidding. It’s a controversial in this country to say such a thing; but likely very accurate, which is all that matters clinically.
The following is a book that outlines the misunderstanding nicely, after which you can make your own judgement on this topic: http://www.amazon.com/Dao-Chinese-Medicine-Understanding-Ancient/dp/0195921046. Interestingly, it seems a Jesuit priest in the 1600’s or so completely mistook information he picked up in China and released his interpretation in Europe, which involved “merdians such as those on a globe.” Thus began what I have seen to be a complicated view of a simple medicine, which seems to involve, in essence, driving blood (with oxygen, nutrients and hormones) into a diseased/imbalanced part of the body to allow healing to occur.