Getting poked by needles isn’t everyone’s idea of fun, but acupuncture is different!


By now, most people are familiar with acupuncture — yes, it’s the ancient Chinese method that incorporates needles for healing. This is the description it gets, but acupuncture spans far beyond this!


At Li Qian Acupuncture in Manhattan, we provide a myriad of Chinese medicine methods to support you in your journey towards health and wellness. Today we’ll explore all that is acupuncture to give you better insight into what it is and how it may help you! 

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM)


To get a better understanding of what acupuncture is, we have to first explore Traditional Chinese Medicine. TCM stems from ancient Chinese healing practices that integrate beautifully with modern medicine — bridges and supports the whole person physically, mentally, spiritually, and emotionally. 


TCM is also unique in that both the acupuncturist and patient work together to achieve wellness — the practitioner empowers the patient to better live a life of balance. 


TCM will forever be relevant — past, present, and future — because it follows the laws of nature, and that will never go away. Chinese medicine flourished from how everything functions in deep, and sometimes invisible levels and how they all interact with the physical realm. 


TCM follows four basic principles that include:


Your body is whole. 


Every part of your body works together to create a wholeness that is all interrelated. 


You are directly connected to the world around you.


Your external environment such as the time of the season down to the time of day, directly affects how you’re going to feel. 


Your body has the ability to heal itself.


Our bodies are amazing systems that have the ability to repair and heal. 


Prevention is key.


Our bodies are unique in that they give us signals and they raise red flags when something is wrong, but it’s up to us to listen — to prevent illness. Whether this is changing our diets or letting our bodies rest and recover from a hard training session, prevention is about listening and acting.   


Now that we understand a bit more about TCM, another piece of the puzzle can be added, and that’s the concept of chi (qi) or what the Chinese refer to as our lifeforce. 


In Chinese Medicine, everything is energy or chi, and what causes health concerns is when the chi becomes blocked or stagnated. Energy flows throughout our bodies, and when it becomes unbalanced, acupressure or acupuncture can manipulate the energy to flow freely once again. 


So, what does our energy have to do with acupuncture? 


Along the entirety of our bodies, we have chi pathways and meridians that connect to both physical systems in our bodies and figurative ones as well. Stimulating points on a specific meridian correlate to the system or ailment in question and helps to unblock the energy to promote wellness.  


Moving chi or energy around can come from many Chinese medicine modalities including acupressure, acupuncture, gua sha, cupping, and Chinese herbs. 

Chinese Medicine: Acupuncture


We know now that acupuncture is a piece to the vast world that is Chinese medicine, so let’s dive deeper into this aspect of it. 

What is acupuncture?


Acupuncture implements tiny, hair-thin needles along the body into specific points. This sounds scary, but the needles are minimally invasive, and most patients don’t even know that they’ve been inserted! 


Once the needles are inserted, they stimulate a nerve-rich area that better influence our tissues, organs, glands, and other functions of our bodies. 


The idea of chi may seem a little out there for some, but this was just a way for the Chinese to explain what was happening before science and research developed a vocabulary that we use in modern medicine today. 


Acupuncture treats a wide variety of health concerns and greatly impacts our inflammation response and pain and discomfort beautifully.   


What To Expect From An Acupuncture Needle


During a typical appointment, the acupuncturist will place a series of needles along your body. They will either do this freehand or tap the needle through a hollow plastic tube. They’ll slightly adjust it and sometimes you’ll feel this in your nerves, but this is a great sign — it’s moving your chi around. 




Acupressure applies the same philosophy of acupuncture, except it’s performed without needles. In TCM, acupressure is called tuna (twee nah) and stimulates the points on the meridian through specific hand techniques. 


The important part is just to get things moving, and acupressure is beautiful in treating sports-related injuries to aid in recovery and faster healing periods.  


Acupuncture and acupressure are a part of Chinese medicine and a method for removing blocked and stagnant energy to better support wellness. Acupuncture imparts needles and acupressure uses hand techniques to stir the chi. 


Many people incorporate acupuncture to support their wellness in their journey towards optimal health — it’s a great way to find natural and drug-free relief from a variety of health issues. 

To learn more about what Manhattan acupuncture clinic or to schedule an appointment, connect with us today!