Chinese Medicine is the oldest, most commonly used system of healing in the world. Having originated in China over 3,000 years ago, it has only in the last three decades become popular in the United States. In 1993, the Food and Drug Administration estimated that Americans made up to 12 million visits per year to acupuncture practitioners. It is likely that more people have been treated by Chinese Medicine throughout history than by any other formalized system of medicine.
Traditional Chinese medicine holds that there are as many as 2,000 acupuncture points on the human body, which are connected by 20 pathways (12 main, 8 secondary) called meridians. These meridians conduct energy, or qi (pronounced "chi"), between the surface of the body and its internal organs. Each point has a different effect on the qi that passes through it. Qi is believed to help regulate balance in the body. It is influenced by the opposing forces of yin and yang, which represent opposing energy and forces in the universe and human body. Acupuncture is believed to keep the balance between yin and yang, thus allowing for the normal flow of qi throughout the body and restoring health and harmony to the body, mind and spirit.