Chinese medicine is based on an energetic model rather than the biochemical model of Western medicine. The ancient Chinese recognized a vital energy behind all life forms and based their medical practices around it. They called this energy Qi (pronounced chee). In the process of understanding the prevention and cure of disease, Ancient Chinese healing practitioners discovered that this energy flows in pathways, or meridians. Each meridian is associated with particular physiological system and organ. Disease is considered to arise due to an imbalance of energy in the meridians and their associated physiological systems.
Acupuncture points are specific locations along these meridians. Each point has an effect on the vital energy running through it. Modern science has been able to measure the electrical charge at these points, thus confirming the meridians that were mapped out by the ancient Chinese.
Traditional Chinese medicine uses an intricate system of pulse and tongue diagnoses, palpations of points and meridians, patient medical history, and other signs and symptoms to create a medical diagnosis. A treatment plan is then created with the aim of re-establishing balance and restoring optimal health.