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Oriental Medicine Terminology

To help educate the public and our patients, we've included a list of some of the most common terms used in Chinese medical care.

Meridians
The Chinese have identified a system through which energy flows in the body. Energy or "qi" flows through meridians in much the same way that blood flows through vessels.

Acupuncture point
A point on the meridian that has a specific effect on the energy of the meridian or organ system.

Organs
You will often hear acupuncturists refer to a Liver, Kidney, Spleen or other organ imbalance. These terms refer to the energetic as well as physical organ systems. For example, when acupuncturists say there is an imbalance in the Liver, they may be referring to a liver disease, an emotional imbalance, or even an eye problem. Ask you acupuncturist to clarify these terms as they relate to your condition.

Five Elements or Phases
A theory describing the interaction of energetic and physical systems in nature and in the body.

Moxibustion
The warming of acupuncture points.

Cupping
The use of suction to increase circulation in an affected area.

Electro-stimulation
The use of low voltage electricity to stimulate acupuncture needles.