By Kari Fields

Acupuncture has been around in China for over
5,000 years. In 1997, the FDA identified it as
a “medical device,” and since then, its ability
to treat different disease processes and medical
disorders has been more recognized and
accepted in the U.S. Although many people are
beginning to incorporate acupuncture into their
lives, how it works is still mysterious to the
general public.
There are 12 primary meridians that flow
throughout the human body. Our vital life force
– called “qi” in China – travels through these
meridians keeping our body functioning and
keeping us alive. Each meridian is connected to
our organs, and each meridian is also connected
to other meridians. This gives us a complete
matrix of energy that can be accessed and manipulated
through the placement of a needle.
The meridians that flow through the body carry
energy and nourishment to the organs and tissues
of the bodies. When there are blockages in the
meridians, areas of the body can be compromised.
Acupuncture stimulates the body’s natural ability
to heal and maintain the balance necessary for
optimal health and wellbeing.
Acupuncture is a holistic approach that treats the
physical, mental, emotional and spiritual aspects
of a being. Acupuncturists often use herbs, nutrition,
essential oils and supplements in addition
to acupuncture. This practice is called Chinese
medicine, and it can treat various health concerns
and complaints simultaneously.
For example, if a patient comes in with a headache
but is having digestive problems and trouble
sleeping, all of this can be treated with one acupuncture
treatment because often these problems
are all interrelated.
Many people are afraid to try acupuncture because
they are afraid it will hurt. While it is important
to activate a person’s qi when treating them with
acupuncture, it usually does not hurt. The activation
of qi often produces an ache, hot or moving
sensation but it’s not necessary for the needle to
hurt to produce an effect.
Kari Fields is an acupuncturist and herbalist who
practices Classical Chinese Medicine and Chinese
Herbal Medicine. She is the owner of Great Turning Healing Center in Bozeman, and is currently taking appointments there and at OZssage Therapeutic Massage and Spa
in Big Sky. Call (406) 922-2745 to schedule an