Traditional East Asian Medicine originated over 3,000 years ago. The use of acupuncture as we understand it today can be traced back to the 1st or 2nd century BCE, though there is archeological evidence of acupuncture needles dating back to the 14th century, BCE. The practice of Traditional East Asian Medicine likely came about through a mix of careful observation of the human body over thousands of years and intuited information gained by ancient Taoist masters, Qi Gong practitioners, physicians, and sages. Over time, acupuncture and herbal medicine spread throughout Asia, and various cultures brought their own unique perspective to the practice of these ancient healing arts. The name "Traditional East Asian Medicine" honors the contributions of Korea, Japan, Vietnam, and other cultures throughout history.
At its heart, this is a medicine of balance. It is founded on the knowledge that our bodies are always seeking equilibrium between Yin and Yang, and harmony within the natural environment. This delicate equilibrium can be thrown off by external factors such as seasonal changes and by internal factors such as stress and anxiety. The goal of Traditional East Asian Medicine is to address these imbalances, and allow the body to activate its own healing potential.
Ancient East Asian medical theory tells us that our bodies and all life-forms are imbued with Qi – a term that is often translated as energy or life-force. This subtle energy travels throughout the body and can become blocked, stagnant, or deficient due to a multitude of causes. Acupuncture, herbal medicine, and Qi-Gong (or “energy work”) are several ways of accessing the Qi in our bodies and helping it to flow more smoothly, which we experience as a resolution in pain or other symptoms of illness. Along with affecting Qi, the tools of Chinese traditional medicine also work on the level of blood, fluids, myofascia, and other more substantial aspects of our physiology.