In the practice of Traditional Chinese Acupuncture (Zhen Bian), the use of inserting a needle into a patients body is simply a bridge connecting not only the practitioner and patient, but also to allow the practitioners Qi to connect to the patients own Qi, so that the practitioner can then skilfully guide & lead (Daoyin) the patients Qi to help treat their ailment. As the needle is inserted into the particular energy cavity (Qi Xue) along a specific channel or meridian (Jingluo), the practitioner through their own tactile ability to listen and feel for the connection of the patients Qi with their own Qi through the tip of the needle. This connection could be that the patient begins to feel a warming, tingling sensation in the area of were the needle was inserted or a build up of pressure.
As the practitioner inserts the needle (Zhen) they are feeling for a slight resistance on the tip of the needle, once they feel this pressure they can then begin to connect, guide & lead the patients Qi. Some times, when the practitioner inserts a needle into a particular channel or meridian the needle just slides in and out smoothly with no feeling of resistance in both directions. He or she will then have two choices, they can either try again to get a better connection on the same energy cavity, usually paying more attention to their own body posture, correcting any slight angles or mis-alignment. Changing the angle that the needle is inserted until they can get a better or stronger connection. The second option is to simply try another energy cavity along the same channel or meridian.
Once the practitioner has developed a good connection of the patients Qi with their own through the insertion of the needle. They can then begin to guide & lead the patients Qi by either gathering the Qi if the patients Qi is in a state of deficiency, were their own energy levels are low and weak due to coldness entering deeply into the body. The practitioner can gather the patients Qi and begin to bring warmth and heat into the area, allowing gradually for the patients own Qi to begin to grow in strength and have a feeling of fullness. Obviously, if there is an over excess of Qi build up in an area causing the patient to feel pain, dizziness,anger like excessive Qi raising upwards to the head then the practitioner through the skilful manipulation of the needle and connection to the patients Qi can then guide & lead (Daoyin) the patients Qi and begin to lower the excessive Qi, helping the patient to feel no or less pain, the dizziness and anger to gradually dissipate.
It is the practitioners skill in the manipulation of the needle and their ability to connect to the patients Qi to be able to guide & lead the patients Qi by gathering, opening, closing, rising, lowering, entering, exiting and dispersing the Qi. It is not the needle that does the work, but the practitioner, the needle is just a bridge.