Acupuncture is a healing method that is used in traditional Chinese medicine. It is the practice of inserting needles into specific points in order to restore balance to qi flow. There are multiple acupuncture points that exist on the body.
Acupuncture used to be classified as experimental by the United States F.D.A. However, in the past twenty years it has been approved for medical use and studies have found it to be helpful with a variety of ailments. It is now one of the leading alternative therapies and millions of dollars are spent every year in pursuit of acupuncture use.
The History of Acupuncture Techniques & Strategies
Acupuncture has been around for five thousand years or more and originated in China. This medical practice is based on the concept that human beings possess. This energy is called qi.
Qi is believed to flow through the twelve to fourteen basic meridians on the body, invisible energy lines that correspond to different organ systems. When this flow is disrupted or blocked, it is believed to cause disease. Therefore, unblocking these meridians can restore the flow and ease or erase disease.
The Theory of Acupuncture
At the heart of acupuncture is the concept of balance. Within this is contained the theory of yin and yang, where life takes place in alternating rhythms. When they are interacting properly, you get health. When they are disturbed, you get disease. Yang is light, Yin is dark. One expresses, while the other recharges.
Each allows the other to exist, and each finds their roots in its opposite. They need the other to exist in balance, and can be divided but not separated. This is the theory exhibited by Huang Di Nei Jing in the early and best known Chinese medical text, The Yellow Emperor’s Canon of Internal Medicine.
When the forces in the body are balanced, then the life force will be healthy. When the qi is thrown out of balance, blocked, or how they relate to qi are at the core interrupted, disease may develop. Yin and yang as concepts and theory must be understood in order to practice acupuncture.
When needles or certain acupuncture points on the body are touched upon, miraculous things can happen. Certain meridians are junctions, some are meeting of the pathways, and some move qi to the body center while others move it to the surface.
Examination & Diagnosis
Before you can be treated by an acupuncturist, they must first determine what the issue is. For this, they must examine you. A traditional method often used is Chinese pulse taking, which is a highly involved technique that takes years of training to master. Acupuncturists will also observe the body, touching it occasionally, as well as smelling it and listening to it.
Techniques Used in Acupuncture
– Cupping: Cupping involves placing glass cups on certain areas of the body. The cups create suction, relieving qi and blood stagnation energy.
– Moxibustion: This process involves heating acupuncture needles using dried herb sticks to activate/warm the acupuncture point.
– Herbs: Often Chinese herbs accompany acupuncture. They may be taken in capsule or tea form and compliment the acupuncture process.
– Electrostimulation: Needles are stimulated using electricity for pain relief.
– Laser Acupuncture: Needles are simulated using lasers.