Traditional acupuncture is very effective when used as preventive healthcare

What is Acupuncture?

acupuncture masterAcupuncture is one of the oldest healing techniques in the world.
It is a Chinese technique, treating many medical problems by inserting fine needles into various active points on the body. Legend has it, that acupuncture is practiced around 5,000 years. The first written reference to acupuncture dates back to somewhere between the 5th and 3rd centuries B.C.

Acupuncture began in China, but soon spread to other Oriental countries and in the past century has been practiced in Europe, the Soviet Union and now for many years worldwide. The Communist Government in 1949 revived the traditional forms of medicine including acupuncture. Acupuncture research institutes were established in the 1950s throughout China and the practice became available in all hospitals.
The practice spread to several other countries. Korea and Japan received the knowledge in the 6th century. Within the first half of the 19th Century both America and Britain developed interest in this ancient therapeutic form.
Acupuncture was finally accepted in the USA when an NIH consensus conference reported that there was positive evidence for its effectiveness.acupuncture history
Acupuncture is now practiced in China side-by-side and in cooperation with Western medicine. Many conditions have been found to benefit greatly from treatment using a combination of Eastern and Western medicine.
According to Traditional Chinese Medicine's theory, the basic energy force of life which flows through all living things is called Qi(TSI)气 - meaning energy flows. When this force flows through the human body, it travels along twelve primary and two secondary channels or meridians. As Qi flows through the channels, it helps circulate the blood and also affects the nervous system. Along these channels there are 400 major acupuncture points, which can be combined in thousand ways.

Acupuncture History
Documents sealed in 198 BCE within the Ma-Wang-Dui tomb in China have no references to acupuncture procedures but has references to system of meridians.
Acupuncture is one of the oldest healing techniques in the world. acupuncture needles
Further the tattoo marks seen on the ‘Ice Man’ who died in about 3300 BCE are similar to some form of stimulatory treatment that involves the meridians. The Ice Man was found when the Alpine glacier melted.
Earliest documentation that refers to acupuncture procedures is The Yellow Emperor’s Classic of Internal Medicine, dating from about 100 BCE.
The most significant, approximately 5,000 years old, is, as two men – Yellow Emperor Huang Di and his physician, Qi Po – discussed Chinese medical arts in a conversation that become the basis of a book written on Chinese medicine. In their discussion, the two mentioned acupuncture points and needling techniques. Between the 14th and 16th centuries the Ming dynasty flourished (1368–1644). During this time The Great Compendium of Acupuncture and Moxibustion an encyclopaedic work of 120 volumes was written on the treatments and was published with principles of acupuncture. New techniques and manipulations were developed, and new acupuncture points were discovered, on which modern practices of this tradition rests. The book goes on to describe 365 points that represent openings to the channels through which needles could be inserted to modify the flow of Qi.
Qi and meridians
Qi is the vital energy force that circulates throughout the body and keep it healthy and young .The Qi is balanced, collected and enhanced by the dietary intake, air, and the conditions of our wellbeing according to the principles of Traditional Chinese Medicine and acupuncture.
Meridians are channels that carry Qi throughout the body. When illness leads to an unbalanced, obstructed and irregular flow of Qi, the right choise of acupuncture poins for certain condition, very personalized for every person can solve the reason and obtain the balance.
The meridians are composed of acupuncture points that form a specific pathway. The principles of the therapy state that there are fourteen meridians in the body. There are energy systems in the body that receive, rebuild, and regulate the organs and systems.
In 1950, acupuncture as we know it today came to the forefront. Acupuncture became established in many hospitals as Chairman Mao officially united traditional Chinese medicine and Western medicine. By including acupuncture, Mao assured the treatment would remain an important element in Chinese medicine into the modern age.acupuncture principles
China continues to lead the world in developing acupuncture techniques and further advancing the medical practice. While acupuncture has become more modernized, it will never lose its connection to the original stone, bamboo and bone needles that began the practice many millennia ago.

Acupuncture Principle
Along these meridians there are 365 major acupuncture points.

The physicians of ancient China discovered these points over thousands of years of close observation.

Definition of acupuncture
Acupuncture literally means to puncture with a needle. For this procedure needles are often used in combination with another procedure called moxibustion. Moxibustion indicates burning on needles or over the skin of selected herbs. The procedure of puncturing with needles is also site-specific for specific diseases and disorders.

Forms of acupuncture
There are various forms of acupuncture. Apart from insertion of needles (needling) and moxibustion, other types include electric acupuncture where electric probes are used, acupuncture such as ear, face, hand and scalp acupuncture.

The names of the classic meridians are lung - large intestine, stomach - spleen-pancreas, heart - small intestine, bladder - kidney, pericardium - triple-heater, gall bladder - liver.

Yin and Yan theory yin yang acupuncture
The principles believe that there is a continuum of energy that flows in the body, called the Yin and the Yang.
The system believes that the balance of these two poles constitutes health in the body. These two poles are related and inseparable from each other despite being opposites.
The Yin and Yan are interdependent and interchangeable as well. A disturbance in the balance of the Yin and the
Yang in the body results in illness, infections, injury etc.

Qi (energy flow) has two aspects to it: Yin is the negative aspect and Yang is the positive aspect. The twelve primary channels through which Qi flows are divided into six Yin and six Yang channels. For each Yin channel, there is a Yang channel. Despite their negative and positive nature, Yin and Yang are two aspects of the same force and one is no more desirable than the other. Yin and Yang must be in balance for Qi to flow freely and for all living beings to function properly. When Yin and Yang are out of balance, the body is susceptible to pain and illness. Only if Qi flows freely through the channels, when Yin and Yang are well balanced, can the function of the body be maintained in good condition = wellbeing.

Mechanism of action of acupuncture

The ancient Chinese masters use to say. When there is obstruction of Qi (气), there is pain. When there is no obstruction of Qi(气), there is no pain.

The tradition of acupuncture theory believes that energy Qi flows within the human body and this energy smooth flow creates balance, health, wellness and wellbeing.theory of 5 elements

The theory of five elements
Five Element Framework

A Universal Theory Woven into Chinese Culture

TCM’s Five Element framework is ancient and Universal in what it embodies. The Five Elements are deeply woven into the fabric of Chinese culture. In fact, Five Element theory is the foundation of Chinese disciplines such as feng shui, the martial arts, and the I Ching (The Book of Changes, a text also Universal in its understanding and representation of the dynamic balance of opposites and the processes of unfolding events and change).

A Comprehensive Template Reflecting Natural Law
The Five Elements are a comprehensive template that organizes all natural phenomena into five master groups or patterns in nature. Each of the five groups—Wood, Fire, Earth, Metal, and Water—include categories such as a season, a direction, climate, stage of growth and development, internal organ, body tissue, emotion, aspect of the soul, taste, color, sound . . . the categories are seemingly limitless. The Five Elements reflect a deep understanding of natural law, the Universal order underlying all things in our world.
It provides a master blueprint that diagrams how nature interacts with the body and how the different dimensions of our being impact each other. When studying the Five Element Framework it is important to emphasize that this multi-dimensional view of life offers a diagnostic framework to recognize where imbalances—body, mind, emotions, and spirit lie. The Five Elements include the internal organs, and the interconnected relationships between them.
Read more here about how the Five Elements each correspond to one of the major organ systems inside our bodies.

A Theory of Connection and Interaction
So what does the Five Element theory say to us about the world we live in? First, it speaks about how all things are connected.
Everything within each element is related. Let’s take the Water element as an example. Look at the Five Element diagram: Water is related to winter, a cold climate, the north, the color black, the Kidneys, the emotion fear. These are things that share a deep, sometimes invisible, connection to each other. When it is winter there is a cold essence, it relates to and impacts in some way the Kidneys, the emotion fear is linked, though not always in an obvious, visible way.
The Five Elements show us how the structures and systems in our bodies are connected to each other; how we are connected to our environment and the natural world; how our world is part of the greater universe. Many people today have lost this deep connection to nature and no longer are able to feel this truth resonate in their being. The Universal principle of connection still exists nonetheless.

The Balancing Relationships of Generation and Supportall about acupuncture2
The Five Elements are five fundamental energies in nature in motion. There is a dynamism between them; they are not static. Within the structure of the Five Elements there are two fundamental relationships: generation and support. Without the balancing nature of these two relationships, things would fall out of order in a flash.
When the Five Elements speak about generation, it means a relationship that nurtures and promotes growth. Think of a mother and child. The mother gives birth to her child and provides her energy to ensure the growth of her child. An example of generation is the relationship between the Kidney and the Liver. (Kidney generates Liver).
Support, in terms of the Five Elements, represents a relationship that acts as a restraining energy or force, making sure that things do not grow too quickly or slowly, neither too strong nor too weak. Without support, things would fall out of proportion; balance would be lost.

The Gate Theory of Pain
One of the theories is the Gate Theory of Pain. This was introduced in 1965 and it explains that acupuncture works through the nervous system to alleviate pain.
The theory states that in the nervous system, there are nerves that both transmit and inhibit pain. These fibers come together in the substantia gelatinosa of the spinal cord. The substantia gelatinosa then sends pain signals to the brain, depending on the amount of pain input.
Acupuncture helps in pain relief by stimulating the pain inhibitory nerve fibers, which lowers the pain input and therefore, relieves the pain. This can explain the effectiveness of acupuncture in short term and acute pain conditions.

The Two-Gate Control Theory
Man and Chen in 1980 came up with another theory to explain the effectiveness of acupuncture. This was called the Two-Gate Control Theory.
In this theory, there exist two main nerve fibers: A-beta and C nerve fibers. The A-beta nerve fibers are large, fast conducting, and have a low volt threshold while the C nerve fibers are small, slow conducting, and have a high volt threshold.
The theory states that when high amount of impulses coming from A-beta fibers closes the gate in the substantia gelatinosa there is prevention of passage of painful impulses from the C fibers.
Acupuncture acts as a pain-reliever by stimulating the acupuncture points, which affect the A-beta nerve fibers. The needles move to create a steady stream of non-pain impulses transmitted to the substantia gelatinosa causing the gate to close. Once the gate is closed the pain impulses are stopped. Thus, no pain is felt.
The impulses from the A-beta fibers can transmitted to the thalamus, which serves as the final gate. This gate is closed to produce pain relief in the entire body.all about acupuncture3

Some theories suggest that acupuncture causes release of endorphins in the body. Endorphins are natural pain relievers found in the central nervous system.

Nitric oxide
Recently, acupuncture has been shown to increase the nitric oxide levels in treated regions. This leads to increased local blood circulation and may help in preventing local inflammation and ischemia and relieve the disease condition
Acupuncture originated in China around 2,500 years ago. Traditional Chinese medicine is based on principles that are over two thousand years old and show that.

The National Institutes of Health 1997 consensus development statement on acupuncture went on to postulate that the theories of acupuncture namely the acupuncture points, Qi or the vital energy flow of the body, the meridian system and related theories play an important role in the use of acupuncture and are difficult to explain with the current understanding of western medicine.

Diagnosis in Chinese acupuncture
In Chinese medicine the acupuncturist decides which points to treat. He or she observes and questions the patient in order to make a diagnosis. There are four diagnostic methods according to the traditional Chinese medicine. These include: inquiring, inspection, auscultation, palpation and olfaction.

Inquiringtongue chart
• Inquiring involves seven questions regarding:-
• Chills and fever
• Perspiration
• Appetite, thirst and taste
• Defecation and urination
• Pain
• Sleep
Periods and leukorrhea or white discharge

Inspection deals with examination of the face, tongue and looks for size, shape, tension, colour and coating as well as presence of teeth marks around the edge.
Auscultation and olfaction
For auscultation particular sounds like heart beats, respiratory noises etc. are heard and olfaction involves smelling body odour.

Palpation involves feeling parts of the body for the pathology or disease. The tender points are called the “ashi” points. The pulses are felt with two levels of pressure (superficial and deep) and in three positions called the “'Cun, Guan and Chi” near the wrist. This is palpated with index, middle and ring fingers.acupuncture pulse diagnosis

Traditional Chinese medicine therapy
The theory of traditional Chinese Medicine is to detect a pattern of disharmony, and obtain pathology and biochemical alteration. Acupuncture treatment is typically highly individualized and points are specific for each individual and his or her condition.

Frequently Asked Questions SB articles

  • What illnesses are treated using acupuncture? +

    Both acute and chronic illnesses can be treated with acupuncture. There are hundreds of conditions since acupuncture is balancing the body energy
  • Is Acupuncture Safe? +

    Acupuncture is extremely safe. A medical doctor plus licensed Acupuncturist uses sterilized needles which are properly disposed, in accordance with health regulations.
  • What’s the purpose of acupuncture? +

    The philosophy behind acupuncture is achieving balance throughout your body. The tsi balance.
  • Does Acupuncture Hurt? +

    When a needle is inserted, a slight pinching will be felt. However once the session is underway, many patients feel very relaxed and even fall asleep.
  • How Many Sessions Do I Need? +

    At the time of the initial examination, your Acupuncturist will evaluate your condition and will assess the approximate number of treatments needed. Because everyone responds differently, the number of treatment sessions can vary for each individual
  • How Should I Prepare For My Session? +

    Wear loose clothing to allow access to acupuncture points. Have a light meal or snack shortly before your treatment.
  • Why use acupuncture? +

    People use acupuncture for help with specific symptoms or conditions. Many others choose acupuncture as a preventive measure to strengthen their constitution or because they just feel generally unwell. Acupuncture is considered suitable for all ages including babies, children and the elderly. It is very effective and can be integrated with conventional medicine.
  • Can Acupuncture Help My Condition? +

    There are literally hundreds of conditions, disorders and diseases that acupuncture can effectively treat. Treatments are tailored for individual case circumstances, which enhances the efficacy of the treatment. The doctor will determine if acupuncture treatment is right for you, based upon your symptoms and unique medical history. Both acute and chronic illnesses can be treated with acupuncture. Because everyone responds differently, the number of treatment sessions can vary for each individual
  • But I’m afraid of needles +

    The most common concern about acupuncture is the fear of the needles. However, the needles used are very thin compared to needles used for injections of medicine. You’ll feel a little pressure as the needle pierces the skin. Once the needle is in the muscle, there should be no pain.
  • How many sessions are needed for acupuncture to be effective? +

    Typically, the longer the patient has the condition, the longer the course of treatment before they experience substantial or lasting results. Acupuncture can be done as often as five times a week, or as little as once a month depending on the case
  • Are There Other Forms Of Treatment Besides Needle Insertion? +

    Yes. While we always like to use Acupuncture, other methods are often combined with acupuncture such as Cupping Therapy , Moxabustion (a heated herbal stick used to warm points), Microcurrent.
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Acupuncture treatment is typically highly individualized
points are specific for each individual and his or her condition!!!!