Monday, May 11, 2009

The Original Meaning of Acupuncture

By Amanda Gamdana

One of the techniques of Traditional Chinese Medicine that is very close to Acupressure is Acupuncture. Like acupressure, this method uses the points of energy in the body called meridians; here fine needles penetrate the skin at those points - the method boosts good health and treats poor health.

In times of good health, the energy flows freely through the meridians but injuries and disease tend to block the flow. It is brought down to a simplistic explanation of getting the Qi or Chi to flow without any blockage through the human body in order to maintain a state of good health. You'll find that there are 14 meridians on the body and these have 365 points for acupuncture.

Trapped energy or Chi is stimulated and released by inserting special needles at specific locations or through acupressure depending on the nature of the illness. It is something like clearing the blocks in the path of the river to allow its free flow again. Chi may also flow either too quickly or too slowly, in which case acupuncture is used to regulate the stream of energy.

Within China, this particular form of medicine has been being practiced for a minimum of four thousand years, with all of these needles being found within archaeology digs of the late Shang Dynasty. Acupuncture is of three kinds: traditional Yin/Yang Theory, Five Elements and the Western or medical acupuncture. Though the diagnostic approach used by all the three methods is similar, the causes attributed to the illness and the treatment of the illness varies from one method to the other.

Chinese medicine believes that any form of physical illness is the outcome of stress and anxiety; the five element acupuncture also follows the same belief - the physical well being of a person is dependent on his psychological well being. Following on from this, physical symptoms can only be alleviated when those inner stresses are dealt with.

Five elements method is a slow process as it does not merely treat the symptoms but the reason behind the illness due to which the process takes a longer period of time to achieve full recovery. The traditional yin / yang theory focuses on restoring the overall balance of yin and yang in the body. Simultaneous stimulation of more than one element is achieved by stimulating the different acupuncture points on different meridians together.

Western Acupuncture uses a combination of both Eastern and Western medical techniques, focusing on critical and vital short-term treatment. Acupuncture is further divided into two classes, the first one being anesthetic acupuncture that is used by the dentists and during surgeries.

Symptomatic or 'first aid' is the second sub category; this is used mainly for temporary analgesic pain relieving. Problems like allergies, asthma, arthritis, depression, gynecological problems, and high blood pressure, infertility, and migraine have found effective cures in this line of treatment according to research done. As with healing methods dealing with energy, acupuncture effectively heals conditions not treatable with conventional treatment, persistent conditions and disorders and maladies arising due to lifestyles.

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