Acupuncture began with the discovery that the stimulation of specific areas on the skin affects the functioning of certain organs of the body and has evolved into a complex system of medicine. Acupuncture is a method of encouraging the body to promote natural healing and to improve its functioning. This is done, by inserting fine needles at very precise points. These points lie on channels of energy. The warming of acupuncture points through the use of smoldering herbs is often used as a supplement. This is called Moxibustion while small electric current may also be used to stimulate the needles.
What’s the History?
Acupuncture is an ancient system of healing developed over thousands of years as part of the traditional medicine of China, Japan and other Eastern countries. In traditional Chinese medicine YIN represents “-” (negative) and YANG represents “+” (positive). The main principle of Chinese medicine is to keep the YIN and YANG balance or bring YIN and YANG back to balance. YIN YANG balance is the healthy state of the body.
What is its basic premise?
Channels of energy run in regular patterns through the body and over its surface. These channels, called meridians, are like rivers flowing through the body to irrigate and nourish the tissues. Blood flow and nervous pulses also follow meridians and run through the body to various parts, structures and organs. An obstruction in the movement of these energy rivers is like a dam that backs up the flow in one part of the body and restricts it in others. Any obstruction and blockage or deficiency in energy, blood or nervous pulses eventually lead to disease.
How does Acupuncture work?
Good news is that the meridians can be influenced by needling the acupuncture points to stimulate the nervous system to release chemicals in the muscles, spinal cord, and brain. These chemicals will either change the experience of pain, or they will trigger the release of other chemicals and hormones which influence the body’s own internal regulating system. Acupuncture needles unblock the obstruction of the dams, and re-establish the regular flow through the medians. Treatments therefore, help the body’s internal organs to correct imbalances in digestion, absorption, and energy production activities, and in the circulation of energy through the meridians.
The Science of Acupuncture
YIN and YANG in Western medicine is understood in the concept that the very basic unit of the body is cell. Cells move and their movements follow the movement of electrons. The electrons inside cells act according to regular patterns. We call all these electrons in the living body bioelectrons. Energy flow in the meridians is the direct or indirect transportation of bioelectrons. Meridians therefore are pathways in which bioelectons move more frequently than other parts of the body. When positive and negative charges in the bioelectronic movements are not balanced, the cells act abnormally which is the same as YIN and YANG imbalance. In Chinese medicine this is defined as “disease”. In Western Medicine “disease” is identified only when a radical change in cells and electron movements occur.
External factors, such as physical chemical and biological elements and internal factors such as mental, hereditary and constitutional elements can cause and force the body’s bioelectrical movement to be imbalance and lead to disease. Acupuncture can force the bioelectrons to resume to their normal and regular movement patterns and YIN YANG balance. The more acupuncture treatment the patient has the longer the normal movement pattern of the bioelectrons can remain, until finally the electrons inside cells would not follow the abnormal movement pattern. Only at this point the problem can be deemed as solved and treated completely.
Like Chinese herbs, acupuncture treatments are also individually customized for each patient depending on their unique constitution and symptoms. The number of treatments differs from patient to patient. An acute condition may be resolved with one treatment. For a complex or long-standing condition, 2 to 3 treatments per week may be recommended. For general health maintenance, four to eight sessions a year may be necessary.
In my practice I choose to use very fine Japanese needles that are made of surgical stainless steel. These needles are known to have a smooth insertion and are sterile, individually wrapped and disposable. My treatments tend to be both gentle and subtle, enabling most patients to fall asleep or at least fall into deep relaxation. Acupuncture is a safe method of treatment for nearly everyone, including pregnant women and lactating mothers.