Acupuncture is a process to manipulate and insert fine filiform needles into particular (specified) points of the body for therapeutic purposes or to ease pain. 

The word acupuncture has been derived from the Latin acus, “needle”, and pungere, “to prick”.

Chinese medical theory explains that acupuncture points are placed on meridians with which vital energy named ‘qi’ flows. No histological or anatomical basis are known for the existence of meridians and acupuncture points. 

In China, this practice of acupuncture is traced back from the Stone Age, sharpened stones, or Bian shi. China has the uncertain origin of Acupuncture. The earliest Chinese medical text that describes acupuncture on an initial level, is the Yellow Emperor’s Classic of Internal Medicine (History of Acupuncture) Huangdi Neijing, which was formed around 305–204 B.C. Some hieroglyphics were found dated back to 1000 B.C. This indicates the earliest use of Acupuncture. A legend explains that Acupuncture began in China when some soldiers badly wounded with arrows (in a battle) experienced relief from pain in different parts of the body. Consequently, the people began to experiment with arrows and in later years with needles and this became a therapy. Acupuncture spread from China to Korea, and then Japan and Vietnam and in East Asia. Portuguese missionaries in the 16th century turned first to bring Acupuncture reports to the West. 

Traditional Theories of Acupuncture:

As per Traditional Chinese medicine, “health” is a balance of yang and yin within the body. Some people have compared yang and yin to the parasympathetic and sympathetic nervous systems. Acupuncture is defined as a free Qi flow, a difficult-to-translate concept that peruses Chinese philosophy and is usually translated as the  “vital energy”. Qi is immaterial, so yang and its yin, material counterpart is Blood (capitalized to vary it from physiological blood, and on an average equivalent to it). Acupuncture treatment manages the Blood and Oi flow, tonifies where there is deficiency, promotes where is stagnation, and drains where is excess. A dictum of the medical literature of acupuncture is “no blockage; no pain, no pain.”

Traditional Chinese medicine treats the human body completely that includes varied “systems of function” usually named after anatomical organs but not directly associated with those. For these systems, the Chinese term is Zang Fu. In this, Zang gets translated as “viscera” or solid organs and fu is translated as “bowels” or hollow organs. If you want to distinguish physical organs and systems of function, Zang Fu is capitalized in English, similarly Kidney, Heart, Lung, etc. Disease is the loss of balance of Yang, Qi, Yin (that resembles  homeostasis). Disease treatment is performed by altering the activity of different systems of function via the activity of pressure, heat, needles, etc. on the sensitive parts of the body of small volume that is referred to in TCM as treating “patterns of disharmony.”

Main acupuncture points are usually found on the “twelve main meridians”,  two of as well as “eight extra meridians” (Du Mai and Ren Mai) a sum of “fourteen channels”. This is described in traditional and classical Chinese medical texts, or the pathways via which Blood and Qi flow. Other crucial points also known as (“ashi points”) may be needled where the stagnation has collected.

Series of symptoms, diseases, or conditions for which acupuncture is demonstrated as an effectual treatment, includes:

  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Allergic rhinitis
  • Nausea and vomiting including morning sickness
  • Headache
  • Depression
  • Primary dysmenorrhea
  • Sciatica
  • Insomnia
  • Bronchial Asthma
  • Cervical and Lumbar Spondylosis
  • Pain in the epigastrium, neck, face, elbow, tennis, knee, lower back, during dentistry and after operations

Last updated on June 12th, 2021 at 04:17 pm