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Acupuncture is a form of treatment with the principle that there are energetic pathways, or channels, throughout the body that influence associated internal organs and structures. Energy (Qi, pronounced "chee") from these pathways surfaces at various points on the body, called acupoints. Each of these acupoints serves as a tunnel, or access route, to the deeper circulatory channels within.
Extremely fine gauge needles are inserted at selected points, stimulating these points and thereby activating the body’s natural healing abilities. It is proven to be an effective, safe alternative and complement to medications or even surgery for a variety of conditions. Each point on a specific meridian has a specific function, and acupuncture prescription means selection of a group of points to treat a condition or disease, based on the principles of Traditional Chinese Medicine. We call that TCM acupuncture.
A TCM acupuncture practitioner has a sound knowledge of meridians and their interactions and knows the functions and indications of each point, in addition to contra-indications of them. For example LI-4 which is a commonly used acupoints for pain, is contra-indicated to use during pregnancy, but can be used to induce labour in case of delayed labour.
The Japanese have changed the way acupuncture is administered on the patients' bodies. The Japanese style is different from the TCM style of needling. The Japanese styles derive mostly from varying interpretations of the Nan Jing. This style uses the guide tube, the suction pump cup (different from the fire cupping), and silicon coated needles, the Japanese have influenced acupuncture through their technologies.
The Japanese style of acupuncture is much more subtle than TCM. In Japanese style of acupuncture the needles are inserted shallower and the "De Qi" sensation is not felt necessarily. This style gives more importance to the meridians, direction and order of needling. A lot of times this style is focused on the root cause than the local problem.
This method was developed by Dr. Tan. No matter what disease or symptoms we are treating, physical, mental, or psychological disorders. First we identify the sick meridian(s). Then we choose the meridian(s), to insert needles. Lots of times the balancing meridian(s) are different from the sick meridians(s). For example Gall Bladder meridian of the leg can be used to treat elbow pain since San Jiao Meridian of the arm passes through the elbow.
It is by virtue of the complex interweaving network of the channels that Qi, and Blood are transported to every part of the body. All the organs and tissues are nourished, energised and warmed by Qi and Blood circulating through the channel network. Zang Fu (internal organs) are the root of the channels, and the channels themselves are the stems, different body tissues and sense organs are the flowers, e.g. Heart flowers into the tongue.
The Zang Fu are linked to each other through the interconnection amongst the meridians (channels), e.g. the primary meridian of Lung originates in the Stomach, passes through the Large Intestine and diaphragm, whilst the primary channel of the Heart connects with Small Intestine and Lung.
The meridians serve to transmit acupuncture stimulation from the acupoint to the diseased area of the body, rendering acupuncture treatment effective. By stimulating an acupoint through needling, cupping, heat application, pressure or massage, the Qi and Blood of the whole course of the channel may be regulated. (Deadman manual of acupuncture)
Ear Acupuncture can be utilized to reduce Anxiety, Stress, help smoking cessation, addictions and Weight Management.
Ear acupuncture works through the peripheral nervous system and its effects on the mind and brain. Most of bodily organs and structures are mapped on the ear. It is usually used for anxiety, stress, weight management, addictions, including cigarettes, drugs, alcohol, etc. Each acupoints on the outer ear relates to a strategic point in the body. When a point is stimulated with a needle or ear seed, it sends a kind of electrical signal to the brain which then correspondingly stimulates the part of the body the point is related to.
Auricular acupuncture stimulation can help relieve joint and muscle aches. It can energize the necessary organs through the brain connection. This is a useful method for addictions in relieving the symptoms of withdrawal, including cravings, body aches, headaches, nausea, sweating and muscle cramping.
People also report that they sleep better, feel less depressed and more relaxed. People who have a smoking habit are bound to smoke more often whenever they feel stressed, bored, or depressed.
The application of a pulsating electrical current to acupuncture needles as a means of stimulating the acupoints, was developed in China as an extension of hand manipulation of acupuncture needles around 1934.
It is described, though only briefly, in most comprehensive texts of acupuncture. The procedure for electro-acupuncture is to insert the acupuncture needle as would normally be done, and then attach an electrode to the needle to provide continued stimulation.
Usually each needle is connected with an electrode or two needles can be joined at the handle and then attached to the electrode. Each two wires make an electrical circuit and then the proper frequency is selected. The practitioner then starts to increase the intensity of the stimulus to the maximum tolerance of the patient.
For paralysis and atrophy or induction of labour, usually continuous waves are used. For pain usually intermittent or rise and fall waves are used.
Major applications of Electrical Acupuncture:
1- Severe pain syndromes i.e. knee pain, back pain or sciatica
2- Labour induction
3- Atrophy of muscles and paralysis
Is acupuncture safe?
Acupuncture is considered safe when applied by a licensed and trained acupuncturist/TCM practitioner.
Are there side effects to acupuncture?
Minor bruising or soreness can happen after an acupuncture session which is usually short lived.
Are acupuncture needles re-used?
Only factory pre-sterilized one-time use, needles are utilized for acupuncture.