Acupuncture has been a major Eastern method of treatment for the last 5,000 years. It is used extensively for a variety of medical purposes ranging from the prevention and treatment of disease, to relieving pain and anesthetizing patients for surgery.
In acupuncture, fine sterile needles are gently inserted into particular points on the skin known as acupoints along meridians (channels). This is said to balance the flow of vital body's energy Qi and to treat and prevent disease.
To really understand how acupuncture works, it is necessary to become familiar with its basics.
Qi is both the life force (or vital substance) and the organizing principle flowing through all things and establishing their interconnectedness. Every living thing (both human and non-human) has qi. In the body, qi is found in the heart and lungs in circulating blood and oxygen.
Jing is responsible for growth, development and reproduction. Jing represents a person's potential for development. Chinese believed that everyone is born with a finite amount of Jing. As we go through life, we lose or consume our Jing little by little. Once we lose Jing, it cannot be replaced. It is gone for ever. We lose Jing if we live a wrong or careless living. But Jing can be preserved if we live in moderation. Acupuncture can reduce the loss of Jing.
The idea of harmony and balance are also the basis of yin and yang. The principle that each person is governed by the opposing, but complementary forces of yin and yang, is central to all Chinese thought. It is believed to affect everything in the universe, including ourselves.
Qi is manifested through yin and yang and tie them together. The energy qi is not in static balance, it constantly circulates in a human body on the certain routes (meridians) and under the certain schedule with daily cyclicity. If the skeleton is a basis of a physical body the system of meridians constitute the basis of energoinformational body (biofield).
There are 12 main meridians and numerous minor ones which cross over the all body and connect its surface with inner organs as well as the inner organs with each other and they form a network of energy channels throughout the body along the path of each are many acupoints. The acupuncture points (or holes as it is more aptly translated from Chinese) are the locations on the body where the qi of the channels rises close to the surface of the body. When qi flows freely through the meridians, the body is balanced and healthy, but if the energy becomes blocked, stagnated or weakened, it can result in physical, mental or emotional ill health.
In fact, all Eastern systems of healing gymnastics are directed on cleaning of the energy channels in an organism and on sufficient energy provision of corresponding organs at certain time. It is necessary to note, that the stream of energy in the organism is connected to space rhythms and does not depend on your individual activity. If there are problems with health there is also an infringement of correct distribution of the energy in meridians.
How Does Acupuncture Work?
For correction of distribution of the energy qi acupuncture is usually used, since acupuncture points allow entry into meridians. These points provide gateways to influence, redirect, increase or decrease body's vital substance, qi, thus correcting many of the imbalances. Using the acupuncture technic it is possible to manage effectively the balance of energetic systems and to restore health or to prevent illness. It is necessary to note that practically all diseases should be treated from correction of the meridians energy, if the illness does not demand operation.
The aims of acupuncture.
One of the main aims of acupuncture is to restore the health, to maintain a balance of yin and yang within the whole person to prevent illness occurring and to restore existing health, thus preserving your Jing and living to a ripe old age.
To restore the balance, the acupuncturist stimulates the acupuncture points that will counteract that imbalance. So, if you have stagnant qi, he will choose specific points to stimulate it. If the Chi is too cold, he will choose points to warm it. If it is too weak, he will strengthen it. If it is blocked, he will unblock it, and so on. In this way, acupuncture can effectively rebalance the energy system and restore health or prevent the development of disease.
What is it good for?
Acupuncture can treat a wide variety of common and uncommon disorders. The following is a list of disorders where acupuncture is used:
1) in neurological and musculoskeletal disorders: all types of headaches and migraine, trigeminal neuralgia, paralysis following stroke, Meniere's disease, neurogenic bladder dysfunction, nocturnal enuresis (bed wetting), intercostal neuralgia (pain in the ribs), cervicobrachial syndrome (pain radiating from neck to arm),frozen shoulder or tennis elbow, sciatica,low back pain, osteoarthritis, disk disease
2) in treatment of chronic pain conditions such as: arthritis, bursitis, athletic injuries, posttraumatic and post surgical pain, joint pain (neck, shoulder, arm, knee, hip and leg)
3) in nephrology and urology
4) in gynecology and obstetrics
5) in ophthalmology: acute conjunctivitis (pinkeye), nearsightedness (in children), cataract (without complications) etc.
6) in gastrointestinal problems: hiccups, gastritis, gastric hyperacidity, ulcers, chronic colitis, constipation, diarrhea, paralytic ileus, stomach and duodenal gut ailments, disease of a liver and bilious bubble, pancreas, etc.
7) at acute and chronic disorders of respiratory system: acute sinusitis, acute rhinitis, common cold, acute tonsillitis, acute bronchitis, bronchial asthma, pneumonia, etc.
8) at cardiovascular system: ischemic illness of heart, hypertension, infringements of a heart rhythm, consequences of a heart attack of a myocardium, parkinsonism, cerebral palsy, strokes, senility
9) at diseases of endocrine system and infringement of a metabolism: adiposity, diseases of a thyroid gland, adrenal glands, diabetes
10) at various mind-emotional dysfunctions: anxiety, neurosis, depression, chronic fatigue, insomnia, irritable bowel syndrome, menopausal symptoms, alcoholism, smoking,drug cessation and eating disorders
11) immune function disorder: eczema, psoriasis (skin disorders), allergies, asthma
Acupuncture has also shown its efficacy in treating such disorders as:
Toothache, post extraction pain, gingivitis (gum disease), acute and chronic pharyngitis
- Peripheral Neuritis, Bell's Palsy
- Acne, Herpes Zosterpain
- Carpal Tunnel, tinnitus
- Phobias, stress control and nervousness
- Facial Rejuvination, baldness
- Impotence, female disorders
There are many types of acupuncture, it can be traditional Chinese, where the needles are inserted all over the body and as few as 1 or 2 or as many as 20 or more needles may be used in treatment.
The other type of acupuncture called as Su-Jok influences by needles on acupuncture points of feet and hands Also there is a simple way of energy correction through an open point. At certain time a definite aucupuncture point opens on a definite meridian and within 2 hours an exchange of energy is performed with all organs. The treatment is carried out only trough one needle: it is not necessary to know which meridians are active and passive in your body- an exchange of all energies is carried out through this point. If there is a shortage of energy, it is increased, if the energy is superfluous with the help of 1 needle it is possible to decrease it and to bring the organism to a balance.
Meng acupuncture uses 2 needles.