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Acupuncture How it Works

What is Acupuncture?
What are the benefits of acupuncture as a complementary therapy treatment?

Acupuncture is perceived in the west to be "The Chinese Medicine" but in reality it is only one part of what is known as Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM).
In the western world people still find it difficult to grasp the idea that the practice of inserting needles, in an apparently random fashion, into the body of a patient can have any beneficicial effects. Whereas in China and other eastern countries it has been used for centuries and today is used regularly in most hospitals.
This is now being reflected in the west where it is increasingly used by practitioners both in Europe, and the United States. Acupuncture has grown in popularity in the United States since the 1970s and is now widely regarded as a safe and effective treatment for a

Acupuncture Information

History and Origins of Acupuncture
Acupuncture is a branch of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) it is known to have been used in China for over 2000 years.
It is thought by many scholars to have its origins more than 5000 years ago, and it is based on the theories and teaching of early Chinese medical philosophers, evidence suggests that the Chinese and other eastern peoples have used acupuncture to restore, promote and maintain good health for around 3 centuries.
The knowledge of acupuncture continued to grow over the centuries and the relevant points on the body where the acupuncturist could insert the needles were gradually established.
The first recorded text, “The Yellow Emperor’s Classic of Inner Medicine” was written around 300 B.C. and is still an important textbook today; it outlines the principles of natural law and the movements of life - yin and yang, the organ system and the meridian network along which acupuncture points are located, it also contains details of pathology and physiology which still provides the theoretical foundation for acupuncture today, over two centuries later.
Early acupuncture instruments were made of stone, bone and later bamboo, iron, gold, silver and eventually today we use stainless steel.
Although acupuncture was developed and refined in China for many years it remained rooted in the rural communities until after the establishment of the People's Republic in 1949 which then saw a widespread resurgence of interest and the practice of acupuncture.
In the latter half of the 20th century Acupuncture spread rapidly in the Western World so much so that it is now recognised as probably the most popular Alternative/Complementary Therapy available and is now also generally accepted by the general public and by many doctors, with an estimated one in three GP surgeries making Acupuncture available to patients.

How does Acupuncture work?

Acupuncture believes that a persons health depends on a balanced and harmonious state within their body.This state relies on the smooth and uninterrupted flow of energy or Qi (pronounced chee) through pathways or meridians in the body, blockages or interruptions or the impeded flow of this energy will result in illness. Qi flow along with a balanced Yin and Yang, account for a person's overall health. This balance and flow is what acupuncture attempts to maintain or restablish.
Acupuncture targets more than 2,000 acupuncture points along these pathways or meridians which link all parts of the body and the internal organs. It is at these points that the needles can be inserted, which will ensure the proper flow of energy through the body to maintain this harmonious balance.
The concepts of Qi and its uninterrupted flow through the bodies meridians together with the balance of Yin and Yang are cornerstones of Traditional Chinese Medicine and hence Acupuncture.
When Yin and Yang are in balance and Qi flows smoothly and uninterrupted through the channels (meridians) the body is healthy; any blockage or imbalance will result in illness and bad health.
Acupuncture is not solely a tool for the relief of pain, it has many therapeutic applications treating both specific functions of the body and the body as a whole. It can often be used to treat or ameliorate many malfunctions, diseases and infections in both adults and children.

To understand acupuncture more fully it would be helpful to understand the concepts of Yin and Yang, Qi , Meridians and their relationship with acupuncture, so we have provided brief descriptions of these concepts via the links we have highlighted.

The uninterrupted flow of Qi throughtout the body and the balance of the body's Yin and Yang is crucial to our health and well-being. Acupuncture is one of the most important means of acheiving these delicate states. An acupuncturist uses his knowledge and experience of where the appropriate acupuncture points are along the meridian system. The practitioner can then choose the correct needles and technique to apply ensuring that the necessary balance is restored or improved.

Acupuncture does not rely on drugs and with a few exceptions it is appropriate for the treatment of many disorders.It is not recommended during pregnancy where certain parts of the body and types of needle manipulation would be innapropriate. Patients with a heamophilic conditon should avoid acupuncture, as should patients who have recently taken drugs or alcohol or possess a severe psychotic condition.

A greater understanding of how acupuncture works, how it is used as a treatment and how this may be relevant to you, can be obtained from some of the many books on the subject. We have provided a selection below


Read much more about Acupuncture in one of these excellent books.....



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Acupuncture FAQ's

Acupuncture -How it Works

Acupuncture - Tools and Techniques

Acupuncture - Needling Techniques

Five Element Theory

What is moxabustion

What is Cupping

What is Qi

What are Meridians