accepted in the Western world as an effective alternate remedy, this form
of traditional Chinese medicine has been traced as far back as 2000 years
ago and has over three million practitioners worldwide today. Acupuncture
fundamentally involves the insertion of fine needles into acupuncture
points (of which there are at least 2000) that lie just beneath the surface
of the skin. In older times the needles were made from bamboo, gold or
silver. Nowadays the needles are made of stainless steel and mild electrical
currents are sometimes applied to the needles. Moxibustion, which is the
use of smoldering herbs to warm the acupuncture points, is also used as
a supplement in the treatment.
beliefs that lie behind the practice of acupuncture are that the acupuncture
points on the body each correspond to a particular organ, joint, gland
or part of the body. Meridians connect these points to the organs or areas
and stimulation of the acupuncture points can either block the meridians
or, conversely, release blockages of energy flowing through these meridians,
which is the cause of ailment.
thought, however, does not fully comprehend nor accept these traditional
explanations, believing one should get to the point instead of fudging
the issue with anecdotal reports of success. It is believed that acupuncture
points are not fixed entities and that they are merely areas where the
nervous system is signaling a need for stimulation. Such points are therefore
not selected on the basis of energy imbalances but on the basis that the
trigger points correspond to the nervous systemsí need for stimulation.
Meridians have been explained as nerve pathways that converge on the spinal
cord. Stimulation of acupuncture points is therefore an effort to stimulate
the nervous system into a function.
the theories are behind acupuncture, it has been empirically proven to
be effective. Treatment can be sought at practitioners of traditional
Chinese medicine all over China and even in the hospitals of major cities
that train foreigners in the technique. Some upmarket hotels provide acupuncture
services in their in-house clinics and needles can even be purchased for
your personal use. Advice should be sought from a practitioner on which
type of needle to purchase since there is a confusing variety of needles