As one of the important components of traditional Chinese medicine, acupuncture is a method that treats patients by manipulating thin, solid needles into acupuncture points on the body. Its content include acupuncture theory, acupuncture points, acupuncture and moxibustion technology and the relevant equipment. With distinctive features of Han culture and region in the process of the formation, application and development, acupuncture is a precious heritage on the basis of the Han nationality culture and science. It was added into the list of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO on Nov.16th, 2011.
Acupuncture originates from China and has been practiced there for thousands of years. In China, the practice of acupuncture can date back to the Neolithic Age (9000 BC-8000BC). When people feel pain or discomfort, they will massage, beat or pat or even use sharp stones pressing their body unconsciously in order to relieve the pain and discomfort. Therefore, the earliest needle instrument, Bianshi, came into being. With the continuous development of the ancients’ wisdom and the social productivity, the needles have gradually developed into the bronze needle, iron needle, silver needle, gold needle and the stainless steel needle we use today.
Although originated from China, acupuncture has been spread into North Korea, Japan and other countries as early as the 6th century. With the development of the cultural exchange of China and other countries, acupuncture has spread to all over the world. In order to promote the spread of acupuncture, three international acupuncture training centers have been set up in Beijing, Shanghai and Nanjing with the aim of cultivating the acupuncture talents from all over the world.
According to Traditional Chinese medicine, the meridian system of the whole body is responsible for conveying the qi and blood. All of these conveying materials circulate in the body and enable each organization and organ of the body in balance and stable. While, when the grid system is blocked, which will influence the material delivery and affect the health of the body, stimulating acupuncture points on the body can correct imbalances in the flow of qi through meridians channels. When the meridian system is back to normal, the disease is cured. A visit to an acupuncturist will involve an exam and an assessment of the patient's condition, the insertion of needles, and advice on self-care. Most sessions last about 30 minutes.
Dredging the Meridians Channels
Dredging the meridians channel is to make the blocked channels and collaterals unobstructed and back to play their normal physiological role, which is the most fundamental and the most direct function of the acupuncture. Meridian belongs to the viscera inside and the podite outside. In case of the block of the meridian and the obstruction of the qi and blood, the clinical symptoms often show as the pain, numbness, swelling and ecchymosis. Inserting the solid needles into the corresponding acupuncture points can make the meridian unobstructed and the qi normal into operation.
Regulating Yin and Yang
The effect of regulating yin and yang is to make the body from the imbalance situation back into the normal operation, which is the ultimate purpose of the acupuncture treatment. Although the mechanism of the disease is complex, it can be classified into the imbalance of the yin and yang. The regurgitation of the yin and yang is through the attribute of yin and yang, meridian compatibility and the acupuncture and moxibustion technique.
Strengthening Body Resistance and Eliminating Evil
The process of the happening, development and outcome is actually the process of the struggle between the vital energy and the pathogenic factor. Acupuncture plays a role of helping it do the process well.
We are not sure how acupuncture works scientifically. However, we do know that it does have some therapeutic benefits. Acupuncture has a wide range of application, including the internal medicine, surgery, gynaecology, paediatrics, ophthalmology and otorhinolaryngology, etc. It is effective in controlling some types of the pain and in combination treatment. Easy to manipulate and with very few side effects, acupuncture can be used as a alternative for patients who do not want to take pain medications.