Acupuncture is one of the oldest and best-established medical practices available today. It makes use of the fascial and nervous system interconnections – energy channels or meridians, which link all the body tissues in an organic whole. The acupuncture points are the most active areas of the meridians, which regulate the functional state of all near to them structures. By inserting needles in the acupuncture points and stimulating them in a specific way, acupuncture regulates the activity of the body area local to where the needles are inserted, or changes the way the entire body system works. The effect of acupuncture is felt immediately, so as a treatment, it can be extremely beneficial for conditions with acute symptoms of pain, tension, fever, coughing, indigestion, exhaustion and others. In the long term, acupuncture can be used to gently build up general health and prevent serious diseases developing.
Acupuncture Points are the high energetic (electric, electromagnetic, thermal, mechanical, etc.) conductance points on the acupuncture meridians where the flow of energy (Qi) can be most easily influenced. Measuring electrical skin resistance, we find that all these points have a lower resistance than the surrounding skin. In 1991 a Superconducting Quantum Interference Device was used to map the lines of the force fields of electromagnetic energy generated by the human body. They were found to correspond exactly with the acupuncture meridians and acupuncture points, the way documented by the Chinese over five thousand years ago.
Acupuncture treatment commonly involves needling of the acupuncture points by an acupuncturist in order to regulate the energetic state of meridians and treat a wide variety of health complains. Acupuncture points can also be stimulated by finger pressure (acupressure), electricity (electro-acupuncture, TENS), magnets, light (laserpuncture), heat, as well as subtle energies (Reiki and other energy healing).
Moxibustion is often used as part of the acupuncture treatment. It is a gentle warming of the acupuncture points by burning moxa (Chinese mugwort) directly on the skin or by heating the inserted needles. It is used to promote the movement of energy in the meridians for treatment of pain, or as a very strong tonic for weak patients.
Cupping is sometimes used to clear away stagnation and congestion in the soft tissues and meridians, by placing a vacuumed jar on the body surface. It is another age-old treatment excellent for arthritic and muscle pain as well as for colds and flu.
The World Health Organization (WHO), the health branch of the United Nations, lists more than 40 conditions for which acupuncture may be used.
Conditions Appropriate for Acupuncture Therapy
|MiscellaneousAddiction controlAthletic performanceBlood pressure regulation
Immune system tonification
Headaches and Migraines
Neurogenic bladder dysfunction
Source: World Health Organization. Viewpoint on Acupuncture. Geneva, Switzerland: World Health Organization, 1979.