Acupuncture is an ancient Chinese medical technique that is used to improve one’s overall health, including relieving pain and curing disease. This procedure is conducted by applying small metal needles to the body, and carefully inserting them into the skin and tissue. Acupuncture was first founded during the Stone Age, back when sharp-edged tools and stones were used to remove abscesses. It was first recorded in the ancient Chinese medical text Huang Di Nei Jing, The Yellow Emperor’s Classic of Internal Medicine. The foundation of modern acupuncture was established during the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) with the publication of The Great Compendium of Acupuncture and Moxibustion. It was used in the West in the 17th century, and by the time of the late 20th century, it had already spread to many other areas of the world.
Acupuncture was based on the ancient Chinese philosophy’s dualistic cosmic theory involving yin and yang. The idea is that in – the female principle – is representative of the earth for being passive and dark. On the contrary, yang – the male principle – is active and light, and symbolizes the heavens. Both yin and yang act together in the human body in the same way that they do in the natural universe. When disease or disharmony takes place, it’s because these two forces have caused an imbalance. The objective of Chinese medicine is to restore a person’s health by striking a balance between them.
When there is an imbalance of yin and yang, it leads to an obstruction in the body by affecting the life force, which is also known as qi(pronounced as “chee”). Qi flows through 12 main channels in the body that are also called meridians. These pathways are closely linked with a major visceral organ and a functional body system. Acupuncture affects the distribution of yin and yang in these channels. In doing so, the qi will flow freely – thus, balance will be restored.
Acupuncture is done by inserting needles into any of hundreds of points that are placed within the 12 basic meridians and a number of specialized meridians. The shape of the needles can slightly be in the form of an arrowhead and its points are very fine. Normally, the insertion of a needle is 3 to 10 mm in depth. In other procedures, insertions can be up to almost 25 cm. Once inserted, a needle may be twisted, twirled, or connected to a low-voltage alternating current for as long as it’s being used. The physician often inserts needles at a considerable distance from the point on which they are supposed to affect. The successive points on a specific meridian can even have an impact on widely different areas or conditions. For that reason, diagrams and models are used to map out the targeted location of the points.
If you are interested in having acupuncture done, it’s important to look for trustworthy recommendations and to do your research, and look out for the practitioner’s training and credentials. But more importantly, talk to your doctor about it first. They know your medical history better than anyone else and will be able to decide whether or not it’s the right treatment for you.
Apsara Tasnim is a content writer for BreezeMaxWeb, who helps businesses grow their online presence by creating an engaging copy. During her spare time, she enjoys taking photographs of nature and exploring the outdoors.