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What is acupuncture?

Posted Aug 31 2009 8:32am

Although acupuncture has been around for more than 2000 years….

Although it had made a tremendous contribution to the Chinese nation and even human beings development…


There are still a lot of people do not understand much about acupuncture… Don’t understand what is acupuncture.  Don’t understand how acupuncture treat and cure sicknesses. What are the diseases that can be treated by acupuncture? And, that’s why during my work, I often have to explain to my patients about acupuncture.

The method of acupuncture and the method of moxibustion is collectively known as “Acupuncture”. It is one of the important composition of Traditional Chinese Medicine. It includes acupuncture theory, acupuncture points (acupoints), acupuncture techniques and relevant eqiupments. During the process of formation, application and development of acupuncture, it possesses distinct  Han Chinese   Han MinZu  culture and geographical features. Acupuncture is a precious heritage that is based on  Han Chinese  culture and tradition.

What we usually talk about acupuncture, is a fine needle acupuncture method. It is one type of acupuncture method. It uses a metal filiform (thread-like) fine needle to insert to the patient’s body according to certain acupoints, while utilizing the acupuncture techniques such as twist and turn; lift and insert, as to treat diseases.

  In addition, there are also  Three-edged needletherapySkin needletherapyFire needletherapy  and others. And all these are treatment means formed and developed under the guidance of Traditional Chinese Medicine Theory. Different types of needles have different types of application. Both the three-edged needle and skin needle can be used in the bloodletting treatment. The different is that, three-edged needle is used more on pricking the skin, while the skin needle is used for larger surface area of bloodletting treatment. As for the fire needle, it is used for Chronic illness treatment, such as rheumatism ache and wind-dampness.

 Moxibustion, its Chinese name " jiu fa", having the word “ Jiu ” , was explained in the book ‘Word and Expression’  ShuoWen JieZhi  as “Burn”. It has the meaning of “burning” the body as to cure diseases. Among all the famous monograph on Traditional Chinese Medicine, moxibustion was found at the earliest in the book  HuangDi NeiJin g. Moxibustion is not only good and effective for Asthenia syndromes and cold diseases. At the same time, moxibustion is also a good way of health care. There are few different ways of moxibustion, such as moxibustion with moxa cone, moxibustion with moxa stick, moxibustion with warming needle, moxibustion with medicines or herbs, solar term moxibustion and others. When different ways of moxibustion are applied based on different condition of sickness, it usually gets miraculous effects.

Both acupuncture and moxibustion can be used alone, but more often they are used together. It is called acupuncture-moxibustion or just Acupuncture, as both have the complementary role. When two are used together, it can achieve best results for treating diseases.

During the clinical practice of acupuncture treatment, based on Traditional Chinese Medicine’s diagnosis methods, it is important to diagnose the cause of sickness, find out the key points to the disease, differentiate the the nature of the disease, determine the type of affection (which meridian, and which organ), identify types of sickness. This then proceed to giving treatment to the corresponding acupoints. This is done as to smooth the meridians, and to tune the  Qi  and blood, which then lead to balancing of Yin and Yang, and reconciling the function of internal organs. This can then achieve the aim of preventing and curing diseases.

Acupuncture has many advantages, such as:

1) There is a wide range of applications for any diseases treatment and prevention. Most of the diseases can apply with acupuncture for treatment. Here is a list released released by World Health Organization (WHO) 1980, with 43 kinds of diseases that can effectively treated with acupuncture. These including:

  1. Sinusitis 
  2. Rhinitis 
  3. Cold 
  4. Tonsillitis 
  5. Acute and chronic laryngitis 
  6. Bronchitis 
  7. Bronchial asthma 
  8. Acute conjunctivitis 
  9. Central retinitis 
  10. Myopia 
  11. Cataract 
  12. Toothache 
  13. Pain after tooth extraction 
  14. Gingivitis 
  15. Esophagus, sprayed the door missing flaccid disease 
  16. Hiccup 
  17. Gastroptosis 
  18. Acute and chronic gastritis 
  19. Gastric acid or HAPC acid 
  20. Chronic duodenal ulcer (pain remission) 
  21. A simple inflammation of acute duodenal ulcer 
  22. Acute and chronic colitis 
  23. Acute (chronic) of bacillary dysentery
  24. Constipation 
  25. Diarrhea 
  26. Intestinal paralysis 
  27. Headache 
  28. Migraine 
  29. Trigeminal neuralgia 
  30. Facial paralysis 
  31. Mild paralysis after stroke 
  32. Peripheral nerve disorders 
  33. Children with sequelae of poliomyelitis 
  34. Meniere’s syndrome 
  35. Neurogenic bladder dysfunction 
  36. Enuresis 
  37. Intercostal neuralgia 
  38. Neck-arm syndrome 
  39. Shoulder coagulation disorder (scapulohumeral periarthritis) 
  40. Tennis elbow 
  41. Sciatica 
  42. Low back pain 
  43. Arthritis

2) The effect of diseases treatment is relatively rapid and significant, especially with the function of exciting the body function; improving disease resistance; and calming and easing pain effects. Acupuncture treatment directly give the effect through diagnosis and moxibustion as to stimulate the acupuncture points, and the meridians. It is unlike having medication, that need to go through the process of digestion and absorption. Thus, the effect is fast and effective.

3) The operation is user-friendly. In ancient times, many doctors relied only on a few needles to serve the community. The key lies in its user-friendly operation.

4) Economic medical expenses

5) There is no or can consider as very little side effects. Basically, acupuncture is a safety and reliable treatment method, that can also be integrated with other treatment therapies to have comprehensive treament. As long as the person in charge is a professional acupuncturist, its security is guaranted. Nowaday, a standard acupuncturist uses sterilized disposable acupuncture needle. So, there is no need to worry about cross-infection from the acupuncture needle. Besides, acupuncture and Chinese medicine herbs or even other Western medicine therapies do not have confliction but rather having a synergic effect.

Hope that my explanation above can help you to understand more about acupuncture.


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