What is Acupuncture?
Acupuncture is an ancient system of healing. It began even before the stone age. During those times, sharp-edged and stones were the norm. They punctured and drained abscesses using stones.
Acupuncture is a medicinal practice. Its use was over 2500 years ago. It treats a wide range of diseases. It was a crucial procedure to take care of different ailments.
The process was puncturing the skin with needles. Moxibustion was a common practice too. This is a process that involved burning moxa on the skin.
Moxa was a cone or stick made out of mugwort leaves. It’s burnt along your body’s meridian points. The resulting heat would help to stimulate these points. It would also improve the flow of energy in your body.
The procedure was first recorded in a Chinese text. Its title was Huang Di Nei Jing. The translation is The Yellow Emperor’s Classic of Internal Medicine.
The knowledge in the book is in the form of questions. The questions are by the emperor. His minister, Chhi -Po, replies to them, providing the necessary information.
It includes in-depth knowledge of the channels. It has details on the meridians and conduits, which the qi follows. The details of the sites of the acupuncture points have changed over the years.
The publication of acupuncture contributed to its vast spread. This was during the mid-dynasty. The years range from 1368 – 1644. Modern acupuncture borrows from a publication. It is The Great Compendium of Acupuncture and Moxibustion.
Acupuncture developed over the years. Its acceptance to the modern world is unique to the other traditional therapies. It has developed since the 1970s.
Mechanism of Action of Acupuncture
Acupuncture borrows from the belief that energy flows within the human body. This energy follows channels. The energy is referred to as qi. Its pronunciation is “chee”.
The energy moves throughout your body. It moves along 12 different channels. These channels are known as meridians. The meridians essentially involved major organs and functions of the body.
The meridians, however, do not refer to the pathways of blood flow. They neither refer to the pathway that the nerves take. Certified practitioners performed it to treat certain disorders.
There are up to 400 different acupuncture points. They are all specific to a certain disease or disorder. The procedure was successful in treating over 40 diseases.
The procedure aims to restore health through stimulation. It corrects imbalances of the energy throughout the body. Researchers nowadays are digging deep to find out how effective the procedure was.
Some of them argue that pain relief, when punctured with needles, was the key. It stimulates the nerves in your body. Besides that, it releases pain-relieving chemicals.
The chemicals include endorphins and serotonin. They help to ease the symptoms of the ailments. Acupuncture also stimulates the pituitary gland to release a chemical known as cortisol—this chemical aids in reducing pain-causing inflammations.
Forms of Acupuncture
Acupuncture takes different forms. As mentioned, it could be through needling or moxibustion. Other forms could include:
● Electric Acupuncture
● Laser Acupuncture or Photoacupuncture
● Microsystem Acupuncture
Electric acupuncture involved using electric probes to carry out the therapy. The laser one also referred to as photo-acupuncture, involved the use of laser beams. There was another form of therapy known as acupressure. It involved the application of pressure at selected positions in your body.
Development of acupuncture
Acupuncture has developed over the years. It became one of the standard therapies in China. It is complemented by massaging, diet, herbs, and heat therapy.
The introduction of bronze statues was in the fifteenth century. They help in studying modern-day acupuncture points. They are also useful for examination purposes.
During the previous centuries, the procedure did spread too. Neighboring countries such as Japan learned the procedure from China. Western countries adopted acupuncture as early as 1810.
The practice did expand into the United States in the 1970s. The government bodies in the country classified acupuncture needles as medical instruments. This was in 1995.
In the coming years, more bodies would acknowledge acupuncture as an effective method. In 1997, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) acknowledged it as a therapy.
Most states have licensed the practice. There are even schools set up to teach it. If you are looking to practice acupuncture Denver has a few schools to choose from, like most cities in the United States do. This is a milestone to the traditional practice, which originated from China.
Records of documented acupuncture procedures
There are sealed documents that have references to system meridians. These documents, however, have no direct reference to acupuncture procedures.
The ancient man’s name is Ötzi, the “Ice Man.” He dates to 3300 BCE. Tattoo marks were on his body. They were similar to the stimulatory treatment involved in meridians. The iceman was in a melted Alpine glacier.
Decline of acupuncture
Interest in the procedure declined in the 17th century. Many considered it to be full of superstitions. At some point, it was excluded from the imperial medical institute.
With the emergence of western medicine, acupuncture practices fell apart. The communist government later revived it. It became available in several hospitals.