Acupuncture essay

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Acupuncture
Acupuncture is a traditional Eastern therapeutic technique that uses fine needles, inserted into specific points on the body along the meridians in proper speed to achieve a specific therapeutic goal. Acupuncture originated in prehistoric China, and it is based on such theories of Traditional Chinese Medicine as treating blockages of Qi, yin-yang balancing, five elements theory and pulse diagnosis. The functional system of channels and organs uses concepts of yin-yang balancing. Nowadays, acupuncture has become commonly used in many Western countries as well.

Around 200 B.C., the Yellow Emperor’s textbook of physical medicine called Huang Di Nei Jing described the essential metaphysics of Traditional Chinese Medicine. The ancient Chinese doctors saw man as an integral part of nature and all things both in Yin and Yang around him were related to him, and things in Yin and Yang should be in balance. The original meaning of Yin is the shady side of the hill, and Yang is the sunny side of the hill. The opposites complement each other in a dynamic process. Thus, Yin and Yang cannot exist without the other, and the two forces always combine to make up the whole. “This polar system of Yin and Yang has an important role in medicine and in the description of life processes in the human body and of their pathologic disturbances.” (Gabriel Stux, Brian Berman and Bruce Plmeranz, 2003, p88)

Qi is the vital energy or life force, and it is omnipresent in nature and is apparent in all life in the form of change and movement. The action and movement of Qi expresses in every life process and every organic function. “In the body, Qi accumulates in the organs and flows in channels or meridians that are called Jing and Luo in Chinese.” (Gabriel Stux, Brian Berman and Bruce Plmeranz, 2003, p.88) The general theory of acupuncture is based on the premise that there are Qi. The fluent flow of Qi throughout the body is essential for optimal health. Blockage of this energy is thought to cause disease. The aim of the treatment in Chinese acupuncture is to harmonize the flow of Qi by dissolving blockages and stagnation in the organs and channels. If the Qi of an organ is weakened, the function of this organ will be incomplete or faulty, but if Qi of an organ is present in excess, the function of this organ will be excessive. Acupuncture can balance the conditions of excess or deficiency in the organs, and thus achieve an undisturbed function.

The system of “five element”, like yin-yang balancing, is a philosophy concept and is a way of recognizing and analyzing things. The five elements are wood, fire, earth, metal and water. This system is used to explain the reasons of interaction relationship between all things in the nature through the interlinked relationship between the five elements. These basic elements are intimately interlinked. Each element is controlled by another, while itself simultaneously controlling a third phase.

According to Chinese medicine, Qi flows through meridians, and there are11 organs interact intimately with the channels. The 11 organs are described as functional systems and subdivided into six Yang organs and five Yin organs. Large intestine, small intestine, stomach, urinary bladder, gallbladder and “Sanjiao” are the six Yang organs, and lung, heart, spleen, kidney and liver are the five Yin organs.“Pericardium (a double-walled sac that contains the heart and the roots of the great vessels) is not considered as a Yin organ, but as part of the heart, having a channel.” (Gabriel Stux, Brian Berman and Bruce Plmeranz, 2003, p122) The 12 main channels form a system of three courses of channels at the body surface. Each course of channel consists of two pair Yin-Yang channels. One pair runs in parallel along the arm, and the other along the leg. This three courses flow in similar form.

One Yin and one Yang organ form a functional unit, which involves a particular tissue and the corresponding...
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