The ancient Chinese way of healing

FM Bureau | 12-November-2012

Detailed News

Traditional Medicine – Acupuncture

Modern medicine is being supplemented by the traditional branches of medicine with natural healing methodologies that have been used since time immemorial. Acupuncture, an alternative medicinal solution, is still widely being used for curing many diseases and body disorders

Modern day medical practitioners should be thankful to the Chinese for their immense contributions to the traditional systems of healing. Acupuncture is one such wonderful contribution made by the traditional Chinese healing experts. Its use can be traced to the ancient times in China, when soldiers hit by arrows were cured of chronic ailments that could not be treated otherwise. This alternative medicinal methodology is still widely being used across the world against various diseases and body disorders.

Acupuncture cannot be restricted to a specific branch of medicine. It is used by practitioners of Herbalism, Homoeopathy, Naturopathy, Orthopathy, Osteopathy, and Ayurveda. There are scores of research studies that have proved the effectiveness of Acupuncture in curing certain types of pain and post-operative nausea.

Origin of Acupuncture

Acupuncture originated in the cold north-west parts of China, where herbs and other medical remedies were scarce. Thereafter, it spread from China to other parts of the world through travelling physicians, scholars, and pilgrims. In India, Acupuncture has been a part of Ayurveda since ancient times.

About Acupuncture

Acupuncture is a medical technique usually involving the shallow insertion of needles through the skin at particular points on the body called acupoints. Acupuncture is based on the idea of allowing the body to naturally heal itself from all kinds of ailments. It helps in sickness prevention, ailment removal, and slowing down the ageing process. The needles used in acupuncture treatments are very thin, about the width of a hair.
Under Acupuncture, thin, solid needles are inserted into the acupoints of the body, which stimulates the body and corrects the imbalances in the flow of Qi (it is the element of the body which enables the living beings to lead a healthy life).

There are over 500 acupoints in a human body. Only the expert ones in this field can make best use of it. During Acupuncture, endorphins, that are a part of our body’s natural pain-control system, may be released into the central nervous system. It stimulates the spinal cord and other nerve systems of our body and releases pain-suppressing neurotransmitters. Acupuncture needles increases the amount of blood flow in the area around the needle. The increased blood flow may supply additional nutrients, or remove toxic substances, or both.

Benefits of Acupuncture

Clinical researches and studies on acupuncture assure that it can treat a variety of diseases which affects the respiratory system, eyes and mouth, and gastro-intestinal, neurological and muscular disorders. Acupuncture provides the best results for headaches, migraine, and back pain. It is used to stop smoking, lose weight, lower blood pressure, and treat constipation, anxiety, insomnia, allergies, asthma and various skin disorders. Significantly, Acupuncture helps Diabetics and those suffering from Osteoarthritis.

“Acupuncture has become a popular alternative treatment for Osteoarthritis. The usual treatment course is one to three months of weekly treatments, dietary and herbal prescriptions, and Tai Chi or Qigong exercises. There are various etiologies and variances of this condition, so a thorough evaluation with a licensed practitioner will assist in determining the proper course of action” says Dr Maoshing Ni, an Acupuncture expert from China.

Acupuncture and Diabetics

Experiments have shown that Acupuncture can activate Glucose 6-phosphatase, an important enzyme in carbohydrate metabolism, and affect the hypothalamus. It can act on the pancreas to enhance insulin synthesis, increase the number of receptors on target cells, and accelerate the utilisation of glucose, resulting in lowering of blood sugar. It also lowers the release of pancreatic glucagons; attenuates symptoms of polyphagia (the urge to eat too much), polydipsia (excessive thirst), and polyuria (excessive passage of urine); prevents slowing of motor nerve conduction; improves microcirculation and myocardial contractility; enhances blood outflow, and regulates vascular peripheral resistance; obliterates atherosclerosis of the legs; induces secretion of endogenous beta-endorphin; and elevates a lowered pain threshold.

Types of Acupuncture

Acupuncture therapy varies from place to place and person to person.
Shonishin – Acupuncture for Children: This treatment is applied on children for diseases like failure to thrive syndrome, weak constitution, Colic, excessive night crying, temper tantrums, indigestion, Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease, constipation, and diarrhea, night terrors, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, allergies, asthma, and colds, eczema and hives, ear infections, bedwetting etc. The application of Shonishin way of Acupuncture treatment varies according to the age and gender of the child.

Cupping: This technique of acupuncture is quite popular across the world. Under this technique, a glass cup, or bamboo jar, is heated from the inside with fire to create a vacuum and then placed on the afflicted area of the body. The cup’s suction pulls at the skin and is said to “suck out” the body’s toxins. Cupping stimulates the flow of blood, lymph, and Qi to the affected area; It can also relieve a person of swelling, muscle pain, back pain and pain from stiffness or injury. It also clears congestion in the chest, which occurs with common colds and influenza.
Auricular Acupuncture: This technique is one of the widely used microsystems within Eastern medicine. Microsystems use one aspect of the body – for example, the ears, hands or feet – to treat conditions that are present anywhere in the body. It is commonly used for pain control and drug, alcohol, and nicotine addictions. This technique is based on the idea that the ear is a microsystem of the entire body represented on the auricle, the outer portion of the ear.

Adverse Effects of Acupuncture

Serious adverse effects include Pneumothorax, spinal lesions, and Hepatitis B transmission. Other possible side effects are fainting during treatment, nausea and vomiting, increased pain, diarrhea, local skin irritation, bruising, needle site bleeding, psychiatric disturbance, headaches, spinal cord injury, and punctured organs. Therefore, if you are planning to undergo Acupuncture, make sure that you consult only authorised and licensed practitioners.

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