Acupuncture and The Underlying Concepts Behind The Practice
Individuals who want to learn more about the field of acupuncture should first read about the concept of disease laid out in traditional Chinese medical texts. Most practitioners of traditional Chinese medical techniques feel that diseases are caused by an imbalance between different energy forces inside of the human body. Therapies are prescribed to patients based on the identification of certain patterns of disharmony in their bodies.
Acupuncture is actually only a single component of a complete health regimen. It works best when combined with all the other facets of traditional Chinese medical work. An acupuncturist will generally offer a number of different treatment options to clear out blocked energy pathways that cause these abovementioned imbalances. The most famous of these involves using slight pressure to puncture skin with needles in order to encourage blood to flow to blocked areas.
This type of acupuncture is often accompanied by various moxibustion techniques. This generally includes burning cone-shaped preparations of dried mugwort on the skin. Classical acupuncture is usually used to correct imbalances that result in acute medical problems or some type of pain. Moxibustion is employed when a patient is suffering from a lingering blockage. Chronic diseases are often treated by this method.
Acupressure has become a popular alternative to classical acupuncture. The technique is preformed in the same way, but it doesn’t require the use of needles. A practitioner of acupressure usually uses their fingers to apply pressure to points in order to encourage blood flow to the local area.
Tui na is a related field, and it’s often combined with more advanced chi kung exercises. These exercises are often mistaken for the martial art of T’ai chi ch’uan, but they’re actually very different. Tui na and chi kung are a set of disciplines that provide a set of motions for a patient to work through. Practitioners are expected to focus on the movement of chi through various acupuncture points when performing these motions.
Those who aren’t familiar with the concept of chi should perhaps think of it as a quantum measurement of living energy moving through a person’s body. Those who have read American acupuncture texts might end up thinking of this energy as something mystical, but classical Chinese authors took a far more pragmatic approach.
They view the body as divided up into meridians with numerous acupuncture points located across them that provide a pathway for this invisible force. Needle-based acupuncture techniques are designed to open up these points. Those who practice this form of acupuncture often rely on charts to help them follow which points influence which organs of the human body.
Western medical documentation often claims that there is little scientific support for this way of thinking, but a number of studies published in China and Korea have suggested the existence of energy pathways located along the circulatory system. American and European health journals are now starting to admit that properly practiced techniques can help patients to live free from pain without having to resort to synthetic pharmaceuticals.