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Chinese Medicine and Acupuncture

Apr 15, 2008
Acupuncture is used in Chinese Medicine to diagnose illness as viewed by Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). It is believed that the human body and the bodily processes are "flows of Qi or energy". There are considered to be major currents of this flow called channels or meridians (jing luo). Twelve of these channels connect with the organs in the trunk of the body. Each acupunctural point has an effect on a different current in the flow or the connecting organ in the body. In TCM there are 7 groups of acu-points that are used.

Groups of acu-points:

Transporting Points - five transporting points are on each channel, beginning at fingers and toes and ending at elbows and knees.

Five Element Points begin at finger and tow tips. They correspond to the five elements of Chinese medicine (fire, wood, metal, water and earth). These elements are key to which point to select in treatment.

Yuan-Source Points are found on each organ channel. This is the point at which Source Qi is released into the system when needled.

Xi-Acumulating-Cleft Points are where Qi slows and collects. These points are used to clear a channel.

Mu-Front-Alarm Points are located on the front of the body close to the organ of diagnostic relationship. These points are used in diagnostic exams because reactions while pressing these points or receiving a spontaneous sensation at the point can give the doctor information about the illness.

Shu-Back Points are located on the back of both branches of the Bladder channel and have a diagnostic relationship with the body part they are named for.

Window to the Sky Points are located in the upper third of the body. These points can facilitate connection to the individual's spirit or to the spirit world, which effectively connects to heaven.

The Needles:

The needles used in Chinese acupuncture can be anywhere from 1/4" to several inches in length. The most commonly used needles are 1" and 1.5" length of needle. The needles can be a few thousandths to several thousandths of an inch in diameter.

The needles can be made of gold, which is thought to tonify the body; silver which is to disperse Qi; and in the U.S. needles are made mostly of stainless steel.

The patient may feel a sensation feel as if they have been bitten by a mosquito or a fly or they may feel nothing at all. Any sensation that they may feel will subside within a matter of seconds of the needle being inserted. After the needle is inserted there may be a wide variety of possible sensations that may be felt during the therapy.

During Therapy:

While the needle is inserted you may feel nothing, or you may feel heaviness around the site of the needle insertion or over your whole body. You may feel as if there is an electrical charge coursing through the channel. Others feel as though water is moving through a hose. These sensations are explained as being the "experience of Qi".

A burning or sharp sensation or continuous sensation, you will need to tell the doctor or technician so that the needle can be adjusted.

The needles are usually inserted for 20 to 40 minutes. What a person feels while they are in depends on how great of an imbalance there was in the body. The patient may feel extremely relaxed during the procedure or they could feel energized. It is not uncommon for patients to actually fall asleep during treatment. Other patients can enter into a meditative state.

Experiences with acupuncture will vary depending upon the individual.
About the Author
Scott Meyers is a staff writer for Its Entirely Natural, a resource for helping you achieve a naturally healthy body, mind, and spirit. You may contact our writers through the web site. Follow this link for more information on Traditional Chinese Medicine.
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