Acupuncture
Body Points, Meridians, Needles, Energy (Chi, Qi), Method & History of Chinese Health Practice


Summary and History

Acupuncture: Chinese Healing'Acupuncture is a Chinese healing system over 5,000 years old. It involves the insertion of very fine needles on the body's surface, in order to influence physiological functioning of the body.

The first record of Acupuncture is found in the 4,700 year old Huang Di Nei Jing (Yellow Emperor's Classic of Internal Medicine). This is said to be the oldest medical textbook in the world.

It is said to have been written down from even earlier theories by Shen Nung, the father of Chinese Medicine. Shen Nung documented theories about circulation, pulse, and the heart over 4,000 years before European medicine.

Qi / Chi / Energy & Meridians (Body Points)

As the basis of Acupuncture, Shen Nung theorized that the body had an energy force running throughout it. This energy force is known as Qi. The Qi consists of all essential life activities which include the spiritual, emotional, mental and the physical aspects of life.

Acupuncture meridiansA person's health is influenced by the flow of Qi in the body, in combination with the universal forces of Yin and Yang . If the flow of Qi is insufficient, unbalanced or interrupted, Yin and Yang become unbalanced, and illness may occur.

Qi travels throughout the body along 'meridians' or special pathways. The acupuncture points are specific locations where the Meridians come to the surface of the skin, and are easily accessible by 'needling', Moxibustion, and Acupressure. The connections between them ensure that there is an even circulation of Qi, a balance between Yin and Yang.

When pathways become obstructed, deficient, excessive, or just unbalanced, Yin and Yang are said to be thrown out of balance. This causes illness. Acupuncture is said to restore the balance.

Acupuncturists commonly use six types of needles today. These needles vary in length, width of shaft, and shape of head. Most needles are disposable, are used once and discarded.

by Jeffrey A. Singer
http://acupuncture.com/education/theory/acuintro.htm


Summary of Acupuncture, Research & Pain

'Scientific research has given us some insight into the nature of acupoints and the physiological effects of acupuncture on the body. Microscopically, acupuncture points have been shown to contain large blood vessels, lymphatic vessels, and nerve endings. Electrical measurements show that acupoints exhibit an increased electrical conductance when compared to non-acupuncture points. Thus, electricity flows more easily through acupoints.

Research has also shown how acupuncture works very effectively to reduce or eliminate pain. Bruce Pomeranz, MD, PhD, studied physiological responses of humans and laboratory animals to acupuncture. He found that acupuncture works at the level of the spinal cord and brain to block pain transmission.

It also stimulates an area of the brain (hypothalamus) to produce endorphins which are the body's own pain medicine (similar to morphine). It also stimulates a hormone that releases cortisol from the adrenal glands (anti-inflammatory).'

http://www.janhendryx.com/about_acupuncture.html


Research Studies for Adults & Children

Acupuncture needles on the Spine'Acupuncture is among the CAM (complementary alternative medicine) therapies most frequently recommended by internists and family physicians and is currently practiced in over 140 hospitals in the United States.

Prior to the advent of modern medicine, acupuncture evolved as a primary health care modality for treatment of diverse conditions involving orthopedics, gastroenterology, obstetrics/gynecology and cardiology.

In response to the widespread use of acupuncture throughout history, recent research has sought to critically examine the efficacy of acupuncture as a treatment for diverse conditions.

In adult populations, research suggests beneficial effects for conditions including fibromyalgia, dyspnea, nausea and vomiting, tinnitus, stroke rehabilitation, angina, menopausal symptoms, dysmenorrhea, anxiety and pain management.

Acupuncture is also effective for children. It demonstrates relative promise in the management of pediatric pain, migraines, infant distress, enuresis, constipation, allergies, neurologic disability, laryngospasm and post-operative vomiting.

However, some inconsistent findings have been reported among pediatric populations, suggesting the need for additional, methodologically sound research in order to assert acupuncture as an empirically valid intervention for childhood conditions. Nonetheless, families continue to seek these non invasive services, even in the face of limited findings.'

Pediatric Acupuncture: A Review of Clinical Research
http://ecam.oxfordjournals.org/cgi/content/full/nem181v1


Analysis of studies on Acupuncture & Addiction

We studied 22 controlled clinical studies on the efficacy of acupuncture in three fields of addiction: cigarette smoking (15), heroin (five), and alcohol (two).

These studies were reviewed using a list of 18 predefined criteria of good methodology. .. The study design was generally poor.

For smoking cessation, the number of studies with negative outcomes exceeded by far the number with positive outcomes. For heroin and alcohol addiction controlled clinical research is both scarce and of low quality. Claims that acupuncture is efficacious as a therapy for these addictions are thus not supported by results from sound clinical research.

G Ter Riet, J Kleijnen, and P Knipschild
Department of Epidemiology and Health Care Research, University of Limburg, The Netherlands.
http://www.pubmedcentral.nih.gov/articlerender.fcgi?artid=1371348


Acupuncture and Nicotine Addiction Research

We examined the effect of acupuncture on nicotine-induced behavioral locomotor activity.

The rats were given repeated daily nicotine injections (0.4 mg/kg s.c., twice daily for 7 days). Acupuncture at zusanli (ST36), but not control, significantly attenuated expected increase in nicotine-induced locomotor activity.

These findings suggest that acupuncture has a therapeutic effect on nicotine addiction, possibly by modulating postsynaptic neuronal activity in the nucleus accumbens and the striatum.

http://www.sciencedirect.com/science?_ob=ArticleURL&_udi=B6T0G-4BSW4HW-3&_user=10&_rdoc=1&_fmt=&_orig=search&_sort=d&view=c&_acct=C000050221
& _version=1&_urlVersion=0&_userid=10&md5=53df0d104ef8fb17086d9e78a3482f7e


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Acupuncture: Chinese Health Practice. Body Points, Meridians, Needles, Energy (Chi, Qi), History





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