The science of acupuncture is an important component of traditional Chinese medicine used in the prevention and treatment of disease. The word acupuncture” derives from the Latin words “acus”, meaning needle, and “punctere”, meaning to puncture. Acupuncture consists of inserting needles into the body in order to stimulate acupuncture points that lay on the body’s surface. These points have the ability to alter various biochemical and physiological conditions to achieve the desired effect.
The 14 main meridians contain 670 points, counting bilaterally, with more than 300 extra points. Within the human ear are another 133 points. An acupuncture point is an area of lower resistance to electrical current than other parts of the body, as a result of the dense accumulation of nerves and blood vessels at the site.
Acupuncture does more than relieve pain: It increases circulation and releases neurotransmitters and neuro hormones, which contain endorphins— the body’s natural painkilling hormones. It is unsurpassed for reducing stress and tension, which cause many emotional and physical complaints.
Within traditional Chinese medicine exists various methods of recognizing, diagnosing and treating diseases.
Eight Principle acupuncture is a way of identifying the patterns of a disease or disharmony according to the eight principles of Interior/Exterior, Hot/ Cold, Full/Empty, and Yin/Yang.
Constitutional medicine looks at a person’s constitutional patterns as a whole rather than the disharmony or disease itself. It indirectly seeks to treat the disease, by looking at where underlying deficiencies and excesses exist.
Therapeutic treatments may also include a variety of non-needle techniques such as the heat treatment moxibustion, which is an herb rolled to warm the meridians. Another method, cupping, helps to draw circulation to a stagnant area in the body, such as on the upper back over the lungs.
Electro-acupuncture is done with electrodes attached to the needles to send electric impulses to an area of chronic or acute pain.