Acupuntcure for Cynics - Don't be Scared to be Healed.
Most of us have heard of acupuncture, but the truth of the matter is
that for many of us, thats as far as our knowledge of acupuncture goes.
We know it involves sticking needles into our body to help relieve pain.
But the very idea of needles probably sounds painful. However, this is
not really the case.
Acupuncture is a branch of traditional Chinese medicine. This framework
of medical practice begins with the belief that our body is a balance of
two opposite yet inseparable forces the yin and yang.
By the same line of thinking, this applies to the entire universe. Yin
represents forces such as the cold, the slow and other passive forces,
whilst Yang represents heat, excitement and other active forces. It is a
combination of these forces and the balance between them that
determines our mental and physical well-being.
Another cornerstone of traditional Chinese medicine is the concept of
chi (pronounced chee). Chi is the life force of the universe. In the
body, it is the chi that creates and animates life. We are all born with a
certain amount of chi and continually acquire it throughout our lives
through food, air, water and sunlight. Chi is believed to move through
our body in channels called meridians. The quantity and quality of chi in
our body depends on the state of our mental and physical balance (as
represented by the yin and yang).
In fact, imbalances of the yin and yang in the body block the channels
through which chi travels in our body. There are twelve main meridians
(channels through which chi our vital energy can travel) in our
body, eight minor meridians and over 2000 acupuncture points or
acupoints which connect these meridians. The practice of acupuncture
unblocks these chi pathways, thus ensuring the constant and free flow
of energy through our body for mental and physical wellbeing.
Oriental medicine has some basic principles but they are not set in
stone. Acupuncture and traditional Chinese medicine at large are
tailored and modified to suit each patient. Furthermore there are many
different schools of thought.
Traditional Chinese medicine is a complete healthcare system that is
capable of providing both specialized and primary healthcare. It also
gives us guidelines on how to prevent illnesses.
The bulk of traditional Chinese medicines roots lie in Taoism. Taoism is
both a religion and a philosophy of life. The main focus of Taoism is the
natural laws of the universe and our relationship to the universe.
Some of the basic principles of Taoism are listed below. They must be
understood in terms of their applications to health and healing:
Basic laws of nature govern the universe. We are a part of this
universe and we must exist within that framework and abide by
In its natural order, the universe is perfectly harmonious and
perfectly organized. If humans live according to the laws of the
universe, they will also be in harmony.
Change is the only constant. Our universe is dynamic. If we do
not change ourselves in line with the universe, disharmony will
prevail. It is this disharmony that will cause sickness or illness of
the mind and body.
All life is interconnected and interdependent. To ensure overall
well being we need to consider the whole before the parts. When
curing an illness or sickness we must adopt a systems approach,
that is, look at the body as a whole rather than as parts.
We are a part of the universe. We are not independent of our
universe. In fact, we have an intimate connection with our
environment and universe. Therefore, our spiritual, mental and
physical health is affected by our environment and external
The word acupuncture literally means pricking with a needle.
Acupuncture points are, in fact, the focus of acupuncture treatments.
Therefore, acupuncture involves the insertion and manipulation of
needles into acupuncture points on the body for restoring health and
Acupuncture originated in China more than 2000 years ago making it
one of the oldest and most commonly practiced medical procedures in
the world. Research into acupuncture is still ongoing and practices and
theories are being constantly updated.
In essence, acupuncture is aimed at promoting well being and
alleviating pain. The method may seem alien to many of us but it has
been practiced in China and beyond for thousands of years and
continues to be validated by scientists even today.
Acupuncture is now practiced the world over to benefit of people of all
races, ages and ailments.
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