What is acupuncture? Where did it come from? Why do people use it? Acupuncture is an ancient form of Chinese medicine dating as far back as 10,000 BC. The practice of acupuncture in Chinese medicine originated in the area of the Yellow River in China. Acupuncture treats illness and ailment by targeting precise points on the body through insertion of sharpened objects such as needles (Leung, 2012).
Built on principles of traditional Chinese medicine, acupuncture is founded in the laws of Yin-Yang and the five elements: wood, fire, earth, metal, and water. Acupuncture is intertwined in the relationships between Qi, Xue, and the meridians of the body. By interjecting sharpened objects into precise body points, it is believed that the flow of Qi and Xue will resume homeostasis through the meridians and consequently, body organs will also re-establish homeostasis. Meridians are known as the pathways of circulation throughout the body. There are twelve in the human body (Leung, 2012).
Acupuncture thrives on the premise that a healthy body will self-balance Yin-Yang and the Five Elements through Zhongs-Fus. Specific points along the meridian are known in Chinese medicine as acupuncture points. Three hundred and sixty five acupuncture points exist in the human body.These are the points through which the acupuncturist manipulates the meridian to regulate the flow of Qi and Xue thereby promoting homeostasis (Leung, 2012).
Acupuncture is known for its effectiveness in pain management. In Chinese medicine it is believed that any pain in the body is a result of blockage along the meridian. Blockage may be associated with old age or chronic illness which are both known for a deficiency of Yang. Alternatively, blockage may be the result of acute trauma or injury. The goal of acupuncture is to restore balance to the Yin and Yang as well as to the Zhong and Fus thereby relieving physical pain in the body. Acupuncture differs from traditional western medicine in the sense that it seeks first to rectify the root cause of the pain before treating the symptom of pain. Conversely, western medicine aims first to alleviate pain and suffering then to rectify the root cause of the pain and suffering (Leung, 2012).
Leung, L. (2012). Neurophysiological basis of acupuncture-induced analgesia—an updated review. Journal of Acupuncture and Meridian Studies, 5(6), 261-270.