Theory of Acupuncture

Acupuncture is a method, in which very fine metallic needles are pierced to stimulate specific points (acupoints) in the human body. The word acupuncture is derived from the Latin words acus, meaning "needle" and pungere, meaning "to prick". Acupuncture, an important feature of the Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), is said to have originated in China.
Since its origin, acupuncture has developed tremendously. At present, it is practiced in almost all parts of the world. Based on the style and technique followed, there are different types of acupuncture, namely, classical Chinese acupuncture, Japanese style acupuncture, Korean hand acupuncture, and auricular acupuncture. There is no proof as to which particular technique is more effective than the other. Among the many types of acupuncture, the classical Chinese style is commonly practiced in the United States.
Theory of Acupuncture
The acupuncture theory is based on Qi (pronounced chee), the vital energy of the body. According to traditional Chinese medical theory, Qi is circulated in all parts of the body via energy channels, called meridians. This energy flow is more or less similar to the circulatory system and nervous system. In case, there is an interruption or blockage in the flow of Qi in the meridians, it causes pain and illness.
Various factors affect the smooth flow of Qi, such as poor nutrition, improper diet, polluted air and water, organ malfunction, injury and infection by harmful microorganisms. Another factor that disturbs the balanced flow of Qi is extreme climatic conditions (cold, wind, heat). The emotional state (pleasure, dejection, stress) of an individual, also regulates the normal flow of Qi in the meridians.
The main idea behind acupuncture is to restore health by stimulating acupoints located in the meridians. According to TCM, there are two basic types of Qi within our body, viz., congenital Qi and acquired Qi. As the name suggests, congenital Qi is present at the time of birth, whereas acquired Qi is developed after birth, from the air we breathe and the foods we eat. The quality of acquired Qi mostly depends on our lifestyle and physical activities.
In addition, there are other types of Qi such as jing, yuan, gu, kong, zhen, ying and wei, which are located in various parts of the body and are associated with different functions. For example, Jing Qi is situated in the kidneys and is responsible for growth and development. Overall, the Chinese mapped the presence of 361 acupoints in the major meridians, which can be accessed when there is an abnormality in the energy flow. Recent electromagnetic research has confirmed the presence of several acupuncture points in the body.
Though, the WHO (World Health Organization) reported acupuncture to be an effective way for treating disorders, there are certain advantages and disadvantages of acupuncture. Speaking about advantages, acupuncture helps in the treatment of both mental illness and physical illness. Certain chronic diseases such as arthritis, diabetes, asthma, hearing loss and hypertension can be treated with acupuncture.
Acupuncture is safe as long as it is performed by a licensed acupuncturist, and the needles used are sterile and of standard quality. In case, it is not performed properly, there are chances of infection, bleeding, soreness and pain in the pierced sites. There are cases of organ rupture due to improper delivery of acupuncture. Also, the effectiveness of acupuncture varies from one person to another. Thus, some people may need about 15 acupuncture sessions to have long-term health benefits. The mechanism of acupuncture is still obscure, hence current researches are ongoing to study its cerebral effects.
According to buzzle.


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