Chinese Acupuncture

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Acupuncture and massage have become more and more accepted within the medicine field of the world. What fascinates people is that fine needles and the gentle strength can make you healthy without taking lots of pills. Now these two, complementary medicines, are the major representatives of Chinese medicine in the west.

Acupuncture (Zhen Jiu)

Acupuncture is the experiential summary undergoing the long-term struggle by the Chinese people. Actually it consists of two parts: operations with needles and ones with fire, both of them are essential and correlative during curing. We will come to each respectively:

Operations with Needles

This field features the pricks of needles on acupuncture point (acupoint for short) to adjust the organic functions and clear the energy channels of obstruction in our body.

It is said that as early as the Stone Age, an ancestor whose hands ached might touch a stone by chance during work, then he felt better. Over time they improved the shape of stone to be sharp enough to knead; their blood circulation became more smooth and hastened recovery.

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In ancient China, it was called 'Bian Shu', a treat method with stone needles which then evolved into the bone, bamboo, and metal. Now it is popular to use stainless steel and silver needles among the doctors of Chinese medicine. They are so fine that the length is 15 - 125 millimeters and the diameter is 0.28 - 0.45 millimeters.

After thousands of years' clinical practice and summaries, complete theoretical systems came into being, like therapeutics, which effectively conduct the operation. Acupoint or Shu Xue in Chinese is exclusive to Chinese medical science. According to the records, it is on the passages named Jing Luo through which vital energy circulates around the whole body. If the passages like a network are blocked, doctors will prick acupoints to dredge them. Now these questions have been raised to be the hot point of international science, and someone have said it is the fifth great invention of China. (See the Four Great Inventions in. On the passages, there dispersed hundreds of acupoints. Once the needle enters into the acupoints, deep or shallow, lifted or entwisted, inserted in different frequency, all according to the techniques of experienced doctors, the miraculous effect will appear.

The indications to the acupuncture are quite wide, including the frequently-occurring diseases of internal medicine, surgical medicine, paediatrics, gynaecology, dermatology, etc. In 1958, acupuncture anaesthesia began to be used in clinical cure, adding new content to the anaesthetics. This kind of treatment does not do any harm to the body nor has any side effect. Doctors handling the needle freely, it is rather convenient and comfortable because it needs no special condition or facilities, except the small and thin needles. So it is easy for patients to accept. In 1982, Chinese ministry of Public Health had appraised the achievements of this method. After that, operations of lung removal, uterectomy, and others of difficulty have been successfully conducted with acupuncture anaesthesia, which shook up the medical world - World Health Organization has declared 47 instances of it to date.

Operations with Fire

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In Chinese language from the linguistic angle, the character Jiu that represents this kind of operations - moxibustion, has a pictographic element of fire, that is to say, this method of treatment must have a close relation with fire.

Its origin can also be dated back to the Eolithic age. People have supposed that, it is possible when a cooking housewife approached fire and found lenitive at the ache. Gradually it developed and added the medical herbs to fume and reach the physical health.

The methods in common use are moxibustion with moxa cone and cupping. For people who want to have a try with moxibustion, they are really worthy of praise for their courage. The principle of cupping lies in that, when the fire in the jar is burnt, heating power ejects the air out, and the negative pressure makes the jar stick to the skin, which causes the stasis of blood to stimulate and adjust the organ functions, the moxa cone can also have this effect.

The manipulation of moxibustion with moxa cone goes like this: to enkindle a moxa cone by one end, position this end above a certain acupoint 2-4 cm away and fumigate, avoiding the skin being burnt. The other ways also varied to add pieces of ginger and mashed garlic which can be utilized as medicinal herbs, that is, to put them on the acupoint and the burnt moxa cone on them, then cure with fire indirectly.

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The cupping operation needs more apparatus and techniques: the cupping jar should be of the appropriate size, with a thick and clean brim. Smear little Vaseline on the spot where treatment is required. Light a ball of cotton dipped with alcohol in the jar and quickly remove after several seconds. Cover the skin as soon as possible for 15 - 20 minutes, and when doctors take the jar away, you will find the recovery.

Besides these traditional methods of moxibustion, people have now improved them to be more convenient and efficient. Such as microwave needle moxibustion, electronic needle moxibustion, acupoint injection, acupoint magnetotherapy, and so on.

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