Chinese and other Eastern peoples have been using acupuncture to restore,
promote and maintain good health for about 2,500 years. Stone needles
were originally used, and later bronze, gold and silver needles until
the stainless steel needles we use in modern times. The first medical
account of acupuncture was 'The Yellow Emperor's Classic of Internal
Medicine' which dates
from about 300 B.C.E.
Acupuncture is rooted in the Taoist philosophy of change, growth, balance
and harmony, and this text outlines the principles of natural law and
the movements of life - through principles such as yin and yang, the
Five Elements, the organ system and the meridian network along which
acupuncture points are located.
Amazingly, these records also contain details of pathology and physiology
which provide the theoretical foundation for acupuncture today, some
2000 years later.
Acupuncture practice was gradually developed and refined. But from the
mid-seventeenth century there was a decline in acupuncture and herbalism
which coincided with the increasing influence of Western ideas on China.
acupuncture was always practiced in rural communities, it was not until
after the Liberation and the establishment of the People's Republic
in 1949, that there was a great resurgence of interest in it at a national
During the Cultural Revolution (1966-76), with the persecution of surgeons
and doctors practicing biomedicine, traditional Chinese medicine was
given new opportunities to develop. Today acupuncture is used far more
extensively in China than in the West, in a hospital-based system with
facilities for treating acute as well as chronic cases. The national
policy is to pursue both systems side by side, with extensive clinical
does acupuncture involve?
Acupuncture involves the insertion of fine, sterile needles into specific
points that lie along the energy pathways that run just beneath the
body surface. The aim of this is to stimulate the body's own healing
response and help restore its natural energetic balance.
Many people find the thought of multiple needles in the body very off-putting.
However, acupuncture needles bear little resemblance to those used for
They are much finer - not much thicker than a hair. When they are inserted
the sensation is often described as a tingling or dull ache.
After insertion needles are usually left in place for 20 - 30 minutes,
depending on the effect required. During treatment patients commonly
experience heaviness in the limbs or a pleasant feeling of relaxation.
can Acupuncture treat?
The World Health Organisation gathered all the scientific trials into
the effectiveness of Acupuncture and published a paper into conditions
that acupuncture was proven to be effective, click here
to download the report. The list below is a generally summary from that
and Acute Pain - Injuries, headaches, neck and back pain,
tendonitis, sciatica, carpal tunnel syndrome, fibromyalgia
Neurological Disorders - Post-stroke recover, Bell's
Palsy & Trigeminal Neuralgia, movement disorders
Respiratory Disorders - Asthma, allergies, bronchitis, sinusitis,
sore throat, laryngitis, colds and flu.
Disorders - Irritable bowel, colitis, constipation, diarrhea,
gastritis, heartburn, food allergies, ulcers
and Reproductive Disorders - Cystitis, menstrual cramps,
irregular or heavy periods, infertility, menopausal symptoms.
Function - Recurrent infections, supportive treatment of
cancer and AIDS patients.
- Addictions to nicotine, alcohol and drugs.
and Ear Disorders - Tinnitus, Meniere's disease.
Emotional Disturbance- Depression, Anxiety & Insomnia
Most people's experience of needles is of those used in injections and
blood tests. Acupuncture needles bear little resemblance to these. They
are much finer and are solid rather than hollow. When the needle is
inserted, the sensation is often described as a tingling or dull ache.
Needles are inserted either for a second or two, or may be left in place
for 30 minutes or more, depending on the effect required. During treatment,
patients commonly experience a heaviness in the limbs or a pleasant
feeling of relaxation. The benefits of acupuncture frequently include
more than just relief from a particular condition. Many people find
that it can also lead to increased energy levels, better appetite and
sleep as well as an enhanced sense of overall well being.
All members of the British Acupuncture Council (BAcC) must observe the
Code of Safe Practice which defines the hygiene and safety standards
relating to the practice of acupuncture, click here
to download. These procedures have been approved by the Department of
Health, and provide protection against the transmission of infectious
diseases. Patients who have been treated by a BAcC member are eligible
to donate blood through the National Blood Service.
use single use pre-sterilised disposable needles, which are disposed
of after each treatment. British Acupuncture Council (BAcC) members
observe the Code of Safe Practice which lays down stringent standards
of hygiene and sterilisation for other equipment.
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information is not meant to be a substitute for the advice provided
by your own physician or other medical professional. You should not
use this information for diagnosing a health problem or disease but
should always consult your own physician.