Acupuncture has been used in china for several years as a healing art; it is an important component of traditional Chinese medicine which prevents and treats diseases by puncturing definite points on the body using needles and applying heat with ignited moxa wool.  This kind of treatment has a high degree of efficiency, it is easy to learn, safe and economical, such methods has been enjoyed popularity among the Chinese people for thousand of years.

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The points in acupuncture are defined to be as holes for the passing in and out of the body of qi (chi), the life force. These points connect to form lines and each serves as meridian that links specific organs with the surface of the body. As the Chinese believed that the human body is composed of two poles these are the yin and yang they are considered at the opposite ends but it continually interact with each other.

There is a harmonious balance being struck by the amount of energy exchanged between the yin and yang neither pole dominates the other but when a person is ill excess energy has accumulated in the direction of one pole. Disease and injury are considered states of imbalance between yin and yang.

In the beginning, acupuncture was used for minor operations such as tonsillectomies and dental surgery. By the mid-1970’s more than 400,000 Chinese patients had received acupuncture anesthesia. Today acupuncture is employed more than two hundred different surgical procedures, from mild o serous cases, from infants to octogenarians.

The development and expansion of acupuncture are summaries of experiences of the ancient Chinese people’s fight against diseases. By history records shows that the Chinese people were already using “bian stone” – a stone with pointed edges used as a weapon. Incidentally, the ancient Chinese found out that pain can be alleviate if pressure was functional on the affected body part by means of the stone.

History of Acupuncture

All through the Tang Dynasty (618-960) this method was already used in treating diseases, it was all through the Bronze Ageand Iron Age when people began to use needles by these materials instead of stone, in the development of man’s means of social production, the excellence of acupuncture needles also enhanced (Dung et al 2004).

Page 2 History of Acupuncture Essay

In the mid- 70’s acupuncture analgesia, a new method of anesthesia used in surgicaloperations, was developed. Latest years saw more in profundity studies on the device of acupuncture which proved that both methods of customary Chinese medicine have variable effects on the body as well as in enhancing resistance against illness.

Present technology has been shared with acupuncture, now it is ordinary to see electric stimulator replacing manual needling handling and the use of laser machine for certain acupuncture points of the body. Although these techniques are unlike from traditional methods in terms of stimulation, they employ the same technique of locating acupuncture points.

The impact acupuncture has on consumer’s health both positive and negative

Acupuncture is harmless, has no side effects and simple to use and operate. Today, a lot of western people are shifting to traditional Chinese medicine, including herbal, acupuncture and moxibustion because of reasons that it is safer than other kinds of treatment and is even safer than western medicine, from then it is accepted as a kind of alternative medicine. It is a known fact that western medicine has its own restrictions and harmful side effects. People now are likely to go back to the usual and holistic form of curing certain diseases. It as no side effects and considered to be a non insidious form of treatment. Rest assured that it always is carried out by a fully trained and registered practitioner.

It is a general fact that side effects caused by western medicine, such as research based treatment at times when induced inside the body could only be efficient in the prior process of treatment but because the human body does not give a level reaction, some people treated react to its application on  conflicting ways. Therefore, some patients prefer other types of treatment such as acupuncture though it requires a longer process it may not cause any harm for the human body since it is devoid of using medicines on its application.

Acupuncture can treat insomnia, epigasric pain, enuresis, tinnitus, headache, acute sprain, contusion, inflammation of the facial nerve (Dung et al 2004). It is also efficient treating useful and sensory diseases and in improving the body’s immune system. It can avoid and treat diseases by invigorating the body’s balance, regulating the body mechanism, inhibiting the pathological procedure and obliquely removing and eliminating pathogenic factors. It has anti inflammatory effect and can also ease pain.

To stimulate the nerves in the skin and also the stimulation of the muscles of responsive parts of the body is the primary objective of acupuncture; such sensitive parts are called acupoints which link to the junction of nerves in other parts of the body. There is a usual a pain killing substance that the body releases we call it endorphins, upon the needles are inserted to any part of the body.

The nerve pathways of the brain and spinal cord were endorphins enters and helps ease the pain in the corresponding parts of the body. Another practice like electro acupuncture is also practiced be acupuncturist, this kind of treatment uses needles that are linked to a battery-operated electrical device, which cause to vibrate and produce tingling feeling.  Balch (2002) stated that the use of lasers may also stimulate trace points by pressing the trace points in a process known as acupressure. This is used on children, to treat the sensitive areas of the body and also nervous patients ad they do not involve needles.

Following the acupuncture treatment a person can feel tired or energized, it is advisable to take a rest after the session to give the body enough time to rest and repair itself, and other people feel not as good as before taking the treatment for the reason that the body tries to purge of the toxins. All this feelings after the acupuncture a person undergone depends on how the body reacts and behaves to it.

Importance of Acupuncture

In the future, recognized effectiveness would make state governments more probable to champion certain applications of alternative care, such as chiropractic for back and neck pain or acupuncture for detoxification from drug reliance. These methods help the professionals come to grips with the limitation of their own paradigms to move beyond them, living fear of the unknown and defensiveness behind.

During the early years when acupuncture pioneers defied law and conference to give acupuncture force in numbers and the reliability of success, little concentration could be paid to technical issues, accepting alien concepts, or the need for developing suitable systems for insuring validity. Because many hoped that acupuncture would give what they found missing in modern medicine.

Acupuncture’s progress concentrated on the fundamentals that most encouraged was often seen as a answer to the breakdown and estrangement of modern society, thus acupuncture’s customary and sometimes ordinary role in day to day indication decree is still largely unobserved on holistic views.

In adapting a Chinese acupuncture energetic model in the West, to renovate this model in a method that takes account of our modes of psychological being in the world, acupuncture therapy, while unblocking an energetic zone, concurrently frees up the psyche intent in the zone of the brain, and is notice is not paid to the fundamental psychological issues in the patient’s life perception, a new energetic zone will soon become worried.

It has been a shared experience of some acupuncture to treat somatic energetic conflict; they begin moving toward a practice that includes action of psycho energetic imbalances as well. But just like any other treatments it can also have several disadvantages since acupuncture focus only in treating pain and diseases in specific part of the body, it can reduce pain but cannot repair injured parts of the body such as broken bones, or diseased organs.

 If a serious condition is assumed, symptoms such as pain or sickness indicates that there is a more severe problem inside the body it should be thoroughly investigated before  a patient should undergo such treatment, because treatments to be done on patients depend on test results that the patient undergo before going through the procedure of acupuncture.

 Acupuncture treatment is appropriate for the majority people, even if  certain acupoints should be avoided for the duration of conception, it is not appropriate for people  with unrestrained rigorous bleeding disorders, and additional care must be taken when treating people on anticoagulant drugs. Needles that are used after the treatment should not be left in place for extended periods of time when treating people with an augmented risk of infection.

If we prefer to use acupuncture treatment, there are many factors that we should always consider though we could recognize the fact that it is a secure treatment once carried out by a qualified specialist. Complications that are serious are very rare such as infection, punctured spinal cord or lung. Risk like this only occurs as result of bad practice or done by a poorly skilled acupuncturist. A well trained acupuncturist will use clean needles and dispose them for every use since needles are one carrier of diseases from one person to another, an acupuncturist should always use and dispose it carefully.

Health

Normally one recognizes two states: health and disease but it is suggested in acupuncture to recognize three states including physiological dysfunction. To recommend treatment of acupuncture the patient feels well and is in good health and all laboratory test made on the patient should obtain all results to be normal.

Physiological dysfunction

In many cases there is a gradual change, which may sometimes take years from health to disease. This started from mild physiological dysfunction like insomnia, headaches, heartburn, and lumbago etc. though the patient is considered to be well. Such illness may stay at this level and never become a real disease even the patient may have dysmenorrhea for 30 years or migraine for 50 years. As the physiological dysfunction is still mild the laboratory tests remain normal or almost normal.

Disease

At this stage the patient is obviously ill. The physiological dysfunction has turned the laboratory test abnormal; there may be anatomical changes which can be seen on X- ray. It has arrived at the stage of orthodox medicine “real disease”.

Generally speaking, acupuncture is most efficient in those diseases or symptoms which involve a mild physiological dysfunction such as headache, palpitations or lumbago. In these dysfunctions the pathology is so mild that frequently the patient’s symptoms may not only be alleviated, but actually cured, i.e. when the treatment stops, the patient remains more or less cured.

Orthodox medicine is often of greater benefit in those diseases involving a severe physiological dysfunction, such as gout, congestive cardiac failure or a slipped disc. As the pathology is severe, this involves an irreversible process, when medication stops the symptoms reappear  (Cargill, 1994). Usually only surgery helps permanent or almost permanently in certain cases of irreversible pathology.

The areas of application of acupuncture to the diseases involving a mild physiological dysfunction possess some problems. The system of laboratory test used in Western medicine is geared to the Western medical concept of diseases involving a severe physiological dysfunction. Mild diseases which are treatable by acupuncture often have normal laboratory findings.

Patients with migraine or dysmenorrhea do not consider such symptoms of the ailment as mild though it is not lethal. That is why doctors practicing acupuncture are often accused of treating diseases which do not exist.

It is also apparent that, in the area of mild physiological dysfunction, the mind and the body may be acting together. The mind and the body should work synergic ally for acupuncture to be effective.

This synergy happens in general practice as well, for the patient that goes to the doctor expecting help and the doctor gives drug which he also hopes will help. In the usual type of clinical trial wherein the patient does not know what is happening and more often the doctor does not know either therefore the synergy is missing. This situation does not matter when administering the powerful drugs used in orthodox medicine. But it will make a great difference in applying gentle treatment like acupuncture.

Acupuncture seems to be different from orthodox medicine because it needs the physical treatment and the correct mental circumstances. For acupuncture one needs both the mental and the physical output.

Conclusion and Recommendations on Acupuncture

The use of acupuncture as an alternative way in the use of biomedicine is an advantage for all kinds of people, because the intake of drugs recurrently could produce adverse side effect it may be able to treat the disease but can distort some healthy cells of the body especially for those people who suffers from serious illness.

 The careful handling of the materials used should always be considered, as consumers should only rely on the performance of trained acupuncturist. This kind of treatment is not only used in China but even gain its popularity all over the world.

Most research in acupuncture has lead to the idea old traditional acupuncture. These researchers have believed in the tradition and then tried to prove it experimentally. Some of these researches have tried to look for acupuncture points or meridians by measurement of the electrical skin resistance, in using the microscope they have tried to find the specialized structures in the skin or adjacent tissues.

Those who have the use of infra-red photography, Kirlian photography or ultrasound have all diligently searched for the elusive acupuncture point.

In cases like migraines, low backache, sciatica or pain in the neck, shoulder and arm, acupuncture will help in a reasonable proportion of patients. Visiting a psychiatrist by patients with such conditions will, on the other the other hand, result in very few cures. This makes it clear that acupuncture and psychiatric therapy are not the same, though this does not exclude a partial overlap.

A patient with low backache may have his pain, stiffness and limitation of movement alleviated by acupuncture of the lumbosacral area. Some patients with low backache have electromyographic (EMG) studies of this same lumbosacral area where the EMG needles are often used in the same area as the acupuncture needle was located.

In the treatment of migraine the needling area is on the dorsum of the foot called

liver.  Frequently, needling anywhere in the foot may help in few cases of patients. Though some uses sharp stone in a shoe will stimulate just as much as acupuncture needles it will rarely cure migraine.

If patients are treated too strongly by acupuncture they may experience a temporary aggravation of their symptoms, like considering when a patient is having an extremely severe and long- lasting migraine the same time during the treatment. No patient expects to get worse but sometimes it happens in few patients what we called strong reactors.

 They often have their symptoms alleviated within a few seconds of treatment which is expected in an appropriate case. Patients do not expect to be cured in a few seconds, but rather in a few days, being used to orthodox, medicine, which usually requires a few days to produce a response. For these examples acupuncture is an enigma, we believe that it works but the question is how.

Work Cited

Acupuncture (NCCAM Health Information). Retrieved from nccam.nih.gov/health/   acupuncture (2007, November, 10).

Birch, S.J. Felt, F.L. (1999).  Understanding   Acupuncture. Churchill Livingstone.

Cargill, M.  (1994). Acupuncture: A Viable Medical Alternative. Praeger Publishers.

Health Encyclopedia. Retrieved from http://www.nhsdirect.nhs.uk/articles

(2007, November, 11)

Dung, H.C., Clogston C. P., J.W. Dunn (2004). Acupuncture: An Anatomical Approach.

CRC Press.

Freeman, L.W. Lawlis G. F. (2001). Mosby’s Complementary Alternative Medicine: A Research –Based Approach. Mosby. Place of Publication.

Gabriel, S. B. Berman, B. Pomeranz (2003). Basics of Acupuncture. Springer Press.

Balch, P.A. (2002). Prescription for Herbal Healing. Avery Press.

Mann, F. (2001). Reinventing acupuncture:  A new concept of ancient medicine. Elsevier Health Sciences.

Norris,   C. M.  (2001). Acupuncture: Treatment of Musculoskeletal Conditions. Elsevier Health Sciences.

Gielen, U. P. Fish, J. M. Draguns, J.G. (2004). Handbook of Culture, Therapy, and Healing. Lawrence Erbaum Associates.

Zollman, C. Dixon, J. M. Vickers, A. (2000). ABC of Complementary Medicine. BMJ.

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