Acupuncture is a complex branch of ancient Chinese medicine, but its principles and methods are easily understood.
- Fourteen major energy channels called meridians course through the human body including the head, arms, legs, feet, torso, and internal organs.
- A subtle energy called Qi (pronounced chee) circulates via the meridians to all parts of the body, even the remote cells.
- Qi is the vital force, the presence of which separates the living from the dead. Its balanced unimpeded flow is critical to sound health.
- Any misdirection, blockage, or other derangement of the amount, flow, or balance of Qi may result in pain, dysfunction, and ill health.
- With acupuncture needles, or other means, the acupuncturist stimulates certain points (acupoints) along the course of the meridians. Such stimulation helps restore the normal balance and flow of Qi so organs and bodily systems can work together in harmony as intended. This sets the stage for the body to repair itself and maintain its own health.
From its ancient beginnings to this day, acupuncture diagnostic procedures center on finding blockages or imbalances of Qi. In the examining meridians, today’s acupuncturist may utilize electronic evaluation called Ryodoraku, or other electronic means, but many utilize traditional diagnostic methods. The following outline gives a glimpse into some ancient diagnostic procedures which, at first, may seem strange to Western patients, although for untold centuries these procedures have proved reliable for Eastern patients.
- Pulse Diagnosis – An intricate expert evaluation of the pulses reveals excesses, deficiencies, disharmonies of Qi and what organs are involved.
- Observation of the Patient – Noting color and condition of the tongue, texture and condition of the skin, of the hair, of the voice – its strength or weakness – high or low pitch- hoarse – throaty. Answers here confirm many health issues.
- Interviewing the Patient – Seeking history of the illness, the patient’s feelings, lifestyle, diet. All of those, as well as emotional problems may contribute to Qi’s imbalance.
- Physical Examination – Feeling for tender acupoints is a reliable diagnostic tool because certain acupoints are related to specific areas and functions of the body, and tenderness may relate to a specific problem.
- Relieve pain and other symptoms.
- Strengthen the immune system.
- Balance, harmonize, and integrate functions of the organs with each other, making for a unified, healthy person, rather than a collection of fragmented, disharmonious parts.