Acupuncture. For many needle-phobics, the idea of having a needle inserted into their skin for any length of time seems a torture. But there is good reason for the popularity and staying power of this alternative medicine practice. It has worked for 5000 years, and continues to improve the wellbeing of those who undergo the treatments.
Acupuncture is the Chinese alternative medical practice of inserting very small needles into the skin in strategic places. These places are specially chosen for their effect on specific parts of a person’s physiology.
Sometimes acupuncture needles also work with electricity to induce the physiological benefits of the particular points. Often another alternative therapy called Moxibustion is used with acupuncture; this involves the burning of herbs to elicit physiological benefits. Acupressure is also based in the same principles as acupuncture and is sometimes used in conjuncture with acupuncture.
The History of Acupuncture
The father of Chinese medicine, Shen Nung, is thought to be the first person to have theorized about circulation in the human body. These theories were compiled approximately 5000 years ago, and led to the development of acupuncture.
Shen Nung developed the idea of the Qi, an energy force that flows through the human body. This energy travels through channels called Meridians which run all through the body. The theory is that when the Qi is not flowing correctly, the human body experiences illness. This incorrect flow can be caused by blocked Meridians which causes unbalanced Qi. In order to reestablish the flow of Qi, certain points of the body where the Meridians contact the surface of the skin must be manipulated.
These points are accessed through the insertion of needles into the skin, a practice known as acupuncture.
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