Acupuncture: History, techniques and its application in the human body
Traditional Chinese Medicine has a history of at least 5,000 years and the first known manuscripts are attributed to the Yellow Emperor Huang Di, founder of the ancient Chinese kingdom in 2,650 BC.
One form of treatment of Traditional Chinese Medicine is acupuncture.
Furthermore, significant therapeutic techniques are moxotherapy, tuina, cupping therapy and herbal therapy, combined with an active lifestyle and a healthy diet.
According to Traditional Chinese Medicine TCM, acupuncture is based on three fundamental principles:
- YIN and YAN
- The Five Elements of Nature
Traditional Chinese Medicine: Man is acquired and inherited energy
In Chinese Medicine, man is regarded as the sum of energy he inherits from his parents and the energy he receives through food plus the effect of the environment in which he grows up.
This energy circulates in our body through the meridians and is responsible for its proper functioning. The disruption of the normal flow of energy results in the occurrence of pathological symptoms of illness.
There, we intervene with acupuncture, acupuncturing specific points along the meridians, thus restoring the normal flow of energy and recovering health in humans.
The needles are placed on the superficial skin tissue, bloodlessly without causing pain (diameter as a hair) and without causing side effects on other functions of the human body.
When using acupuncture as a treatment, we are able to tailor our therapy to the clinical picture of each and every patient.
For each individual case, specific acupuncture points are selected which relate to the specific human organism, its pathological symptoms and the way those affect it. The generalized medical approach to a specific disease category is avoided. In this way, we can also manage to obtain a regulatory effect on other body malfunctions.
Personalized treatment is the main feature of acupuncture
Hereby, the absolute match between traditional Chinese Medicine and Hippocratic Medicine can be observed. A fundamental principle of Hippocratic Medicine is that treatment focuses mainly on the patient than on the disease and additionally on the prognosis rather than the diagnosis.
One shall not forget that in modern medicine the definition of health refers to the state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not in just the absence of illness or disability.
It is of vital importance to understand that the treatment by acupuncture includes physicians, selected treatment spots and patients themselves.
The basic prerequisites of Acupuncture
Acupuncture physicians must acquire the necessary theoretical knowledge and clinical experience to reach at the right diagnosis and certain treatment. A combination of correct treatment spots and precise acupuncture practices is need for that.
The right approach is for patients to choose their treatment through acupuncture medicine because they believe in its efficacy, but primarily to trust the doctor, his medical practices and his holistic approach to their everyday life.
Confidence in acupuncture increases worldwide
In the last 25 years, research on acupuncture as a form of medical care has been increasing constantly, reaching double the number of clinical researches compared to Western Conventional Medicine.
During these years more than 15.000 studies have been conducted in sixty countries, including hundreds of meta-analyzes that summarize the results of thousands of studies in humans and animals.
Evidence of the efficacy of acupuncture therapies was found for one hundred and seventeen diseases, symptoms, or conditions with stronger evidence for some of them compared to others.
Regarding the mechanisms of action behind acupuncture, specific sensory nerve endings have been mapped which include specialized nerve fibers.
Opioid and non-opioid neuropeptides as well as neurotransmitters such as serotonin, dopamine, cytokines, glutamate, nitric acid, norepinephrine, GABA have been identified.
How Acupuncture Therapy Works on the Human Body
It has been shown that the effectiveness of acupuncture treatments in such a broad spectrum of diseases is due to the fact that the needle implant immediately initiates a process that forces the body to use adenosine and ATP to initiate nerve impulses.
In addition to its biochemical action, acupuncture has a direct effect on the central nervous system as it stimulates relaxation of the muscles in the visceral organs and changes the functional connectivity in the brain. It also reduces activity in stress-related brain areas and has a direct reciprocal relationship with the function of the hypothalamic – pituitary – adrenal axis.
The action of acupuncture also involves the parasympathetic nervous system (rest, relaxation, digestion and tissue healing). All of the above are unmistakable evidence of the scientific basis of acupuncture.
PANAGIOTIS DRIMALAS– DOCTOR- ACUPUNCTURIST