Matt McGuire BA PGDip Acu MBAcC
Acupuncture: A Brief View
Simply put, acupuncture does what it says on the tin! It involves the precise insertion of needles into the body. The practice originated in China around 5000 years ago and was a well-structured medical intervention by the time it was first documented between 300-100BC.There are a lot of myths about how it first started including emperors receiving arrow wounds which cured long-standing illnesses!
A leading Japanese acupuncturist argues more plausibly that the origins of acupuncture lie in the Chinese silk industry which gave rise to the early development of fine needles.
He hypothesised that a hard working seamstress with aching shoulders had discovered that inserting needles into the painful areas removed her aches and pains. Today, rest assured that all needles are sterilized and only used once. Acupuncture became more sophisticated as people realised that the needling at one point could affect distant areas and the functioning of organs; the flow of Qi (pronounced “chee”) in the meridians is used to explain this. Modern research into the effect of needling certain points and a growing knowledge into the ways in which the body communicates within itself concurs with ancient beliefs. "The teachings of the ancient sages are a lasting heritage,
Opening the way for truth seekers down through the ages..."
Attributed to Zhang Sanfeng With such a long history in a country as populated as China I think there is a good argument to say that acupuncture would have petered out if was not beneficial.
It has traditionally been used to treat many complaints. In western medical terms there is evidence that acupuncture produces physiological changes when specific points are needled.
Controlled clinical trials also demonstrate the effectiveness of acupuncture in treating specific conditions. My approach to the treatment of pain and restriction of muscular origin is based on Traditional Chinese Medicine and a comprehensive understanding of the anatomy and function of the muscles and their surrounding tissues. Traditional Chinese diagnoses incorporate both the physical and the psychological.
Acupuncture can benefit many emotional or psychological complaints. "All the mystery in life turns out to be this same mystery, the join between things which are distinct and yet continuous, body and mind…"
Tom Stoppard, Hapgood (1988) The concepts that underline traditional Chinese medicine come from the philosophies and natural sciences of the time, but the landscape they evolved to describe i.e. the human body, remains the same which is why it can successfully relate signs and symptoms of disease to prescriptions which are clinically effective.
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