Acupuncture or Zhen Jiu Ciara Devane and Samantha Grivno

Acupuncutre is an ancient Chinese medical practice that may seem a little odd at first....

Acupunture uses the insertion of needles all over your body to ease pain!

(Seems a little backwards, huh?)

But not regular needles! Acupuncturists use special filiform needles with a handle shaped like a screw.

And don't worry.....

The needles don't hurt.

Yin and Yang: The concept of two opposing forces that work together to make a whole (Stux and Pomeranz 73).

The Chinese believed that Yin was the negative female element of the universe, with Yang being the positive male element. These two forces are in constant tension, and it's within the tension that Qi is formed (Stux and Pomeranz 74).

The Chinese believed that Qi is an energy source that flows through your body in channels. Qi is the source and cause of all movement, voluntary and involuntary (Stux and Pomeranz 75). It protects the body from external dangers that could lead to illness. Protective Wei Qi mostly found at the surface of the skin.

According to the Chinese theory, most illnesses are a disturbance of the flow of Qi in the body (Stux and Pomeranz 76). A disturbance can be an excess Qi or a lack of Qi. A blockage of Qi in the channels and organs can be another cause of sickness.

When the flow of Qi is disturbed, the most prominent symptom is pain (Stux and Pomeranz 77). This is because, without Qi, you cannot function normally. Everything is directed by Qi, even mental activity and body heat.

An excess of energy leads to the organ systems overworking (Stux and Pomeranz 76). These are known as Shi or Yang conditions. Symptoms are inner uneasiness, cramp-type pain, and overexcitement.

When there isn't enough QI in the body (deficiency), these conditions are known as a weakness in the Qi, causing the organs to malfunction. The Chinese named these conditions "Xu conditions". Some symptoms include being cold, low blood pressure, and general weakness. Illness that can be the result of this are of the degenerative kind, like old age or depression.

The Chinese believed that the needles would help restore the Qi back to its former state of balance and ease the pain or cure the illness.

But how is acupuncutre performed?

First the patient must be lying down in a comfortable position (Stux and Pomeranz 203).

Then 1-20 thin needles are inserted in the skin, and left for 15-30 minutes.

The needles are always solid, because nothing is ever injected.

The needles are held vertically between the thumb on one side, and the other fingers on the other side.

The middle finger guides the needle and stops the needle from bending while being inserted.

There are two types of insertion, fast and slow.

They are just as they sound, with fast insertion being when the needle is quickly inserted and slow insertion being when the needle is slowly inserted.

Slow insertion is known to cause more pain, so most practitioners use slow fast insertion, which significantly reduces pain.

One way that the acupuncturist can diagnose the problem is by looking at your tongue. Weird as it may seem, the size, shape, color, and coating of your tongue can reflect internal issues. For example, when you get a cold, the coating on your tongue may increase.

When the needle is inserted, patients feel a sensation called Dei Qi by the Chinese. Which can be described as feeling numb, cold, hot, or sore. The sensation is never felt in the exact same place for each patient, and it can also depend on where the needle was inserted. Often the sensation has been described as traveling along a channel (Stux and Pomeranz 204).

Even though many western doctors and scientists doubted using acupuncture as a pain-relieving method, today acupuncture is used more widely around the world. It is estimated that over a million practioners use acupuncture outside of China. (Stux and Pomeranz 2). Arguably, the most important step for use of acupuncture outside of China was in 1996, when the Us Food and Drugs Administration (FDA) decided to reclassify acupuncture. Before, the FDA had put acupuncture in Class three (Class 1 being safe and effective, Class 2 being safe and effective but needing special labeling with instructions, Class 3 being devices that require investigation). In Class 3, it could only be used for research purposes, like a hospital lab. In 1996, the FDA moved the needle to Class 2, meaning it can be used, but only by those liscensed, and with special care (Stux and Pomeranz 3).

The points on this doll are shown to help reduce anxiety and nervousness.

The points on this doll are shown to ease pain from fibromyalgia, an example of a chronic disease.

Created By
C. Devane S. Grivno


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