acupunture introduction

acupuncture vs. acupuncture

What is acupuncture?

Acupuncture (from Latin, 'acus' (needle) + 'punctura' (to puncture)) is a Traditional East Asian Medicine (TEAM) healing technique that involves stimulation of specific acupuncture points along the skin of the body involving various methods such as penetration by thin needles, or laser light.

Acupuncture represents only one of the main therapeutic approaches with in TEAM, which also includes such therapy methods as moxibustion, Gua Sha, Tuina, cupping,plum blossom needling,herbal medicine, dietary therapy, andbreathing exercises as those inTai Ji Quan, Qi Gong.

Acupuncture vs acupuncture: Eastern medical approach vs. Western medical approach

Today, there have been practiced two acupuncture treatment methods – Classical or Asian/Chinese/Oriental acupuncture and Western Acupuncture.
Despite their common names, these methods have different origin and purpose.

In Asian tradition (be it Chinese, Japanese, Vietnamese, Korean or Indian) – that have been practiced since antiquity and today have been further developed into auricular acupuncture, scalp acupuncture, electrical acupuncture, laser acupunctureand point injection therapy – the fundamental knowledge is based on the theory of Qi, Yin-Yang, the Five Elements (Wu Xing), and Jing Luo (Channel and network Vessel System/Meridian System).

In understanding human pathology and physiology, such knowledge describes an organism as a system capable of self-regulation and healing.

Employing traditional concepts, Asian medical practice is firstly concerned with the question whythere is pain and / or disorder, what internal (e. g. negative emotion) or external (ex.: climate, life style) pathogenic factor disrupts organ’s function, thus causing its deficiencyor excess, and what meridian can be treated toeliminate pathogenic factor(s) andoverall to balancethe functions of the organism, hence,heal an affected organ(s).

In Asian tradition, pathology of an organ or tissue occurs on the functional level sooner than on anatomical level.
Consequently, functional disorder can be noticed while carefully reading the pulse and observing the tongue, analyzing sensory experience, emotional, mental and physical manifestations (ex.: skin and complexioncolor),reading face and hand lines, analyzing life style and nutritional regime in particular, thus, allowing to establish a (TCM) diagnosis without chemical analysis of blood or X ray results, for example.

Alternately, during the last 30 years another acupuncture method has been developed in the west.

This therapy method is called Western Medical Acupuncture,WMA and implies sensory nerve stimulation.

For WMA, Chinese tradition serves merely as an inspiration source.

WMA borrowed the location of certain acupuncture points from Chinese meridian system.However, here is where the similarities end in short, WMA is based on the needling of trigger points(painful area) or the location where nervous pathways terminatewith the purpose to alleviate painrather than to treat underlying course of pain.

In WMA, diagnosis is established on biomedical tradition, e.g. the evidence of X-ray or blood test results, the kind of medicine that never employs traditional concepts of Qi, Yin-Yang, Five Elements, etc.