The Fundamental Principles of Acupuncture
Acupuncture is a form of Chinese medicine that is used to treat patients with various conditions ranging from cancer to shoulder pains. Needles are inserted in the body at very specific points to get rid of pain or disease. It is said that when a person is experiencing pain there is a blockage of the Qi energy flow and that acupuncture can bring it back to normal. Acupuncture is best used when health conditions are in its beginning stage before it is too serious and cannot be treated. Below are several principles that are important in the development of acupuncture theory.
Qi: Is believed to be the main energy force behind all things on earth. It is in the heart, mind and soul of our body. Acupuncture is used to unblock the buildup and allow the body’s Qi to flow back to normal. This allows the Qi to return to its natural and healthy level of circulation which balances our body. Shen: The treasure that is responsible for the mental abilities that we acquire. Shen is our consciousness and is the driving force behind personality and perception. Acupuncture is used to nourish and calm the Shen. Jing: This principle is the belief that Jing is responsible for our physical growth, development, and production. It is said we are born with a specific amount of Jing that slowly gets used up as we grow. Though Jing cannot be replenished, acupuncture and herbs work to balance the Jing in our body.
Acupuncture Meridian is a line of energy which connects all acupuncture points to a particular region. This means when a needle is inserted in a specific point, pain is caused upwards and downwards along a definite route. Each organ has two meridians on each side of the body. This means that when trying to treat a region that is infected it is often the needle will be placed on the opposite side of the body. Each meridian is related to a specific organ, such as the kidney, lung, gallbladder, spleen, heart, urinary bladder, and several others. Meridians are important because they determine at which specific points the needle is placed will affect which organ.
Acupuncture is said to release endorphins, which are the body’s natural pain relievers. During acupuncture the needles stimulate the sensory neurons which help direct the flow of hormones and nervous system signals through the body. After the afflicted area can move and operate without any pain it will begin to heal naturally.
According to the Gate Control theory, pain signals must travel through these gates when traveling from the area of the injury upward towards the spinal cord and into the brain. These pain signals travel very slowly unlike most signals which travel a lot faster. Acupuncture generates faster signals that effectively block the slow pain signals from reaching the brain.