Chinese Medicine, classical and traditional involves numerous practices of Asian origin. Although common practice throughout China and many other parts of the world, it is referred to as alternative medicine in the West. Elements include herbs, dietary modification, movement exercises, massage, acupuncture and moxibustion.

Western medicine is based upon theories intertwining anatomical function and physiology. However, Chinese medicine is founded upon at least five major theories associating the human body and life energy to our world, the universe, and a higher power. Chinese medicine has been practiced thousands of years.

An aspect of Chinese medicine, acupuncture, is the process of inserting and manipulating very fine needles into the body to address medical disorders, including pain. Acupuncture points, specific locations for stimulus application, are located along conceptual lines of energy flow referred to as meridians. Modern acupuncture texts portrait meridians as theoretical pathways. There is no physical evidence to support their existence; however, neurochemical pathways that underpin western theories have many conceptual elements. Similarly, patients respond to acupuncture stimulation along meridians in predictable manners. Finally, acupuncture causes no undesired side effects like most frequently prescribed medications.

The earliest known record of acupuncture is from the second century BC. Variations of acupuncture are practiced everywhere in the world. Acupuncture has not been well studied in western settings due to the invasive nature of the practice (needles). Scholarly articles are often biased by geographical origin of the researchers. However, the general agreement is that acupuncture is safe when performed by well-trained clinicians with sterile needles. Relevant research is ongoing.

Alternative methods to access the benefits of acupuncture are available to the untrained and general public via limited self-application of electro acupuncture and acupressure. Applied at the same points, along the same meridians, these interventions are without the risks related to needle use. As such, the novice could actually state “I plan to cure my own low back pain.”

One exemplary source of information about acupuncture is A Manual of Acupuncture, published by the Journal of Chinese Medicine Publications. Subsequent to many years of research, Peter Deadman, editor-in-chief of The Journal of Chinese Medicine, and collections wrote the primary reference to study and engage acupuncture points and meridians. The use of color to illustrate these points and anatomical features in the plethoric illustrations make it a very beautiful, comprehensive and user-friendly tool for the novice and seasoned. The index identifies all elements of the body addressed by each meridian, with separate indexes to direct audiences to specific health issues via Chinese medicine categorization and western medicine symptom characterization.

Learn to perform self-directed acupuncture with these reference materials. Feel free to contact us.