All about acupuncture
Acupuncture’s origins can be traced back more than 3000 years. Acupuncture began in China as part of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) and is increasingly becoming an accepted and popular form of alternative medicine in the Western world.
Acupuncture originated during the Chou dynasty (1030BCE – 221BCE) as a treatment that involved using needles on specific points of the body. Over time, acupuncture also integrated elements from Confucianism and Daoism into its practice. Acupuncture integrated the belief in the sacredness and completeness of the human body from Confucianism and took from Daoism the belief in the regulation of a person’s bodily processes to ensure natural harmony and balance.
Along with those principles, acupuncture is also based on the fundamental idea of energy. Acupuncture is rooted in traditional Chinese philosophy, which teaches one’s health is dependent on the body’s energy, or qi. Qi moves through a series of channels or meridians underneath the skin and has the equal and opposite qualities of yin and yang. When these qualities become imbalanced, illnesses and other health complaints can manifest. By inserting fine needles into the specific acupoints in the body, acupuncture works to stimulate the body’s own healing abilities and restore harmony. Chinese acupuncture, as in Traditional Chinese Medicine, also places a strong emphasis on pulse and tongue diagnosis.
New Versions of Acupuncture
Over the many years of its existence, other forms of acupuncture, including Japanese, Korean and a range of Western interpretations, have evolved and developed. However, as a natural therapy, acupuncture’s essential aim is always to create balance in the body’s energy systems to promote healing and overall wellbeing and health.
Today, acupuncture is classified as a holistic medicine that recognises the link between the body, mind and emotions and considers the underlying causes rather than just overt symptoms. Acupuncture is also increasingly used as a complementary therapy in conjunction with herbal medicine or massage therapy.
Acupuncture is becoming increasingly popular as an alterative therapy and healthcare solution and is being used for the treatment of a range of ailments and illnesses, including abdominal pain, infertility, stress relief, weight loss and more. Cosmetic forms of acupuncture have also grown in popularity, for example as an anti-ageing skincare remedy.
The World Health Organization recently published a list of diseases, symptoms or conditions for which acupuncture has been proved through controlled trials to be an effective treatment. These included ailments and conditions such as depression, headache, neck pain, hypertension, post-operative pain and more.