Published on January 4, 2008
The Art of Acupuncture: The Art of Acupuncture Objectives: Objectives History of acupuncture and a brief overview of Chinese medicine. How acupuncture works. Types of acupuncture. Uses of acupuncture. Diagnosis and treatment. Cost. State regulations and training. History and Key Principles: History and Key Principles Chinese medicine dates back nearly 3 thousand years, and entered the United States in the 1700’s, but only became well known in the mid 1970’s. Chinese medical theory is founded in the concept of yin-yang. Yin is considered feminine energy and yang masculine energy. Principles of Chinese Medicine -Continued: Principles of Chinese Medicine -Continued Chinese medicine works to balance the chi (chee) energy in the body. Chinese medicine seeks to keep the body’s female (yin) and male (yang) energies balanced. The goal of each treatment is to increase depleted yin or yang or to eliminate excess yin or yang. What is Chi?: What is Chi? Chi is translated as “life force energy” or “life activity.” Chinese medicine believes that health is a function of a balanced, harmonious flow of chi and that illness results when there is a blockage or imbalance in the flow of chi. Chi flows through energetic pathways called meridians. What are Meridians?: What are Meridians? Meridians are invisible lines where the chi (life energy) flows. Different meridians correspond with specific organs or organ systems. The body has been mapped with these meridians that pass through organs or organ systems. Achieving Balance: Achieving Balance Balancing chi is accomplished with acupuncture . Acupuncture involves the insertion of thin, sterile, stainless steel needles into points along the meridian pathways. The needles are placed just below the surface of the skin in the epidermis. The needles are sometimes stimulated by twirling or heat moxibustion. How Acupuncture Works According to Western Medicine : How Acupuncture Works According to Western Medicine Studies have shown that acupuncture causes a release of endorphins. These studies also demonstrated that needling produces changes in the electrical conductivity of the skin. Despite these results, no one knows the exact mechanism of how acupuncture works. Research: Research Only in the last two decades have Western investigators began to study acupuncture’s mechanism of action. Most of the studies have not been well controlled. There is not much money available for acupuncture research. Meaning of symptoms According to Chinese Medicine: Meaning of symptoms According to Chinese Medicine Symptoms are seen as signs of trouble somewhere in the flow of energy(chi). Symptoms are seen as a part of a larger picture or pattern affecting the whole person. Meaning of Symptoms: Meaning of Symptoms Unlike conventional Western medicine, practitioners of Chinese medicine look to connect seemingly unrelated symptoms. Connecting these symptoms helps identify the problem with the flow of chi. Quote from a San Francisco Acupuncturist: Quote from a San Francisco Acupuncturist “When people come to Chinese medicine they find one person who understands how their back problem is connected to their abdominal distension, which is connected to the dryness in their eye, which is connected to their sometimes aggressive and sometimes passive feelings.” Harriet Beinfield,L.Ac. Types of Acupuncture: Types of Acupuncture Five Element Acupuncture fire earth metal water wood The energy that flows through us is influenced by these elements. Slide15: The five elements support and build upon each other. Each of the body’s five organ networks corresponds with a particular element. Heart/Small intest. with fire Spleen/Stomach with earth Lungs/Large Intest. with metal Kidneys/Bladder with water Liver/Gallbladder with wood Medical Acupuncture: Medical Acupuncture Western-trained physician (M.D.) Osteopathic physician (D.O.) Ethnic Chinese Traditional Medicine: Ethnic Chinese Traditional Medicine Practiced by ethnic Chinese practitioners. No organized body of theory. Both acupuncture & herbs may be used. Many of the practitioners speech little English. Japanese Acupuncture: Japanese Acupuncture Locate point with the fingertips. Needles are thinner. Needle techniques are more gentle. Japanese acupuncture theory does not incorporate herbal medicine. Training places greater emphasis on the practitioner developing the ability to locate points with the fingertips. Auricular Acupuncture: Auricular Acupuncture Uses technique of treating points exclusively on the ear. This type of acupuncture is considered a complete medical system for treating disorders. Used to treat allergies and functional disorders. pain control In the 1970’s work began in Hong Kong with drug & alcohol withdrawal. Diagnosing : Diagnosing Assess tongue, skin, complexion, smells, pulse, body build demeanor, mental and emotional state. Pulse Diagnosis The condition of all the organ networks and the flow of chi through the twelve major meridians is assessed via the pulses. The pulse is felt at various positions on the wrist. There are six basic locations & three depths on each wrist. Quality of the Pulses: Quality of the Pulses The pulses can have 28 different qualities. The quality of a pulse is determined by: Strength of each pulsation Its length How it trails off Activity between pulsations Treatment: Treatment Each session is based on symptoms, pulse diagnosis and goals of treatment. Usually several different points are needled at each session. The needles may be inserted for a few seconds, or they may be left in for as long as 45 minutes. Pulses are checked again after the treatment. When can Acupuncture be Useful? According to WHO:: When can Acupuncture be Useful? According to WHO: Pain (chronic, surgical, arthritic, malignant, headache, backache). Organic Lesions (cardiovascular, respiratory, GI, skin, urological). Neurological (peripheral & central). Substance abuse (drugs, nicotine, food & alcohol). Gynecological disorders Psychiatric (depression & anxiety). Costs: Costs Initial session Ranges from $100 to $130. Follow-up sessions Ranges from $40 to $80 per session. Number of sessions Once or twice a week for several weeks initially. Treatments are usually spaced further apart as time progresses. Insurance Coverage: Insurance Coverage Insurance companies differ in their coverage. Factors include: State regulations Licensure of the provider Whether medical supervision is required Only for specific illnesses State Regulations: State Regulations Twenty-two states license, certify, or register acupuncturists. Fourteen states limit the practice of acupuncture to M.D.s & D.O.s. Eight states allow acupuncture under the supervision of a licensed physician. Six states have no regulations. References:: References: Bratman, S. (1997). The Alternative Medicine Source Book. Lowell House: Los Angeles. Collinge, W. (1996). The American Holistic Health Association Complete Guide to Alternative Medicine. Warner Books: New York, NY.