“Point-of-Life Treatment” – this is how the term “acupuncture” can be translated from Chinese. It is one of the branches of traditional Chinese medicine based on the ancient Oriental philosophy. It states that all living things on Earth are filled with life force, or energy, “chi”.
“Qi” circulates through so-called energy channels called meridians. If this circulation is disturbed, one becomes ill. Chinese healers have no doubt that by removing obstacles from the path of “chi” one can cope with the cause of disease.
The technical part of acupuncture is very simple and consists in influencing the biologically active points (BAP) on the human body. Needles, wormwood cigars and other tools for piercing and cauterization (heating) are used for this purpose.
BAP are subdivided into several types:
- signal, or diagnostic;
When acupuncturists use a variety of techniques on the desired points, they release the path of “qi” through the energy channels, thereby eliminating painful symptoms.
Why it works
There are several theories regarding the mechanism of action of acupuncture. One of them attributes its effectiveness to the fact that exposure to the BAP with needles or other instruments causes increased blood flow and stimulates nerve receptors in a certain area.
This leads to increased synthesis of joy hormones – endorphins – and natural analgesics – enkephalins. The latter have a morphine-like effect and are produced by the central nervous system. Both are capable of alleviating pain.
Another theory states that the beneficial effects of acupuncture are based on the principle of “the wedge blows out the wedge”. At the moment of injection, the nerve endings, which are located in the superficial layers of the body, are activated.
Pain signals transmitted through them reach the brain faster than impulses from diseased organs. This triggers the mechanism of self-restoration.
The introduction of diagnostic methods such as magnetic resonance imaging and Doppler transcranial ultrasound into medical practice has made it possible to test acupuncture in action.
Tomograms and ultrasound protocols show that the activity of the subcortical layer of the brain changes under the influence of BAP. As different departments of the CNS have close connections with specific organs, their stimulation causes response reactions in the form of positive processes in these organs.
Medical acupuncture has several types, among them:
- electrical acupuncture;
Needles are inserted into the bioenergetic points of the BAP at a specific angle and to a pre-calculated depth. These parameters depend on the desired result and the nature of the disease. The method of insertion and extraction of the needles is also chosen according to the patient’s condition: in some cases an excitatory effect is required, in others a sedative one.
Acupuncture allows you to achieve a complex effect, which includes:
- elimination of pain and muscle spasms;
- reduction of swelling and inflammation;
- improvement of microcirculation;
- increase immunity;
- Lifting spirits and vitality.
The acupuncture procedure is completely painless, only when the needle is inserted into the body can you feel a slight pinch. There is no pain, as the needles have a rounded, blunted edge, and do not tear, but gently pull the skin apart.
During the session, there may be a feeling of pressure, numbness, or warmth. Some people feel sleepy.
This technology has been used relatively recently and is characterized by an enhanced effect due to the conduct of the current. If classical acupuncture does not work, treatment is performed with electro-acupuncture.
This term refers to the effect on the points located on the auricle. The therapeutic effect is based on the representation of the ear as a kind of center, where the projections of all organs converge.
Each point on the ear is associated with a specific organ or system. By acting on the BAP with special needles, the corresponding functions are restored.
For auriculopuncture special micro needles are used, which are usually placed for a week. They are fixed on top with Omniplast to prevent infection.
This is the name of the point massage of the same ear. Only it is performed with the fingers of the hand or, less frequently, with special ball-shaped needles. The strength of the pressure depends on the client’s constitution and the purpose of the technique.
The application of force is strictly dosed, so the pressure is usually moderate. The practitioner is guided by the sensation of the patient, who should feel something in between pain and pleasure.
Another type of acupressure, but here the whole body is massaged. Several techniques are used during the session:
- rubbing and kneading;
- pressing and pushing;
- vibrating and sawing;
Acupressure acupressure massage can be tonic, energizing or relaxing, calming the nervous system. First the therapist prepares the patient’s body for the main part of the session and rubs the body.
To achieve a tonic effect, each point is quickly pressed and immediately released. The sedative effect is achieved by slowly rotating the fingers in one BAP with a gradual increase in force and a delay in the depth of the tissues. The time of action on one point is up to 5 minutes.
Moxibustion therapy (thermopuncture)
The essence of the technique is to apply heat to energy points by means of moxibustion – cigars made of wormwood. In fact, the body is cauterized, but the use of cauterization is popular mainly in China. In European countries warming is predominantly practiced.
Cylindrical or conical devices made of ceramic or metal are used for the procedures. They prevent close contact of the smoldering moxa with the body, which makes the manipulation completely painless.
A course of reflexotherapy can be prescribed for such diseases and conditions as:
- osteochondrosis and intervertebral hernia, arthritis, arthrosis;
- Back and lower back pain due to tonic syndrome;
- neuritis, neuralgia;
- neurosis, depression, sleep disorders;
- headaches, migraines;
- Chronic respiratory diseases;
- gastritis and stomach ulcers;
- diabetes, obesity, menopausal syndrome.
- benign and malignant tumors;
- Infections in the acute stage;
- mental disorders;
- Severe cardiac, renal, and hepatic dysfunction;
- pain syndrome of unclear origin;
- Age less than 1 year and after 75 years of age.
Competent prescription and use of acupuncture technique almost completely eliminates the development of complications. Only local vascular damage in the places where the needles are inserted is possible – small bleeding and bruising.