The Ying Yang Philosophy Behind Acupuncture and Its History

Follow Me on Pinterest The history of chinese acupuncture is one of the most controversial healing practices. Many people wonder how it works and what the benefits really are. To demystify this practice, this article will answer these three fundamental questions:

1. What is the history of acupuncture?
2. How does acupuncture work?
3. What are the criticisms against this practice?

What is the History of acupuncture?

The term acupuncture has French origins dating back to the 16 century. The term derives its meaning from the Latin words acus meaning needle and punctura meaning puncture. Acupuncture is generally believed to have originated from the Eastern traditions, particularly of Chinese medicine. This practice was both a Taoist philosophy as much as it is a medical practice today.

Acupuncture dates to more than 8000 years back when inhabitants of this time became keen on the flow of energy through the body and the relationship between humans and natural forces. As might be expected there were numerous sages during this period, with the most renowned being Fu His. This sage developed the concept of yin-yang after his observation of nature in his conclusion that the two prevailing forces controlling the universe were reception and creation. The concept of yin and yang become the cornerstone of Chinese medicine.

Throughout the various dynasties in China, acupuncture developed a foothold until the 1911 Revolution that saw Western and herbal medicine introduced in the greater Asia, subsequently suppressing acupuncture for a while. However many traditional doctors during this period continued to use acupuncture to relieve pains, to alleviate physical stress, curing emotional depression, and to treat a host of ailments including cardiovascular, respiratory and circulatory diseases.

How does Acupuncture work?

Acupuncture entails the stimulation of the meridian points along the body, primarily through the use of metallic needles. These meridian points are also known as energy points or chakras, which if out of balance will result to the development of disease and pain. Acupuncturists believe that there are about 14 – 20 meridian points that interconnect the body and offer 2000 points through which acupuncture can be carried out.

Acupuncture works based on the yin and yang concept such that it seeks to bring balance between the passive energies of yin and the active energies of yang. Through electrical or manual manipulation of the needles, these two energies are able to restore their balance. This allows for the free flow of Qi (Chi), also known as life giving energy. Unblocking Chi means releasing the body from pain and disease.

What are the criticisms towards acupuncture?

A Consensus Development Conference on Acupuncture report stated that more and more medical doctors are using acupuncture as an alternative and complementary medicine. Another report by the National Health Interview Survey on the use of Chinese alternative Medicine by Americans indicated that up to 3.1 million adults use acupuncture for pain relief and other chronic conditions. However, in spite of the flourishing popularity in acupuncture and Chinese medicine in the West, organizations such as the American Medical Association (AMA) do not yet recognize acupuncture. The AMA has long been in a drawn battle against alternative medicine, with the main caveat being that there are no set standards for who qualifies to undertake these alternative practices. According to the AMA the lack of national standards on education and professional qualification blurs the line between quackery (as in alternative medicine) and clinical medicine.

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