Techniques of Chinese Medicine
Acupuncture & Moxabustion:
Where There's Pain There's No Flow.
Where There's Flow, There's No Pain
Acupuncture is a complete medical system originating in China thousands of years ago. Today it is used throughout the world to treat hundreds of different ailments. Acupuncture involves the insertion of hair-thin sterile needles at specific points on the body. Acupuncturists adjust the flow of Qi (vital energy), thereby influencing other nourishing and/or cleansing flows such as blood, waste, food, hormones, and lubricating fluids. Performed properly, the technique is nearly painless.
How Does It Work?
Numerous controlled studies have shown that acupuncture works for a variety of ailments. Billions of people testify that it is effective, but how?
Some scientists believe that acupuncture stimulates the nervous system. They theorize that needling effects peripheral nerves, which reaches the central nervous system.
Others studies reveal that acupuncture makes endorphins. These are morphine-like substances made naturally in your body. This, some believe, is the mechanism behind the effectiveness of acupuncture.
According to Chinese medicine, acupuncture works by promoting or directing the flows of energy and fluids (Qi and Blood) in our body. Our bodies are nourished by these flows; much as a garden is irrigated by canals or trenches.
In a garden, irrigating flows are regulated by gates or valves. In our bodies, these gates are the acupuncture points, and by manipulating them an acupuncturist helps to control this flow of energy.
When heat's a treat.
Heat can be beneficial. When the body lacks heat, adding it is therapy. It's like adding energy to the body.
Moxibustion is a heat treatment where acupuncture points are heated by burning an herb called moxa (made from artemisia leaf) on or near the point. Burning on the skin is called direct moxibustion. Burning it near the skin called indirect moxibustion. Sometimes we burn moxa attached to the needles. This is called warming needle technique.
Moxa sticks are like cigars which are burned close to the affected area (about an inch). When the spot becomes too hot, the moxa stick is withdrawn, then after a moment, it is returned. This results in a kind of pecking at the spot with the moxa stick. Do it 5-20 minutes per session, 1-3 sessions per day. Just be careful to ventilate the smoke, careful of falling ashes, and careful to extinguish the stick (roll) by suffocating it in sand or salt or rice.