Any imbalance in Yin-Yang and Qi has to be dynamically harmonized in order to restore the body back to a healthy condition. By applying acupuncture therapy onto specific points of the body, one can shift a person's illnesses into a healthy condition. It appears that acupuncture has the capacity to dry, cool, warm, augment, deplete, redirect, reorganize, unblock, restore, and stabilize based on the specific needs of a particular illness. Several interventional techniques are commonly described to perform traditional acupuncture (Fig. 16.6a-f; Table 16.1). The most common technique is one that inserts hair-thin needles into specific acupuncture points on the body to correct disruptions in harmony. Heat stimulation is a technique also known as moxibustion, which burns the herb Artemisia vulgaris either onto acupuncture points through needles or indirectly near the acupuncture point. The whole purpose of applying moxibustion is to warm or move the Qi. Vacuum stimulation is also
known as cupping, which applies the suction cup onto the acupuncture point with or without the needles. Cupping is used to remove excessive energy or soothing the turbulence of Qi. Hand pressure is sometimes applied to relieve mild symptoms. All these physical stimuli are applied to one acupuncture point to restore harmony and health. Electroacupuncture, laser, and hydroinjection are recent developments in acupuncture stimulation techniques (Wang et al. 2008).
The premise of acupuncture is that internal pathology can be diagnosed and treated using surface evaluation and stimulation by taking advantage of somatovisceral and viscerosomatic reflexes, which occurs via stimulation at one site of the body resulting in a "harmonizing" effect on the body. In other words, the stimulation does not have to be applied directly to the affective area to achieve the optimal therapeutic effect (Biella et al. 2001).
Table 16.1 The family of techniques utilized as acupuncture stimulation.
Pressure: Application of fingers pressure, pressure pellet available commercially to the acupuncture point also known as acupressure
Needle: Usually application of hair-thin needle into the acupuncture point also known as traditional body acupuncture, manual acupuncture, etc
Moxibustion: Application of dried mugwort to the acupuncture point by attaching the dried herb to the handle of acupuncture needle place into the acupuncture point or above the acupuncture point
Cupping: Application of suction cups onto the acupuncture point with or without the acupuncture needle already in place Laser: Application of laser to the acupuncture point
Electrical stimulation: Application of electrical stimulation through surface electrodes (transcutaneous electrical acupoint stimulation - TEAS) or through needle placed into the acupuncture point (electroacupuncture or electrical acupoint stimulation - EA)
Hydroinjection: Injection of fluid of medication into the acupuncture point also known as acupoint injection
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Have You Always Been Curious About Acupuncture, But Were Never Quite Sure Where To Stick The Needles? If you associate acupuncture with needles, pain and weird alternative medicine then you are horribly misinformed about the benefits of the world's oldest form of medicinal treatment.