Acupuncture Therapy

Introduction of Acupuncture

The term acupuncture  was derived from Latin words, “acus” meaning needle and “puncture” meaning puncture. Acupuncture is a treating technique with needle onto skin based on the theory of oriental medicine. Acupuncture encourages the body to promote natural healing and prevents certain illnesses.  Acupuncture is an alternative medicine methodology that treats patients by needles that have been inserted into acupuncture points in the skin. Stimulating these points can correct imbalances in the flow of qi through channels known as meridians.

Current scientific research indicates that traditional forms of acupuncture are more effective than placebos in the relief of certain types of pain and post-operative nausea.

Acupuncture’s use for certain conditions has been endorsed by the United States National Institutes of Health, the National Health Service of the United Kingdom, the World Health Organization, and the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine.

There is general agreement that acupuncture is safe when administered by well-trained practitioners using sterile needles and carries a very low risk of serious adverse effects. Your health can be greatly improved through the proper administration of medical acupuncture. Acupuncuture is a safe and effective treatment for many common ailments.


Acupuncture was developed by clinical research in acupuncture physiology, biochemistry, and pharmacology. In other words, it is a coming together of modern international medical science with classical acupuncture medicine.

In March of 1996, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) of the United States of America approved acupuncture as a medical treatment method. Because of this great demand and scientific research, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) incorporated acupuncture into mainstream medicine in April, 1997. In July of 1997, Senate Bill 212 was signed into law, which indefinitely include acupuncturists in the definition of “physician” for the treatment of injured employees entitled to worker’s compensation medical benefits. SB 212 will ensure that patients have the freedom to choose treatment from a healthcare provider that is most appropriate to their needs. In November, 1997, the American Health Counsel publicly claimed acupuncture to be good for the treatment of pains, nausea, asthma, and arthritis.

Theory of Acupuncuture

Acupuncture is basically performed with the oriental medicine theory such as yin-yang, five elements, meridian/ collateral, and zangfu organs.

There are 12 regular channels in our body: lung, large intestine, stomach, spleen, heart, small intestine, urinary bladder, kidney, pericardium, triple warmer, gall bladder, liver channel.

And there are 361 regular acupoints in our body. Each meridian has its own acupoints. For example, lung meridian has 11 acupoints.

If a channel (meridian) is compared  to the  river, then, an acupoint can be compared to a port. These energy channels, called meridians, are  flowing through the body to nourish the tissues in normal physiology. When the flowing of energy in the meridian is blocked, a disease occurs.

The meridians are regulated (reinforced or sedated) by needling on the acupuncture points. The acupuncture needles unblock the obstruction in the meridian at the acupoints, and reestablish the regular flow through the meridians. Acupuncture treatments can therefore help the body’s internal organs to correct imbalances in their digestion, absorption, and energy production activities. Acupuncture can also help in the circulation of energy through the meridians.

The modern scientific explanation is that needling the acupuncture points (acupoints) stimulates the nervous system to release chemicals such as endorphin in the muscles, spinal cord, and brain. These chemicals will either relieve the pain, or they will trigger the release of other chemicals and hormones which influence the body’s own internal regulating system or singaling pathways. The improved energy and biochemical balance produced by acupuncture results in promoting physical and emotional well-being with the help of  body’s own natural healing abilities.


Acupuncture has such a powerful pain killing effect that it is now used in surgical operations as the only anesthetic. More than two million surgical operations have been done with acupuncture as anesthetic.

Acupuncture covers a variety of diseases such as diarrhea, constipation, edema, cough, nausea, vomiting, epigastric pain, abdominal pain, enuresis, impotence, insomnia, dizziness,  deviation of eye and mouth, urticaria, epistaxis, toothache, sore throat, abscess, and also gynecological diseases and pediatric diseases. Acupuncture is specially effective for the treatment of chronic pain, low back pain,  migraines, tension-type headaches, and osteoarthritis. Acupuncture appeared to be more effective than antiemetic drugs in treating postoperative nausea and vomiting. 


California state law, Senate Bill 2179, effective January 1985, requires health care services plans, nonprofit hospital service plans, and disability to offer acupuncture coverage. It includes every health insurance company, health care service plan, non-profit hospital service plan, and every insurer issuing group disability insurance, which covers hospital, medical, or surgical expenses. Each health policy must be reviewed to determine acupuncture benefits.

On July 21, 1997, Senate Bill 212 was signed into law. SB 212 will definitely include acupuncturists in the definition of “physician” for the purpose of treating injured employees entitled to worker’s compensation medical benefits. SB 212 will ensure that patients have the freedom to choose treatment from a healthcare provider that is most appropriate to their needs. Acupuncture has proven to be a safe and effective treatment and a valuable means of getting patients back into the work force.


Moxibustion is also main treating technique frequently used by oriental medicine practitioner.

Moxibustion treats and prevents diseases by applying heat from the preparation (cone or stick form of moxa wool) of Artemisia vulgaris  to a certain point (acupoint) on the skin.

There are 2 kinds of methods of moxibustion; direct moxibustion and indirect moxibustion.

There are also 4 kinds of  indirect moxibustion according to the materials inserted between moxa and skin; ginger insulated moxibustion, garlic insulated moxibustion, salt insulated moxibustion, fuzi (Radix lateralis aconti) insulated moxibustion.

The functions of moxibustion are 1) to warm meridians and expel cold, 2) to induce the smooth flow of qi and blood, 3) to strengthen yang from collapse, 4) to prevent diseases and keep healthy.

Moxibustion treats diarrhea, abdominal pain, painful joints, vomiting, cold limbs, impotence, premature ejaculation.


Cupping is another treating techque used in oriental medicine. Cupping uses a small jar (made of glass or plastic) which is attached on the skin by vacuum.

The cupping method has the functions of warming and promoting the free flow of qi and blood in the meridians, dispelling cold dampness, diminshing swellings and pains.

Cupping treats shoulder pain, low back pain, leg pain, stomachahe, vomiting, diarrhea, cough, and asthma, etc. When acute sprains by blood stasis is treated, a cupping method with bloodletting is used.

The precaution for cupping is that when there are skin ulcer, edema, area of large blood vessels, high fever and convulsion, abdominal and sacral areas of the pregnant women, cupping is inhibited.


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