Acupuncture is an art of healing i.e treating disease by pricking tiny needles on the body surface. In latin Acus means needles or point and pungere means puncture or prick . Acupuncture is usually associated with China. Research has revealed the existence of acupuncture treatment in Indus Valley in India during the Stone Age. In India, it was known as SOCHEE SHASTRA & its reference can be found in ancient scriptures & Vedas. There are clear indications that acupuncture traveled from India through Nepal to china where it was preserved and nourished since ancient times.
The popular explanation offered for the discovery of acupuncture is a story of a warrior wounded by an arrow. The arrow was removed and the wound healed. Then it was observed that his disease in any unrelated part of the body was cured. An arrow in the foot relieved headache, The cause & effect relationship was worked out by observant physicians between the punctured points and the disease it cured and ultimately series of points were charted. In ancient times in china, acupuncture was practiced as a preventive science than a curative science. Medical diagnosis at that time was based on pulse diagnosis. The duty of the doctor was to advise patient to keep themselves fit. Acupuncturist were paid under a national health scheme & if a patient fell ill, payment was stopped. People went regularly to acupuncturist not only to get well but to stay well. A curious custom was established during this time. The doctor was compelled to hang lantern over his front door, if his patient died unnaturally. Thus, any passerby could judge the doctors capabilities from the number of lanterns hanged outside the door.
Traditional Chinese medicine is based on ancient philosophy that described the universe and the body in terms of two opposing forces namely yin and yang. These forces manifest themselves in the form of five energies namely
Energies flow in the body along specific pathways called meridians. When these forces are in balance, the body is healthy. This perpetual and healthy flow of energy keeps the yin and yang forces balanced. However if the flow of energy gets blocked or imbalanced, the disruption can lead to pain, lack of function or illness.
First visit at Acupuncture center involves detailed history taking, every minute detail of the patient observed – like scars, skin discoloration, voice tonality, gait and attitude in carrying the body, emotional response, skin and hair texture. Tongue diagnosis, Pulse diagnosis etc. also help to come to the right conclusions. All of the above gives information about energy flow through the body. This information gives the Acupuncturist an insight into the energy constitution and imbalances of the patient. According to the gathered information treatment protocol is decided. According to accomplished teachers – An ideal treatment plan should constitute minimal needles maximum cure.
After the correct diagnosis follows the treatment stage. Here, Single use sterilised needles are inserted at various acupuncture points. Many a times, along-with needles moxibustion or electrical stimulation is given. Needles are to be retained by the patient for 20 minutes. All this helps in achieving balanced energies thereby curing the ailment.