What Is Acupuncture?

Acupuncture actually consists of both “needles” and “moxibustion”. Acupuncture is the treatment of needles, and moxibustion in the treatment of heating herbs on acupuncture points to open up the meridians.

Acupuncture is a therapy that is very closely related to aromatherapy. A few aromatherapists are proficient in both therapies, but most choose to work with an acupuncturist to complement each other’s strengths.

Acupuncture is a very ancient treatment method, having been created in China 5,000 years ago.

Acupuncture is based on the Taoist philosophy of yin and yang: there are two opposite but complementary energies in heaven and earth, yin and yang. Human beings are part of heaven and earth, so the yin and yang energy run through the body’s meridians to the whole body.

Yang energy runs up and down the back of the body, while Yin energy runs up the front of the body. These two streams of qi run endlessly in the body and maintain a dynamic balance.

If the yin and yang qi can run freely to achieve balance, the human body will be healthy; if the meridians are blocked and the flow of qi is not smooth, many diseases will occur.

Therefore, inserting fine needles into the meridians at the appropriate locations can unblock the meridians and allow the qi of yin and yang to flow again, restoring a person to health.

Using the delicate technique of pulse taking, acupuncturists can detect irregularities in the flow of Qi in the body before illnesses appear. And thousands of years ago, the Chinese would use acupuncture techniques to prevent disease.

Acupuncture therapy is only one part of traditional Chinese medicine. Only some of the Western acupuncturists have ever received a full set of training in Chinese medicine. Most acupuncturists are only able to insert needles at the correct points for acupuncture treatment but are unaware of the philosophical basis behind acupuncture treatment.

Practitioners and residents in some countries take short training courses and learn to apply simple acupuncture treatments, but purely for the purpose of relieving the patient’s pain.

Traditional Chinese acupuncture treatments are sometimes combined with certain aromatic plants that produce essential oils for use in treatment.

Some authors have used this principle to classify essential oils as “yin” and “yang”, which in my personal experience is not a good way to classify them.

However, it makes more sense to use aromatherapy with acupuncture if the classification is based on the properties of the essential oils, the organs or systems they affect, etc.

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