Acupuncture For Cynics

Acupuncture For Cynics

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.

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Acupuncture aromatherapy and reflexology

Acupuncture has much evidence to support its use in certain areas of medicine, but properly conducted studies in obstetric practice are rare. What evidence there is mostly concerns manual acupuncture and suggests a beneficial effect on pain and analgesic requirements in labour.

Acupuncture And Moxibustion

Drug lore, herbal medicine, and magical practices are essentially universal aspects of traditional and ancient medical systems. Chinese medicine is unique, however, in the development of the techniques known as acupuncture and moxibustion and the sophisticated rationalizations that justified these very ancient practices. Both acupuncture and moxibustion could be used to restore the free flow of yin and yang that was essential to health. For at least 2,500 years, acupuncture, the art of inserting needles at specific points on the surface of the body, has been a part of Chinese medicine. Moxa or moxibustion, a related technique in which burning tinder made from the powdered leaves of Artemisia vulgaris (mugwort or wormwood) is applied to specific points on the skin, may be even more ancient than the art of needling. Acupuncture has attained considerable notoriety and a degree of acceptance in the West, but moxi-bustion has been largely ignored. Although moxibustion may produce burns and...

Stimulation therapies

Acupuncture has been used successfully in eastern medicine for centuries. There does seem to be a scientific basis for acupuncture, with release of endogenous analgesics within the spinal cord. Acupuncture is particularly useful for myofascial pain, which is a common secondary phenomenon in many cancer pain syndromes. Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) may have a similar mechanism of action to acupuncture. There is evidence to support its use in both acute and chronic pain.

Pleural and chest wall pain

Pleural and chest wall pain may exacerbate breathlessness and may be difficult to manage. Non-pharmacological measures such as TENS or acupuncture may be helpful. Analgesics should be prescribed in a stepwise fashion (see chapter 2). Cough suppression may help. Radiotherapy should be considered if the pain is caused by metastases in the bones or soft tissues. An intercostal nerve block may temporarily alleviate pain from rib metastases or fracture. Percutaneous cordotomy can be effective for the relief of chest wall pain such as that commonly caused by mesothelioma (see chapter 3, Difficult pain).

Medical Practice In Modern China

By the 1980s, China had established a health care system that is generally conceded to be a model for other developing countries. Sensitive measures of health in Shanghai in 1980, such as infant mortality and life expectancy at birth, compared favorably with New York City. Western visitors were impressed by Chinese experiments in medical education and the restructuring of medical practice, which obligated the physician to share diagnostic and therapeutic responsibilities with a newly empowered array of lay and paramedical personnel. Preventive medicine and basic primary health care were provided by legions of ''barefoot doctors,'' midwives, and nurses. The use of herbal remedies, acupuncture, and moxibustion remains the core of medical practice, but The development of acupuncture anesthesia has been hailed in China as another great leap forward. Inspired by the thoughts of Chairman Mao, hospital workers began to wonder whether the pain-relieving effects of needling that had been...

Management of Unexplained Chest Pain

Nonpharmacologic approaches can be useful in unexplained chest pain, just as in other functional gastrointestinal disorders. Cognitive behavioral psychotherapy, deep muscle relaxation, biofeedback, and other stress reduction techniques, are beneficial for some patients. Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation, acupuncture, and other alternative approaches, have had anecdotal success, but the best advice is to learn to maximize the use of antidepressants, particularly TCAs, in this patient group.

Robert J HilsdenMD PhD Frcpc and Marja J VerhoefPhD

The term CAM will refer to the diverse collection of health systems and diagnostic and therapeutic modalities that are not part of the conventional western medical system. Examples of CAM include alternative medical systems (eg, homeopathy, traditional Chinese medicine, and Ayurveda), products derived from nature (eg, milk thistle, aloe vera, and other herbs), probiotics, orthomolecular medicine (eg, high dose vitamin C, coenzyme Q10), pharmacological interventions (eg, antineoplastons), manipulative and physical therapies (chiropractic, massage) and various procedures and devices (eg, colonic lavage and bioresonance). Many therapies are clearly outside of conventional medicine however, for others, the borders are blurred. Common examples of complementary therapies that are finding a role in the conventional medical care of patients with Gi and liver disease include milk thistle (Silymarin), probiotics, hypnosis, and acupuncture. The ever growing number of abstracts on CAM at...

Other Species Of Artemisia Used In Traditional Chinese Medicine

Along with acupuncture, the application of moxibution is used in TCM. It is carried out by applying an ignited moxa cone or moxa stick on the acu-points to elicit heat stimulation. It exerts an effect by warming and regulating the channels, promoting the circulation of Qi and blood. Moxibustion is often combined with acupuncture for the treatment and prevention of many diseases including pain relief and injury management.

The Three Celestial Emperors Fu Hsi Shen Nung And Huang Ti

Although The Inner Canon is revered as one of the oldest and most influential of the classical Chinese medical texts, studies of medical manuscripts that were buried with their owner, probably during the second century b.c.e., and recovered in Mawangdui, Hunan, in the 1970s, have provided new insights into early Chinese medical thought. As newly recovered texts are analyzed, scholars are beginning to illuminate the philosophical foundations of Chinese medicine and the ways in which the learned physicians of the fourth to first centuries b.c.e. were able to separate themselves from shamans and other popular healers. Physicians apparently were still exploring approaches to physiology, pathology, and therapy that differed from those found in the Inner Canon. Therapeutics in the older texts included medicinal drugs, exorcism, magical and religious techniques, and surgical operations, but acupuncture, the major therapeutic technique in the Inner Canon, was not discussed in the Mawangdui...

Have early menopause What does this mean for my bones and will I need treatment

Therapies that are used in place of conventional Western medical therapies includes massage, visualization, naturopathic medicine, and acupuncture, among others. Alternative medical systems such as acupuncture and naturopathic medicine. In some studies of acupuncture, results have been mixed. For the treatment of osteoporosis, acupuncture is more commonly used with herbs in the practice of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM). According to TCM, the kidneys govern the bones, so TCM therapies target strengthening the kidney. Herbs that may be used to treat or prevent osteoporosis include those that

The Chinese Cultural Sphere

Although the nations surrounding China were heavily influenced by Chinese medical philosophy, the direction of exchange is sometimes obscure. Shared medical traditions have different creation myths in each state within the Chinese cultural sphere. For example, in Korea, the invention of moxa and stone acupuncture needles was attributed to Tan Gun, the legendary founder of that nation. Many medicinal substances were exported from Korea to China, before Korea exported

Treatment of Olfactory Disorders

Other treatments In addition to the use of steroids there are other therapeutic approaches to restoration of olfactory loss. They include the use of anti-leukotrienes 243 , saline lavages 244 , or approaches which have received less vigorous scientific investigation, e.g., dietary changes 245 , acupuncture 246 , anti-allergy immunotherapy 247 and herbal treatments. A different approach to the treatment of olfactory disorders is the detection and treatment of underlying causes. This approach may also involve the replacement of drugs suspected of affecting the sense of smell 172, 266, 267 . Other possible treatments may include, for example, acupuncture 246 .

Traditional Chinese Medicine

Traditional Chinese medicine consists of acupuncture, massage, Qi-Gong (Chinese deep-breathing excercises), medicated diet and herbal treatment with herbal treatment holding a dominant position. The theory of the herb property is one of the most important parts of the TCM. According to this theory, herbs have four properties - hot, warm, cool and cold, and five tastes - sour, bitter, sweet, pungent and salty. Basically, herbs with a hot or warm property have the nature of Yang and herbs with a cool or cold property have the nature of Yin. This forms the very basis of the theory of TCM materia medica. In line with the Yin-Yang concept in TCM diagnosis, the use of a Yin herb or a Yang herb to re-balance the Yin and Yang in the different organs in the body and to treat the illnesses accordingly can be appreciated. Herbs in TCM are also uniquely considered to have selective therapeutic effects on certain parts of the body and this is called channel tropism. This resembles the concept of...

Alternative Complementary And Integrative Medicine

A major survey conducted in the early twenty-first century indicated that over 40 percent of Americans had used or were using some form of alternative medicine about 75 percent believed in the healing power of prayer and 85 percent believed that certain foods could cure disease or enhance health. The survey included questions on 27 types of alternative or unconventional therapies. Unconventional healing approaches included acupuncture, aromatherapy, Ayurvedic medicine, herbs, botanical products, enzymes, deep breathing exercises, meditation, energy healing, yoga, homeopathy, medical magnets, chiropractic, massage, reflexology, naturopathy, special diets, megavitamin therapy, prayer, and even the ancient practice of dowsing. Moreover, polls indicate that educated people in search of optimum health are the most likely to seek out holistic or alternative medicine. Seventy percent of Canadians have used alternative medicine and one-third of the population uses it on a regular basis. In...

Classical Chinese Concepts Of Anatomy

The system of fivefold correspondences could have created an embarrassing discrepancy between medical philosophy and medical practice, because acupuncture and moxibustion techniques had become standardized around a system of six pairs of conduits or acupuncture tracts. The problem was resolved by adding the pericardium or heart-enclosing network and the triple-warmer to the list of firm and hollow organs, respectively. According to Chinese medical philosophy, disease was basically caused by an imbalance of yin and yang, resulting in a disorder of one of the five phases, expressed as a dysfunction of the corresponding organ and the organs controlled by the injured organ. Therefore, all therapies were directed toward restoration of a state of harmony. In accordance with the fivefold system, the Nei Ching described five methods of treatment curing the spirit by living in harmony with the universe, dietary management, acupuncture, drugs, and treatment of the bowels and viscera, blood, and...


Acupuncture Acupuncture has its roots in traditional Chinese medicine and is therefore part of a system involving multiple therapeutic interventions such as diet, manipulation, meditation, and herbal medicine. The aim is to restore the energy balance and health. The therapeutic technique involves the insertion of fine needles under the skin and underlying tissues at specific points for therapeutic or preventative purposes Current evidence supports the use of acupuncture and acupressure in palliative care for the treatment of nausea and vomiting induced by chemotherapy and after surgery, with high level evidence emerging for acute pain and xerostomia. Despite limited scientific evidence, there are also data to support its use in palliative care for pain associated with diseases other than cancer, breathlessness, radiation induced rectitis, hiccups, hot flushes, angina, and AIDS


Initially, non-pharmacological methods of management are usually proffered, such as frequent small snacks (e.g. dry crackers), ginger root tea, hypnosis and use of acupressure bands or acupuncture to stimulate an area on the ventral surface of the wrist between the long flexor tendons. The evidence for the more esoteric treatments is somewhat mixed, although probably strongest for acupressure or acupuncture for its general (as opposed to obstetric) antiemetic effect. Psychological support is generally advocated.


The most famous Chinese surgeon, Hua T'o (ca. 145-208), was credited with the invention of anesthetic drugs, medicinal baths, hydrotherapy, and medical gymnastics. Master of acupuncture and a brilliant diagnostician, Hua T'o could reputedly cure migraine headaches with one acupuncture needle. One of his most unusual cases involved a patient suffering from a painful tumor between the eyes. When Hua T'o skillfully opened the tumor, a canary flew out and the patient was completely cured. Although canary-filled tumors may be a rarity in medical practice, headaches and chronic pains are not, and Hua T'o usually cured such disorders with acupuncture. Unfortunately, when consulted by the Emperor Ts'ao Ts'ao, the surgeon recommended trepanation as a treatment for his intractable headaches. Suspecting that such drastic surgery might be part of an assassination plot, Ts'ao Ts'ao ordered Hua T'o's execution. Unable to smuggle his writings out of prison, Hua T'o took the secrets of his great...