Traditional Chinese Acupuncture and Moxibustion

Acupuncture is an ancient healing art which many believe dates back to 407-310 B.C. It is a therapeutic method which uses the insertion of fine needles into specific points in the body to control pain and stimulate healing. Modern research has proven that the body responds to the needle by producing its own natural substances such as endorphins, which control pain, reduce inflammation and promote healing. Since these substances are produced by your own body the side-effects are minimal when compared to using prescription drugs.

Acupuncture and moxibustion are two distinct therapeutic approaches to curing a variety of ailments. Acupuncture treats diseases by puncturing points of the body with different types of needles. Moxibustion applies heat produced by ignited moxawood over certain points in the body. Although different equipment and materials are used, the therapeutic and preventive reuslts are similar. Both promote the circulation of qi and blood in the channels by stimulating the key points and channels of the body. Acupuncture and moxi-bustion are frequently used together to treat ailments ranging from internal problems to gynecological and pediatric diseases including ailments of the eyes, lips, nose and tongue. The results are often quick with little or no side effects.

The locations where needles are inserted or where heat is applied are known as points. By focusing on specific points, different effects or reactions can be produced in corresponding parts of the body. The discovery of these points and the effects of stimulating them have led to the theory of channels and collaterals. Early acupuncturists believed that needle manipulation at a point would affect other parts of the body along a denied route. Points at different locations would also produce similar results. Thus, acupuncturists studied the relationship between these points and developed the theory of channels and collaterals.

The vertically distributed "trunk lines" were described by physicians in ancient times as "channels" while the large and small branches of these "channels" were referred to as "collaterals". Together a network can be defined as consisting of l2 channels, l5 col-laterals and 8 extraordinary channels. This network spreads throughout the they and links various points of the body.

The points forming the network were discovered one by one during the long history of acupuncture and moxibustion. Unearthed materials and historical records show that impressive results were obtained as early as the Han Dynasty (206 B.C. - 220A.D.). The earliest success with acupuncture and moxibustion is recorded in the Shiji (Historical Records) by Sima Qian, a historian of the Han Dynasty. An account is given in "Biographies of Bian Que" who brought patients out of comas by using acupuncture.

For thousands of year acupuncture and moxibustion therapies have been popular as methods of preventing and treating diseases. They have served as important components of Chinese medicine

" The doctors of the future will give no medicine, but will interest his patients in the care of the human frame, in diet and in the cause and prevention of disease. " Thomas Alva Edison