Posted on 10th Aug 2014
Acupuncture is simply “inserting fine, sterilized needles into specific points on the body for therapeutic purposes.”(1)
These points are also called acupoints. Acupoints do not pertain to an anatomical position in the body, but rather these are points where energy flows. The most common number of acupoints is 361 in all, but knowing a hundred will be sufficient for therapy since most of the other points are rarely used at all. The acupoints locations and numbers vary in the texts. Also, acupuncture cannot target the pain inside the brain and on the spinal cord. What it could target is the pain in the peripheral nervous system such as the limbs, the neck, the back, the arms, and the hands.
It is said that acupuncture creates very little risk and it can be used together with chemical or homeopathic treatment (2). Acupuncture can be used for treatment as well as prevention of illness. The types of illness that acupuncture can cure are “sciatic pain...facial neuralgia...[calming of] asthmatic crises...spasmodic coryza...hemorrhoids...gastric crises...constipation...urinary incontinence...rheumatism, hiccough, enuresis, deafness...hemiplegia with contraction.”(2) The mental state of the person being acupunctured is also important. The doctor must make sure that the patient is calm and relaxed. The patient’s muscles must not be tight, his head not constantly glancing at the needles, and his heart beating regularly just right.
(1) Dung, H. (2014). Acupuncture: An Anatomical Approach, Second Edition.Florida: CRC Press
(2) Soulié de Morant, G. (1994).Chinese Acupuncture. Massachusetts: Paradigm Publications