Acupuncture for dummies

Acupuncture is over 3000 years old and is a component of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). It has proven efficient a very long time ago...

A little definition of acupuncture

It consists in introducing fine needles at strategic points of the body to restore energy balance, that is to say, health. According to Chinese medicine, a balanced person is a healthy person. It is when the balance in unsettled that discomfort appears.

Acupuncture is a holistic medicine which means it considers the person as a whole by taking into account both physical and psychological aspects.

Originally from China, acupuncture is also present in japan, in Vietnam and in Korea. The techniques may differ.

Now officially recognized by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the National institute of Health (NIHL), acupuncture was included in Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO in 2010.

Energy, points and meridians

Our body has 12 meridians on which 361 acupuncture points lie.

Acupuncture assumes the existence of vital energy, the “Qi” (pronounced “chee”), essential for life to circulate throughout the body via a network of meridians. These meridians carry the energy around the body.” Acupuncture points are found along the path of the meridians at specific locations.

The acupuncturist, a detective

When you first meet an acupuncturist, he will ask you many questions related to the reason of your consultation but also about your general health and your background. Then, he will write down your overall energy balance.

To establish an energetic diagnosis, the acupuncturist uses questioning but also other tools.

TCM diagnostic tools
  • Questioning: five elements and 8 diagnostic rules (Yin/Yang, empty/full, hot/cold, internal/external)
  • Observation of the tongue
  • Checking the pulse
  • General observation: complexion, eyes and posture.

Diagnostic tools allow us to diagnose energy. The acupuncturist then develops his therapeutic orientation and selects points.

Acupuncture is an art so the selection of points and the approach can vary from one therapist to another. It is normal, even desirable.

The Five Elements and the Yin/Yang

The Yin/Yang and the Five Elements are the basis of the TCM theory. Everyday, the acupuncturist works with these concepts to try to understand each person, each imbalance.

Yin and Yang

Everyone has heard about Yin and Yang. We all remember the symbol that represents them. A circle made of two large commas, one white and one black and fitting into each other. On the white side there is a black dot and on the black side there is a white dot. Yin and Yang are two phases of a cyclical movement. Opposite and complementary, they both carry the germ of the other. So, in each Yin, there is a part of Yang and in each Yang, a part of Yin.


















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