Guest Author - Inci Yilmazli
As we all know, Traditional Chinese Medicine was founded on the Chinese people’s thousands of years of work against diseases. In ancient times, Chinese people thought of diseases as corruption of the good. Diseases occur when the balance of the two principles, yin and yang, is disrupted. The foundation of acupuncture therapy considers the human body as an organic whole and aims to balance yin and yang.
The main concepts of Traditional Chinese Medicine are Yin-Yang, Five Element Theory, Theory of Channels and Collaterals, Qi, blood and body fluids, etiology, methods of diagnosis, symptom complexes and differences.
What’s Acupuncture According to Traditional Chinese Medicine?
Acupuncture has a 5000 year history and started in China. The human is considered as part of the universe in TCM and it’s believed that the energy present in everything is present in the human body as well. This energy is called “Chi” (Qi) and it flows in the body along the channels called “meridians”. Acupunture aims to achieve balance and prevent diseases by removing the energy blockage in these channels.
The human body has the power to repair itself. There are stimulating points which trigger this power of self-repair and these points are called “acupuncture points” (acupoints). When these points are stimulated, the energy flow in the body goes back to normal and the state of disease is eliminated without needing drug therapies. Acupuncture is a treatment method against the cause of the disease, not its symptoms.
Acupuncture is a self-treatment method and there are no side effects. The main treatment categories of acupuncture can be grouped as treatments of diseases, analgesia- anesthesia, and addiction therapy.
The Philosophy of Acupuncture
In the Western world, the events are considered within the frame of cause-result. According to the Chinese, events are part of a whole and are related to each other.
The differences in the foundations of thoughts can be seen in the medical area. Western medicine is analytical and focuses on the causal relations and makes detailed categorizations. However, in Chinese Medicine, symptoms and findings are evaluated together. According to TCM, disease is an event that happens to a certain person at a certain time. The patient is evaluated primarily, not the disesase. Therefore, all the mental, emotional and physical findings are evaluated together. When the yin and yang are balanced, the person is healthy and when this balance is disrupted, there starts the anomalies. Unbalanced yin and yang change themselves constantly in search for balance. So, with the acupuncture approach, the physician stimulates the acupoints with needles and treats the patient by restoring the balance again.
The History of Acupuncture
The beginning of acupuncture in China is in the neolithic period. It’s possible that the Chinese discovered acupuncture’s pain relieving effect by placing pressure on the painful points of the body with sharp objects. The first evidence of that is the “Bian Stones”. The oldest stones were found in northern China during excavation works. They are thought to be 10,000-4,000 years old. They are long, thin and sharp stones 45mm long and 4 mm wide. Bian Stones were used only for therapeutic purposes.
Diseases Treated With Acupuncture
According to the reports by the World Health Organization (WHO), acupuncture is a method with no side effects. Even though acupuncture is mostly preferred to aid in quitting smoking and alcohol habits, most diseases can be treated by acupuncture.The most important thing about acupuncture is the safety and reliability of the centers performing acupuncture.