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Acupuncture: How It Works, How It Is Used


Words by Aldous Huxley

That a needle stuck into one's foot should improve the functioning of one's liver is obviously incredible. It can't be believed ... can't happen. (...)

As a matter of empirical fact, it does happen. - Aldous Huxley [Mif v]

Acupuncture treatment
"- normalises the flow of energy." - Aldous Huxley [Mib viii]"

Aldous Huxley also writes:

From telepathy to acupuncture, queer facts get ignored by the very people whose business it is to investigate them - get ignored because they fail to get into any of the academic pigeonholes and do not suffer themselves to be explained in terms of accredited theories. (...)

To the Chinese ... there is a continuous circulation of energy (in the organism). Illness (can be) the cause of derangement of this circulation.. Where energy fails to circulate as it should, vital organs may suffer from a deficiency, or a disturbing excess of the life-force. Acupunture (in the right hands can redirect and normalise) the flow of energy ... as a matter of empirical fact ... By pricking at a number of carefully selected points, the skilled acupuncturist reestablishes the normal circulation of energy and brings his patient back to health. (...)

There are many pathological symptoms, on which the old Chinese methods work very well. [Mif vii-ix]

Acupuncture treatment
"A prick in the big toe may cure a depression." - Dr. Felix Mann [Mib 89]"

What Is Acupuncture?

Acupuncture is an important part of Chinese medicine. With a recognised history of almost 3000 years it is still used extensively around the world. Acupuncture affects the physiological functioning of the body by the insertion of fine needles into specific points, and the points are found in many parts of the body. Acupuncture is a primary health-care system in itself, is used to treat subtle and gross problems ranging from indecision to colds and flus, athlete problems and chronic fatigue, to give a few examples. Acupunture is endorsed by the World Health Organization (WHO).

Acupuncture Beats Western Medicine for Treating Low Back Pain

S. L. Baker,, Monday, May 11, 2009.

The results of the largest randomized back pain trial of its kind shows acupuncture helps people with chronic low back pain more than standard medical care. Three different forms of acupuncture beat out western medicine in helping relieve low back pain.

The trial included 638 adults with chronic low back pain. They were patients at two nonprofit health plans, Group Health Cooperative in Seattle, Washington, and Northern California Kaiser Permanente in Oakland.

None of the participants had ever experienced acupuncture before participating in the study. They were randomly put into one of four groups for different kinds of treatment. All received standard medical care but three groups of patients also were treated with varying forms of acupuncture - needle puncture at points individualized for each case, standardized acupuncture that used a single prescription of needle punctures at points on the back and back of the legs and what the researchers called "simulated acupuncture" that involved pressing on points with a toothpick without penetrating the skin.

The investigators found that at eight weeks all three acupuncture groups were functioning far better with less pain than the group getting only standard medical care. What's more, additional follow-ups found the benefits of acupuncture lasted for a year for many of these people.

"We found that simulated acupuncture, without penetrating the skin, produced as much benefit as needle acupuncture - and that raises questions about how acupuncture works," the trial leader Daniel C. Cherkin, PhD, a senior investigator at Group Health Center for Health Studies in Seattle, said to the media.

However, the ancient healing therapy also includes non-piercing types of acupuncture. Acupuncture "describes a family of procedures involving the stimulation of anatomical points on the body using a variety of techniques."

Cherkin's co-author, Karen J. Sherman, PhD, MPH, a senior investigator at Group Health Center for Health Studies, also pointed out: "Historically, some types of acupuncture have used non-penetrating needles."

Josephine P. Briggs, MD, director of NCCAM, further noted that "something meaningful is taking place during acupuncture treatments outside of actual needling."

For more information:

Acupuncture meridians
A few acupuncture meridians (vessels)
Acupuncture meridians

Acupuncture, END MATTER

Acupuncture, LITERATURE  

Bentze, Georg. Gammalkinesisk akupunktur. Västerås: ICA, 1987.

White, Adrian, Mike Cummings and Jacqueline Filshie, eds. An Introduction to Western Medical Acupuncture. Oxford: Churchill Livingstone / Elsevier, 2008.

Hicks, Angela. The Acupuncture Handbook: How Acupuncture Works and How It Can Help You. London: Piatkus, 2005.

Kaptchuk, Ted J. Chinese Medicine: The Web That Has No Weaver. 2nd rev ed. London: Rider, 2000.

Lawson-Wood, Denis, and Joyce Lawson-Wood. The Five Elements of Acupuncture and Chinese Massage. 2nd ed. Rustington: Health Science, 1973.

Mann, Felix. Acupuncture. London: Pan, 1985.

Mann, Felix. Acupuncture: The Ancient Chinese Art of Healing. 3rd ed. London: Heinemann Medical Books, 1978.

Mann, Felix. Atlas of Acupuncture. Oxford: Heinemann, 1966.

Mann, Felix. Scientific Aspects of Acupuncture. 2nd ed. London: Heinemann Medical Books, 1983.

Mann, Felix. Textbook of Acupuncture. London: Heinemann, 1987.

Mann, Felix. The Meridians of Acupuncture. London: Heinemann Medical, 1964.

Mann, Felix. The Treatment of Disease by Acupuncture. London: Heinemann Medical, 1963.

Schnorrenberger, Claus C, und Kiang Ching-Lien, Übersetzer. Klassische Akupunktur Chinas, Ling Kü King (Ling-Shu Ching): Des gelben Kaisers Lehrbuch der inneren Medizin, 2. Teil. Stuttgart: Hippocrates, 1974.

Van Nghi, Nguyen. Pathogenese und Pathologie der Energetik in der Chinesischen Medizin. Vols 1-2. Uelzen: MLV, 1974.

Veith, Ilza, tr. Huang Ti Nei Ching Su Wen: The Yellow Emperor's Classic of Internal Medicine. Chapters 1-34. Berkeley CA: University of California Press, 2002.

Yin, Yeung Lai. Akupunktur: Den aktuella kineska läkekonsten Stockholm: Forum, 1973.

Øverbye, Bjørn. Frisk uten piller: En innføring i øreakupunktur. Oslo: Hjemmenes forlag, 1981.


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