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Introduction of Acupuncture Theory and Medical Classics

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There is a growing understanding and acknowledgement of the therapeutic effect of  acupuncture by western medical circles. For instance, a number of medical schools in universities of France have added acupuncture to their curricula in recent years. The Acupuncture Association of France has become a medical association recognized by the French Government. Some leading members of that association entertain the view that acupuncture can reduce considerably the severity of symptoms of certain diseases and the pain suffered by some patients. They believe, moreover, in the assertion that acupuncture can weaken to a great extent the hold on people of some harmful addictions. As it is the opinion of western medicine that reduction of a patient’s symptoms and alleviation of the patient’s suffering are important steps in the treatment of the patient, acupuncture has come to be widely accepted by the western medical circles.
 

Acupuncture Needles

The hand technique of acupuncture is the basic skill that must be mastered in order to carry out clinical acupuncture, because it is what counts most in the achievement of therapeutic effect. In a broad sense, hand technique means the entire process of performing the acupuncture operation, while, in a narrow sense, it denotes only the way of doing the work from entry of the needle into the body up to its exit. The earliest, primitive acupuncture instrument used in ancient China was called "the stone needle". Acupuncture hand technique in its true sense arose in the course of development of the stone needle into what is called "the nine needles" made of metal. The nine needles served variously for shallow entry, deep entry, and other purposes, and were of different shapes and sizes: sharpened, rounded, elongated, or miniature. With the advance of manufacturing technology the acupuncture needles are being made with greater and greater precision and the hand technique is becoming more and more ingenious.
 

Chinese Acupuncture

According to the theory of acupuncture, the body contains a number of meridians, or pathways, along which the life energy flows. The acupuncture needles inserted at particular points along the meridians can unblock the energy flow so as to restore health or reduce pain. Incidentally, the hieroglyph in the Chinese language used by traditional Chinese medicine to denote "life energy" and pronounced as chi is the counterpart of the word gas or breath in the English language. This information may help the reader to understand better the fundamentals of traditional Chinese medicine and acupuncture. The book" the Classic of Internal Medicine" laid the foundations of acupuncture hand technique by a theoretical treatment of the "nine needles". China's another authoritative work on traditional medicine, entitled "A Classic Course in Solution of Difficulties of Medicine and Acupuncture" (compiled by the ancient physician Bian Que of the 4th century B.C.), elaborates on the principle of acupuncture put forward by the preceding Classic of Internal Medicine consisting in that the cure of illness by acupuncture depends on fostering the growth of the healthy forces of the body on the one hand and dispelling or driving away the evil forces of disease on the other.

It is noteworthy that the ancient physician Bian Que lived in the period of the Warring States (475---221B.C.). That period was certainly more than two centuries of war and devastation. But, strange to say, those long years of internecine conflict constituted, as it were, the golden age of philosophy and science in ancient China. For, vying with each other for supremacy in all fields, the mutually jealous monarchs gave free reins to all schools of thought not only in diplomacy and military strategy but also in mathematics, astronomy, natural history and arts. Traditional Chinese medicine with acupuncture, therefore, developed rapidly. The book authored by Bian Que enjoyed great popularity and was accorded the epithet of "Difficult Classic."
 

Acupuncture Theory


The "Difficult Classic" consists of 81 chapters, all written in the form of questions and answers. The book has resolved the doubts in many learners' minds particularly with regard to pulse diagnosis and acupuncture hand technique. All the answers given are based on the five primary categories of acupoints, which number 66 acupoints in total. The book as a whole has formulated a system for fostering the growth of the healthy forces and dispelling the evil forces by means of proper coordination of the acupoints. This was done under the guidance of the theories of ancient Chinese philosophy about the "opposites" and about the "five elements", which may be transliterated as follows. The solution of a problem of any nature is to be tackled by considering its positive and negative aspects, ascertaining and analyzing all the forces acting on it, and exploring for clarification of their interaction, which may be quite complicated, as shown by the theory about the five elements in its statements: "water subdues fire, but earth subdues water." And "wood produces or promotes fire, but earth produces metal".

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