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Folk and Alternative Medicine
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Acupuncture (also referred to as needle therapy, stylostixis, Zhenjiu/Zhen Jiu therapy) is among the major forms of treatment in traditional Chinese medicine. It involves treating the human organism by impacting particular biologically active acupuncture points through a variety of techniques.  The most widely applied techniques include inserting and manipulating special silver needles and moxibustion using the same needles.

Traditional Chinese medicine is based on the premise that bodily functions are regulated by the flow of vital energy (Qi/Chi) through a system of 12 meridians (energy channels). Each meridian is connected to a different internal organ. Thus internal energy flows in a circle: lungs - large intestine - stomach - spleen - heart - small intestine - urinary bladder - kidney - pericardial sac - triple warmer - gall bladder - liver - lungs. There are tonifying, relaxing, analgesic, stabilising, extraordinary points beyond the meridians, and other points located along each meridian. Impacting each of these points brings about the corresponding result.

If any of the channels gets blocked or toxic, the flow of energy will become disrupted — one meridian may have excess Qi, while the other may be depleted. Such imbalance will finally lead to feeling unwell, a state of disease or even death. Through impacting particular points along the meridians, it is possible to restore energy circulation, relieve pain, and ultimately heal a person.

Nowadays, there is a variety of therapies relying on acupuncture, the most popular of which include traditional Zhenjiu therapy, auriculopuncture and auriculopressure (impacting on biologically active points of the ear), electric needle or electrocautery treatment (diagnostics and treatment involved with measuring biopotentials of acupuncture points on the skin surface), shiatsu (acupressure), bleeding control, electropuncture, baunscheidtism (piercing the skin at one point with the lebenswecker (“life awakener”), also called the “artificial leech” — a special device with multiple fine needles).

Acupuncture may help achieve astonishing results in treating over 300 chronic diseases, eliminate pain caused by radiculitis, neuritis, tension of ligaments, as well as neck and back muscle ache, acute spinal and joint pain, headache and toothache. Acupuncture is also effective for uterine, urethral and bile duct spasms, for insomnia and asthma. It needs mentioning, however, that acupuncture is not absolutely safe and is not a cure-all solution. It is contraindicated for patients suffering from cancer, extreme fatigue or agitation.

Tags: folk medicine, alternative medicine, acupuncture, needle therapy, Traditional Chinese Medicine, pain relief

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