Oriental Medicine – Traditional Chinese Medicine – Introduction to acupuncture. Principles and Effects of acupuncture – Needles and how to use them.


By definition, acupuncture implies the use of needles. Although it is possible to use ordinary injection needles, these have various disadvantages: their cutting edge makes it more likely that internal structures will be damaged, infection is theoretically more likely because the needles are hollow, and for some reason it seems to be harder to elicit …


Acupuncture - The Organs 1

Acupuncture – The Organs

TCM recognizes many of the organs familiar to us, but as usual they are thought of dynamically, the reference being to the organs’ supposed functions as much as to their structures. There are six yang organs (gall bladder, stomach, small intestine, large intestine, urinary bladder and triple warmer). There are five yin organs (heart, lungs, …

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The opioid peptides

There are three families of opioid peptides: the endorphins, the enkephalins, and the dynorphins. There are also at least three kinds of receptors. During the 1970s naloxone was thought to be the key to searching for opioid peptides and investigating their properties, but it now appears that naloxone is unsatisfactory for this purpose. More selective …

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Acupuncture has been known in the West since the second half of the seventeenth century, and interest in it has waxed and waned since then. The modern revival of interest dates from President Nixon’s visit to China in 1972. Much excitement was generated by claims that it was possible to carry out major surgery using …


Traditional acupuncture in the light of modern knowledge

Numerous attempts to verify the objective existence of acupuncture points and channels, pulse phenomena and so on have been made in both East and West. Early claims that the points and channels could be demonstrated histologically have not stood up to later verification. Electrical studies intended to detect the points have given variable results. At …

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Methods of diagnosis

The traditional Chinese physician, like his Western counterpart, takes a history and notes the patient’s general appearance and demeanour. Particular attention is paid to the tongue: its colour, coating and so on. The most important examination, however, is that of the pulse. This is felt at the wrist at three locations on each side and …

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The five-element [phases] theory 3

The five-element [phases] theory

This is complementary to the yin-yang idea. It usually attracts a lot of attention in Western books on TCM, perhaps because it is complicated and allows plenty of opportunity for mystification. Modern Chinese books on TCM, at least in Western languages, usually say little or nothing about it. “The European adoption of this method stems …

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Learning acupuncture

You can choose to study the traditional or the modern system. You can learn numerous “points” and “meridians” by heart or you can ignore them all. You can use a “cookbook” approach to selecting treatments or you can acquire a grasp of the underlying principles and apply them as you go. You can concentrate on …

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