At least more than 2500 years old! The term “at least” is mentioned because, historians have different theories behind exact origin of acupuncture practise. According to some historians, acupuncture treatment started around 100 BC. No matter when it had started from, acupuncture practice is considered to be one of the oldest treatment procedures present in the world.
Acupuncture is basically an alternative medicine treatment. In this process, generally thin needles are inserted in specific body points (acupoints) to change some physical functions and cure a person. But this is just one of the various acupuncture types present around the world. Each of the practices have their own nature of curing disease.
Moxibustion: One with the Burnt Moxa
This is a traditional Chinese practise of acupuncture, where dried mugwort herb (moxa) is burnt and used on certain body points to maintain good health. There are two types of moxibustion- direct and indirect. In direct moxibustion, moxa is directly placed on the acupoints and burnt. This particular moxibustion can further be divided in two parts- scarring and non-scarring. On the other hand, indirect moxibustion is where the moxa is placed on moxa sticks or needles and then inserted in the acupoints. This is more popular form of moxibustion as its causes less pain or risk of burning.
Chinese, Japanese and Korean Acupuncture: The Traditional Techniques
The reason behind keeping these three acupuncture techniques under one sub head is, all three practises are basically originated from traditional Chinese acupuncture, but following different styles of their own. In Chinese acupuncture, the professionals insert big needles with greater depth to stimulate energy flow inside the body. In the Japanese technique, acupuncturists use thinner needles and perform shallow insertion. The Korean acupuncture technique is also called “four needle technique”. In this practise, Acupuncturists divide four needles into two and two, where two needles sedate one organ system and the other two tonify or increase energy-flow in the second organ system.
Electroacupuncture: The Magnificent Healing
This acupuncture technique is much less older than the previously mentioned procedures. Primarily, physicians insert small needles into the acupoints. Then they connect those needles with a device that generates and passes small electric pulses using small clips. Acupuncturists change the intensity and frequency of electric pulses according to the complications of the patient. Apart from maintaining good health, electroacupuncture is also used for reducing and treating pain. But patients who have pacemakers or previously experienced epilepsy, seizures or heart attacks, should not go for this therapy.
Cupping: That Michael Phelps Loved
In RIO Olympics 2016, some of the world's top athletes were seen with round purple mark across their bodies. These were the mark of cup therapy that they had used to be relieved from athletic aches and other pains. There are 10 different ways to perform this process. Generally in this therapy, the cups are heated and placed on the skin. It can take from 5 to 15 minutes depending on the problem of the patient. This suction procedure helps to open up the channels for energy-flow (Qi). And as per the Olympic winners, it heals pain too.
Auricular acupuncture: Ear Knows Everything
This acupuncture therapy is practised on the acupoints of external ear surface. As ear acts as microsystem of entire body, the acupuncturists use this technique to diagnose and treat the health conditions in other body parts. From minor or major headaches to allergies, from addictions to severe pain disorders- auricular acupuncture has solution for everything.
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