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lunes, 26 de noviembre de 2012

Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine

TRADITIONAL CHINESE MEDICINE is a broad range of medicine practices sharing common theorical concepts. They are based on a tradition of more than 2000 years.

TCM uses different practices:

1. ACUPUNCTURE is the insertion and manipulation of needles into acupuncture-points in the skin.
2. HERBAL MEDICINE consists in substances derived from plants, animals, and mineral sources.
3. TUINA: It’s a form of massage combined with acupressure. It is used in different diseases such as: DIGESTIVE and GYNECOLOGICAL disorders, and more. In addition, PEDIATRIC  TUINA is much known for its effectiveness.
4. QI GONG (also called Chinese Yoga) combines exercise and meditation. It is believed that this practice might prevent disease and improve the health.

Many people translate the word Qi like “energy” – but literally. Qi means AIR, and, GONG means WORK. So, QI GONG could be translated by the breathing’s work

The general theory is based on the premise that bodily functions are regulated by a GAS called QI.

This Qi has 5 functions in the body: ACTUATION (Qi checks all physical process in the body) – WARMING the body – DEFENSE against Exogenous Pathogenic Factors – CONTAINMENT of body fluids, i.e. keeping blood, sweat, urine, semen etc. from leakage or excessive emission.and TRANSFORMATION of food, drink, and breath into qi, xue (blood), and fluids, and/or  transformation of all of the latter into each other.

And, this Qi flows through channels called MERIDIANS.
The MERIDIANS of ACUPUNCTURE are routes than connect the entire body. We have got 12 main meridians plus their inner pathways and 8 extra meridians.

In TCM, the concept of disease is as disharmony(or imbalance) in the functions or interactions of yin, yang, qi, xuĕ, zàng-fǔ, meridians etc. and/or of the interaction between the human body and the environment.

  • YIN – YANG characterization is applicable to the body’s parts, to the body functions and to disease symptoms.
  • QI-XUE flow together through channels Qi is the part Yang and Xue is the part Yin (Xue is blood substance)
  • ZANG-FU are the non-hollow organs and hollow organs respectively. The term ZANG refers to the five entities considered to be yin in nature: Heart, Liver, Spleen, Lung, Kidney; while FU refers to the six yang organs: Small Intestine, Large Intestine, Gallbladder, Urinary Bladder, Stomach and Sānjiaō
  • YIN MERIDIANS and YANG MERIDIANS: The 12 main meridians are named according to their corresponding organs, limb positions, and Yin and Yang properties. The YIN meridians are distributed on the inner side of the limbs and on the chest and abdomen. The YANG meridians are distributed on the outer side of the limbs and on the head, face and trunk.

Any illness can have different patterns according to Chinese medicine. In order to determinate which pattern is, we examine things like: the color and shape of the tongue, pathological pulse according to TCM, the color of the skin, the sound of the voice, bodily secretions, behavior, etc

Examination the tongue and the pulse are among the mainly diagnostic methods in TCM

  • The pulse is different to the conventional pulse (conventional medicine). There are 3 positions and 3 levels in each hand.
  • According to TCM, we have 28 pulses pathological.
  • Learning TCM pulse can take several years.
THE ACUPUNCTURE’s PRACTISES are: ACUPUNCTURE, MOXIBUSTION (it is burnt mugwort near the skin at an acupuncture point), ACUPRESSURE (it is the pressure on the acupuncture-points), CUPPING (It is a special glass cup and when they are applied in the skin, a vacuum  is created and the skin pull up into the cup), TUINA, ACUPUNCTURE INJECTION (it is the injection of various substances, such as: drugs, vitamins, etc., into acupuncture-points, EAR ACUPUNCTURE, SCALP ACUPUNCTURE, HAND ACUPUNCTURE, ABDOMINAL ACUPUNCTURE, COSMETIC ACUPUNCTURE and VETERINARY ACUPUNCTURE.

There is little sensitivity to the insertion of acupuncture needles.
Some people feel nothing at all and others feel a brief moment of discomfort. This sensation is called De-Qi and it’s a sensation of numbness distension or electrical tingling at the needling site which might radiate along the corresponding meridian.
Getting this sensation is very important in the acupuncture practice

The problems that are commonly treated with acupuncture are: Muskoloskeletal and neurological disorders (arthritis, sciatica, back pain, stiff neck, headaches and migraines, side effects of ICTUS, bursitis, tendonitis…), gynecological and genitourinary disorders, gastrointestinal disorders, emotional and psychological disorders, addiction, weight control, dermatological disorders, respiratory disorders, side effects of chemotherapy/radiation, etc.

Effectiviness for specific conditions
There are studies that support the acupuncture effect in pain control, nausea and vomiting and it is believed can assist with fertility, pregnancy and childbirth. 

In addition, World Health Organization (WHO) has compiled a list of diseases, symptoms or conditions which might be treated by the acupuncture, such us: side effects of chemotherapy and radiation, induction of labor, sciatica, dysmenorrhea, depression, hypertension, rheumatoid arthritis, migrain, tension headaches, low back pain, etc. Also, WHO encourages the countries in the promotion and research of the acupuncture.

Acupuncture and TCM is studied during 3-4 academic years in Spain. Altlhough the certification is not already recognized, the acupuncturist can practice acupuncture checked by a physician.

There are many physicians that are making acupuncture without training in this issue, and other people too. It is dangerous, because the acupuncture treatment can be good if it is well-done, but it might damage if it is done wrong.

We hope that acupuncture will be regulated within some years in Spain.

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