Essay by miabanzon February 2003

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Acupuncture is a method of encouraging the body to promote natural healing and to improve functioning. This is done by inserting needles and applying heat or electrical stimulation at very precise acupuncture points.

The classical Chinese explanation is that channels of energy run in regular patterns through the body and over its surface. These channels, called meridians, are like rivers flowing through the body to irrigate and nourish the tissues, blood flow and nervous pulses also follow meridians to run through the body to various parts, structures and organs. An obstruction in the movement of these energy rivers is like a dam that backs up the flow in one part of the body and restricts it in others. Any obstruction and blockages or deficiencies of energy, blood and nervous pulses would eventually lead to disease.

The meridians can be influenced by needling the acupuncture points: the acupuncture needles unblock the obstruction at the dams, and reestablish the regular flow through the medians.

Acupuncture treatments can therefore help the body's internal organs to correct imbalances in their digestion, absorption, and energy production activities, and in the circulation of their energy through the meridians.

The modern science explain the functions of acupuncture in 2 major ways:

1.Needling the acupuncture points stimulates the nervous system to release chemicals in the muscles, spinal cord, and brain. These chemicals will either change the experience of pain, or they will trigger the release of other chemicals and hormones which influence the body's own internal regulating system.

2.In traditional Chinese medicine YIN represents "-" (negative) and YANG represents "+" (positive). The main principle of Chinese medicine is to keep the YIN and YANG balance or bring YIN and YANG back to balance. YIN YANG balance is the healthy state of the body. Modern science reveals...