Acupuncture is the most widely known form of oriental medicine involving the use of needles. However, it is just one of many techniques available to an oriental medical doctor who also has access to Moxa, Massage, Cupping, Exercise, Meditation, Nutrition, Herbs etc…
What is a Needle?
Current ideas about acupuncture are generally very limited. The ‘bible of acupuncture’ (黃帝內經 Yellow Emperor’s Classic of Internal Medicine) mentions 9 types of needle. Only 5 of these can be used for insertion; the other 4 are used to stimulate your body without breaking the skin’s surface! (see image)
These surface needles are the most appropriate tool in many situations and also make acupuncture a gentle, effective treatment for children of all ages.
The use of needles should be a painless, pleasant experience which helps you to relax. Good acupuncture may produce various subtle sensations, both at the site of insertion and at other locations connected by your meridians. You should feel more of the practitioner’s hand and less of the needle.
Why use Needles?
The aim of oriental medicine is to stimulate the circulation of your Blood and Ki– to create an unobstructed flow of good quality blood and energy to all the tissues of your body. This results in the best possible function of each part of your body in unison with all other parts. And therefore of you as a living, breathing human.
This begins to give us an insight into why these tools were made. Classically, needles emerged (in all their shapes and forms) as the best tools to stimulate both the surface and the interior of the body.
Usually the most effective areas for stimulation are located on your “meridians” (経絡 KeiRaku in Japanese).
Meridians can be described as a network of pathways or correspondences which criss-cross your body in a 3D web-like structure. They run both at or close to the surface of your skin; and also internally, where they connect with all your tissues and organs.
Your meridians are your internal internet, transport and power systems all rolled into one beautiful, intricate and self-regulating structure. You are amazing!
Meridians are the ‘bread and butter’ of a classical acupuncture treatment; used for both diagnosis and treatment. Working with your meridians allows us to affect the functioning patterns of your internal organs, and the tonus and tension in your muscles, tendons, fascia and skin.