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Today in most western cultures it is considered a "new alternative" medicine. In reality Acupuncture has been in practice for over 5,000 years.
The first record of Acupuncture is found in the 4,700 year old Huang Di Nei Jing, Yellow Emperor's Classic of Internal Medicine. It is said to be the oldest medical textbook in the world based on even earlier theories by Shen Nung, the father of Chinese Medicine. Shen Nung documented theories about circulation, pulse, and the heart over 4,000 years before European medicine had any concept about them.
As the basis of Acupuncture, Shen Nung theorized that the body has an energy force running throughout it. This energy force is known as Chi, consisting of all essential life activities which include the spiritual, emotional, mental and the physical aspects of life. As a result, a person's health is dependent upon the flow of Chi in the body, in combination with the universal forces of Yin and Yang. If the flow of Chi is insufficient, unbalanced or interrupted, Yin and Yang become unbalanced, and therefore illness may occur. Chi travels throughout the body along "Meridians" or special energy pathways channels. There are fourteen(14) main meridians running up and down the body. Out of these, there are twelve(12) organ Meridians in each half of the body, and two unpaired midline Meridians. Acupuncture points are specific locations where Meridians come to the surface of the skin, and are easily accessible by "needling," Moxibustion, and Acupressure (Shiatsu). The connections between these points ensure even circulation of Chi, a balance between Yin and Yang.
Energy constantly flows up and down these Meridian pathways. When pathways become obstructed, deficient, excessive, or just unbalanced Yin and Yang energy are thrown out of balance. This causes illness, and Acupuncture is one way to help restore balance.
A man is the combination of his mother (Yin) and his father (Yang). He contains qualities of both: This is the universal symbol describing the constant flow of yin and yang forces. You'll notice that within yin, there is Yang, and within Yang, there is the genesis of Yin.
Although Yin and Yang are opposite, they are also interdependent: one cannot exist without the other. Everything contains opposite forces that are mutually exclusive, but, at the same time, depend on each other. Day cannot come but after the night and vice versa; there cannot be activity without rest, energy without matter or contraction without expansion.
Yin and Yang are in a constant state of dynamic balance, which is maintained by a continuous adjustment of their relative levels. When either Yin or Yang is out of balance, each necessarily affects the other and by changing their proportion they achieve a new balance.
Besides the normal state of balance of Yin and Yang, there are four possible states of imbalance:
- Preponderance of Yin
- Preponderance of Yang
- Weakness of Yin
- Weakness of Yang
Yin and Yang are not static, but they actually transform into each other: Yin can change into Yang and vice versa. This change does not happen at random, but only at a certain stage of development of something. Summer changes into winter, day changes into night, life into death, happiness into unhappiness, heat into cold and vice versa. For example, the great euphoria of a drinking spree is quickly followed the next morning by the misery of a hangover.
There are two conditions for the transformation of Yin into Yang or vice versa:
The first concerns internal conditions. Things can change only through internal causes primarily, and external causes secondarily. Change takes place only when the internal conditions are ripe. For example, an egg changes into a chick with the application of heat only because the egg contains within itself the capacity of turning into a chick. Application of heat to a stone will not produce a chick.
The second condition is the time factor. Yin and Yang can transform into each other only at a certain stage of development. When conditions are ripe for the change. In the case of the egg, the chick will hatch only when the time is ripe.
The question arises, how does Acupuncture work? Scientists have no real answer to this. As you know many of the workings of the body are still a mystery. There are a few prevailing theories:
- Acupuncture raises levels of triglycerides, specific hormones, prostaglandins, white blood counts, gamma globulins, opsonins, and overall anti-body levels. This is called the "Augmentation of Immunity" theory.
- The "Endorphin" theory states that Acupuncture stimulates the secretions of endorphins in the body (specifically Enkaphalins).
- The "Neurotransmitter" theory states that certain neurotransmitter levels (such as Serotonin and Noradrenaline) are affected by Acupuncture.
- "Circulatory" theory states that Acupuncture has the effect of constricting or dilating blood vessels. This may be caused by the body's release of Vasodilaters (such as Histamine), in response to Acupuncture.
- One of the most popular theories is the "Gate Control" theory. According to this theory, the perception of pain is controlled by a part of the nervous system which regulates the impulse, which will later be interpreted as pain. This part of the nervous system is called the "Gate." If the gate is hit with too many impulses, it becomes overwhelmed, and it closes. This prevents some of the impulses from getting through. The first gates to close would be the ones that are the smallest. The nerve fibers that carry the impulses of pain are rather small nerve fibers called "C" fibers. These are the gates that close during Acupuncture.
In the related "Motor Gate" theory, some forms of paralysis can be overcome by Acupuncture. This is done by reopening a "stuck" gate, which is connected to an Anterior Horn cell. The gate, when closed by a disease, stops motor impulses from reaching muscles. This theory was first stated by Professor Jayasuriya in 1977. In it he goes on to say:
"...one of the factors contributing to motor recovery is almost certainly the activation of spindle cells. They are stimulated by Gamma motor neurons. If Acupuncture stimulates the Gamma motor neurons, the discharge causes the contraction of Intrafusal Muscle fibers. This activates the Spindle cells, in the same way as muscle stretching. This will bring about muscle contraction."
Many diseases can be treated successfully by Acupuncture or its related treatments.
In Los Angeles and Santa Monica, California contact:
Dr. Kasia, L.Ac.
US (818) 642-6281, Kasia@iChiKung.com
The initial visit takes approximately 1 hour and 45 minutes, cost of $130 and includes:
- A thorough and comprehensive review of patient’s medical history as reported in the Intake Forms patient will fill out ahead of time
- A complete diagnostic exam including Pulse and Tongue Diagnosis, relevant Orthopedic and Western Physical exams, and abdominal and channel palpation
- Dietary, Nutritional and Chinese Herbal counseling
- Lifestyle counseling
Treatment will consist of acupuncture and perhaps one or more of the following traditional Chinese modalities depending on patient’s needs:
- Acupuncture: resting for at least 20 minutes with the needles in.
- Cupping: the treatment technique that involves application of glass or plastic cups with heat to create suction, therefore pulling heat or toxins out of the body or stimulating local blood circulation. They either remain standing in a desired spot or moved along the course of a channel or site of pain. This is extremely effective for muscle tightness and pain, and most often applied to the back, shoulders and neck.
- Electrical Stimulation: use of electric impulse stimulation through the acupuncture needles producing a small amount of vibration in the affected area. It is a pain free procedure and it enhances the therapeutic effects of acupuncture. This modality is often used for musculo-skeletal pain or paralysis, and provides a stronger and more continuous amount of stimulation than needles alone.
- Bleeding: a single-use sterile lancet is used to pierce the skin and remove a few droplets of blood. Used primarily at sights of long-standing chronic pain and stagnation, but can also effectively be used to clear heat, lower fevers and reduce high blood pressure.
- Moxibustion: a procedure of burning an herb Mugwort, or Artemesia Vulgaris either applied within a few inches of the skin or attached to the end of an acupuncture needle. This allows the healing properties of the herb along with the heat to penetrate deep within the area to strengthen the entire energy system and increase circulation; very effective for chronic fatigue syndrome.
- Tui Na: Chinese therapeutic massage applied on specific acupuncture points, along a meridian or whole area of the body.
Follow-up visits: Approximately 1 hour at $80 per session. Sessions will include a brief follow-up intake followed by a treatment specific to patient’s needs.
Please contact us for Acupuncture therapy, classes and training information, and for details.