1. Introduction 2. What is acupunture? 3. The philosophy of the Dao 4. Yin and Yang 5. The Five Elements 6. Channels or Meridians - The invisible Pathways of Qi 7. How the Imbalance of the Elements Affect Us? 8. How Does Acupunture Work? 9. Practical use 10. Using the PAS in acupunture
Acupunture has been a major part of primary healthcare in China for the last 5,000 years. Acupuncture is used extensively for a variety of medical purposes such as prevention and treatment of disease. As in many oriental medicine practices, the emphasis of acupuncture is on prevention. In traditional Chinese medicine, the highest form of acupunture was given to enable you to live a long, healthy life.
The earliest written account of acupuncture is found in the Nei Jing (The Yellow Emperor's Classic of Internal Medicine). This document is believed to be from around 200 BC and is one of the oldest comprehensive medical text book. Pien Chueh, a famous physician of the fourth century BC, used stone acupuncture needles, moxibustion and herbs to bring a prince out of a coma. The Chinese still celebrate his birthday every year on April 28th.
What is acupunture?
Acupunture literally means 'needle piercing", is a technique of inserting hair-like, fine needles into known "acupunture points" (also called acupoints) along "meridians". The acupoints are stimulated to balance the movement of energy (Qi) in the body to restore health.
Acupunture involves stimulating. In the past 40 years acupuncture has become a well-known, reasonably available treatment in developed and developing countries. Acupunture is used to regulate or correct the flow of Qi to restore health.
To really understand how acupuncture works, it is necessary to become familiar with the basics of Chinese philosophy. The philosophies of the Dao or Tao, yin and yang, and the five elements are all fundamental to traditional Chinese acupuncture and its specific role in helping to maintain good health and a person's well-being.
The philosophy of the Dao
Dao is often described as "the path" or "the way of life." Just as its counterpart in ancient India, Ayurveda, The laws of the Dao advocate moderation, living in harmony with nature and striving for balance. Ancient Chinese believed that moderation in all areas of life is essential to a long and fruitful life. We are "fueled" by three treasures: Qi or Chi (pronounced chee), Shen, and Jing. Chi is energy or vital substance, Shen is the spirit, and Jing is our essence.
Qi - is both the life force (or vital substance) and the organizing principle flowing through all things and establishing their interconnectedness. Chinese believe that every living thing (both human and non-human) has Qi. In the body, Qi is found in the heart and lungs in circulating blood and oxygen.
Shen - is the treasure that gives brightness to life and is responsible for consciousness and mental abilities. Sometimes it is compared to soul. Within the individual shen is manifested in personality, thought, sensory perception, and the awareness of self.
Jing - is responsible for growth, development and reproduction. Jing represents a person's potential for development. (comparable to western concept of genetical inheritance). Chinese believed that everyone is born with a finite amount of Jing. As we go through life, we lose or consume our Jing little by little. Once we lose Jing, it cannot be replaced. It is gone for ever. We lose Jing if we live a wrong or careless living. But Jing can be preserved if we live in moderation. Acupuncture can reduce the loss of Jing.
According to the philosophy of Dao, the role of the acupuncturist is to restore your health and enable you to live a little closer to the Dao, thus preserving your Jing and living to a ripe old age. A number of factors can contribute to the depletion of Jing. Living a life of excess, drinking too much, excessive emotional reactions, working too hard, inappropriate sexual behavior, etc. all were believed to result in the depletion of Jing. Balance in all things was considered the key to good health and long life.
In order to increase their understanding of the Dao, the Chinese developed two concepts that together form the basis of Chinese thought: yin and yang and the more detailed system of the five elements.
Yin and Yang
The idea of harmony and balance are also the basis of yin and yang (See the SING-order). The principle that each person is governed by the opposing, but complementary forces of yin and yang, is central to all Chinese thought. It is believed to affect everything in the universe, including ourselves.
One of the main aims of the acupuncturist is to maintain a balance of yin and yang within the whole person to prevent illness occurring and to restore existing health. Acupuncture is a yang therapy because it moves from the exterior to the interior. Herbal and nutritional therapies, on the other hand, are yin therapies, as they move from the interior throughout the body. Many of the major organs of the body are classified as yin-yang pairs that exchange healthy and unhealthy influences.
The Five Elements
The yin and yang philosophy was further refined into the system of the five elements to gain a deeper understanding of how the body, mind and spirit work.
The microcosm of the body is linked to the universe and is affected by the daily and seasonal cycles of nature. (Think about the seasonal affective disorder which manifests itself in winter or when the light is not sufficient). The individual and the world are changing all the time. But Chinese believe that these changes are occurring in certain order and in cycles. In the same way, a seed planted in spring blooms in summer, seeds itself in late summer to autumn, dies in winter, and a new seed grows again in spring. It is part of a never-ending cycle and each phase has its role to play in maintaining the balance of nature. The same process of change occurs within the body. Cells grow and die to make way for new cells, and body systems depend upon each other in a similar way to the seasons, working together to ensure the balanced functioning of the body, mind and spirit and the healthy flow of life through the whole person.
Chinese philosophy recognizes five distinct elements of cyclical change called water, wood, fire, earth, and metal. These five elements can be related to our four seasons (with a fifth late summer season). The elements can also be related to different colors, emotion, taste, voice and various organs. These can also be related to the selection of food and herbs. Notice the correspondence between the Chinese philosophy and the underlying Indian philosophy, which also classifies everything in the universe under earth, water, fire, air, and ether.
Channels or Meridians - The invisible Pathways of Qi
Chinese use the term "jing luo" which means, channels, conduit, meridian etc. These are the invisible channels through which qi circulates throughout the body. The acupuncture points (or holes as the Chinese term xue is more aptly translated means) are the locations where the Qi of the channels rises close to the surface of the body. There are 12 main meridians, six of which are yin and six are yang and numerous minor ones, which form a network of energy channels throughout the body.
Each meridian is related to, and named after, an organ or function, the main ones are: the lungs, kidneys, gallbladder, stomach, spleen, heart, small intestine, large intestine, gall bladder, urinary bladder, three cavites - san jiao (three heater) and pericardium (heart protector/ or circulation sex meridian).
There are also 8 extraordinary channels that are considered to be reservoirs supplying Qi and blood to the twelve regular channels. These are believed to have a strong connection to the kidney.
Along these meridians are more than 400 acupuncture points, classified by WHO. (There may be as many as 2000 points in use for different treatments.) These are listed by name, number and the meridian to which they belong.
When Chi flows freely through the meridians, the body is balanced and healthy, but if the energy becomes blocked, stagnated or weakened, it can result in physical, mental or emotional ill health. An imbalance in a person's body can result from inappropriate emotional responses such as: excess anger, over-excitement, self-pity, deep grief and fear. Environmental factors such as cold, damp/humidity, wind, dryness, and heat can also cause imbalance so as factors such as wrong diet, too much sex, overwork and too much exercise.
To restore the balance, the acupuncturist stimulates the acupuncture points that will counteract that imbalance. So, if you have stagnant Chi, he will choose specific points to stimulate it. If the Chi is too cold, he will choose points to warm it. If it is too weak, he will strengthen it. If it is blocked, he will unblock it, and so on. In this way, acupuncture can effectively rebalance the energy system and restore health or prevent the development of disease. The points that the practitioner chooses to stimulate may not necessarily be at the site of the symptoms.
How the Imbalance of the Elements Affect Us?
Too low fire - not warming the earth Heart (fire) unable to warm spleen (earth) - Dislike of cold, cold in extremities, early morning diarrhea, urinary symptoms, edema, distended abdomen, fatigue, weakness.
Too low metal - metal not producing water Lungs (metal) not sending water to kidney - Shortness of breath, thirst, weak knees, lower back pain, scanty dark urine.
Too much wood - Wood overpowers the earth Liver (wood) qi dominates spleen (earth) - Headache, sore eyes, gas, poor appetite, weakness, pain in flanks, vertigo, chest distress.
Too much metal - Fire cannot control metal Heart (fire) yang cannot control lung (metal) fluids - Frequent urination, shortness of breath, palpitation, insomnia
How Does Acupunture Work?
Historically, acupuncture points were believed to be holes that allow entry into channels. These holes provide us gateways to influence, redirect, increase, or decrease body's vital substance, Qi, thus correcting many of the imbalances. Many studies and research were directed since to understand the mechanism of acupuncture.
In the United States, acupunture is used frequently for the treatment of chronic pain conditions such as arthritis, bursitis, headache, athletic injuries, and posttraumatic and post surgical pain. It is also used for treating chronic pain associated with immune function dysfunction such as psoriasis (skin disorders), allergies, and asthma. Acupunture is also found to be effective for the treatment of mind-body disorders such as anxiety, chronic fatigue, irritable bowel syndrome, hypertension, insomnia, PMS, menopausal symptoms, and depression. Some modern application of acupunture is in the treatment of disorders such as alcoholism, addiction, smoking, and eating disorders.
Using the PAS in acupunture
As described above the main task of acupuncturist is to determine the imbalances (deviation from norm) of Qi. To determine the deviations of Qi, acupuncturists uses many methods, one of them is the TCM Pulse diagnostics. This diagnostic allows describing the flowing of Qi very accurate, but it takes many years to master it and some talent is needed. Now the specialists in Pulse diagnostics develop a computer system which allows using the Pulse diagnostics by amateurs. To completely master the computer Pulse diagnostics (Pulse Analysis System) you need from 1 week (to make a brief diagnosis) to 1-2 month (to make a detailed diagnosis).
Today Pulse Analysis System is the most convenient tool for acupuncture. The Health Matrix is direct guide for acupuncturist. It determines the condition of each channel (meridian) for each type of Qi.
For example the matrix below shows great inbalance in Gall Bladder channel [5.54], it is caused by Excess of Moisture Qi [1.61] and Wind Qi [0.96], also this channel has significant Lack of Cold Qi [-0.93] and Heat Qi [-0.79]. The Lack of Fire Qi [-1.05] shows the direction of this process.
The Health matrix gives you a detailed map of Qi flow deviations, all you have to do is to balance Qi using acupunture and other methods that you know. If you were acupuncturist you will just need to stimulate (passivate, etc) the appropriate acupunture points.
Fig.1 PAS Health Matrix example.
Health Matrix is a perfect diagnostic tool for acupuncturist and other Traditional Chinese Medicine specialists. Also PAS has more than 10 types of analysis such: Hexagram, Qi of Elements projections, Qi circulation, WU-Xing scheme, etc.
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This the example for using the Health Matrix in the acupunture. The points are given according to the "60-point" study.
The correspondence between main points of Elements (U-shu) and points of external aggression ("aggressive energy")
Channel Yang Tree Wind Fire Heat Soil Moisture Metal Aridity Water Cold Gall bladder (V, B) VB 41 V 38 VB 34 VB 44 V 43   Small intestine (IG, SI) IG 3 IG 5 IG 8 IG 1 IG 2 Stomach (E, sf) E 43 E 41 E 36 E 45 E 44 Large intestine (LI, GI) GI 3 GI 5 GI 11 GI 1 GI 12 Urinary bladder V 65 V 60 V40 (54) V 67 V 66 Three cavities
TR 3 TR 6 TR 10 TR 1 TR2
Channel Yin Tree Wind Fire Heat Soil Moisture Metal Aridity Water Cold Liver F 1 F 2 F 3 F 4 F 8 Heart (C, H) C 9 C 8 C 7 C 4 C 3 Spleen (RP SP) RP 1 RP 2 RP 3 RP 5 RP 9 Lungs P 11 P 10 P 9 P 8 P 5 Kidneys R 1 R 2 R3 R 7 R 10 Pericardium MC 9 MC 8 MC 7 MC 5 MC 3
Software: PAS v3.2 Series
Determines the state of channels (meridians), Qi energy distortions Displays Yin and Yang levels Print TCM syndromes, Wu-Xing, Hexagram and much more
This software is used for: diagnostics of person's health, planning treatment, forecasting results of treatment, health monitoring. It uses PAS sensor v3.2 Series for registering pulses.
Price: Free Price-list
Pulse wave sensor: PAS v3.2 Series
Registering pulse wave, using PAS v3.2 Series software Intelligence signal quality control system Licensing capable License for 500 pulse registrations FREE
Price: 580 Euro Price-list
Used materials from:
Book of Gavaa Luvsaan the "Ocherki metodov vostochnoy reflexoterapii"
("Sketches about eastern reflex - therapy methods")