How Acupuncture Can Help You
Have you ever pickup up a baby or toddler? Aren’t they just so squidgy? They are so soft, right? That’s how we all started off, and as we got bigger our muscles and bones became more defined until eventually all the fluids that made us so supple became less and less. So my perspective of the body is of a fluid mass. We are 70% water after all.
Acupuncture needles are placed in specific acupoints. These are usually in junctions like between muscles and bones, where the fluids diverge or cross. The needles are placed here to help create more flow to areas that have become stagnate, where the fluids can not move, thereby creating pain.
By palpating the body I am able to feel where things are stuck and need help to move, or where areas are too loose and need puckering up so that strength can build. This can be achieved through needling, massaging, warming with moxa, unsticking with cupping or dispersing with herbs.
Depending on your unique situation we can choose the best tools that suit you.
From a more technical point of view, Acupuncture is the insertion of fine needles into acupuncture points. Acupuncture points are found along meridians. What are meridians – they are trajectories of fascia, muscle, bones, blood vessels, nerves and electrical impulses that traverse the body. There are different types of meridian networks described in the Chinese Medicine Classics.
There are the sinew channels – that are external channels that follow the fascial networks in the body, as described by Thomas Myers in his work “Anatomy Trains”.
Here is a brilliant video with interviews with prominent researchers in the field of fascia. The mysterious world under the skin.
There is another system called the Luo channels that relate to the blood – circulatory system in the body.
There are the primary channels that communicate between the interior and exterior aspects of the body. Points found along these trajectories can be used to affect either the internal organs or the external areas that they traverse. The primary channels are the most commonly taught channels currently globally and historically. In China man-scaled sculptures made from Bronze were used for memorisation of the points and for practising needling techniques dating back to the Song Dynasty (960–1279CE).
Here is a video with current Chinese Medicine students at Beijing University of Chinese Medicine learning these points located on the primary channels. The Bronze Man: The Marvellous Techniques of Acupuncture.
The extraordinary channels are the deepest channels of the body, they arise in the human body with conception with the first cell division laying the foundation of the Du (Governing) channel, then the Ren (conception) channel and with the next division into four cells creating the Dai Mai (girdle meridian). Below are a couple of images from the book Hara Diagnosis: Reflections on the Sea written by Kiiko Matsumoto and Stephen Birch on the research of Dr. Kuzome and Dr. Yoshio Manaka, depicting this.
Moxibustion – the burning of the herb Ai Ye – Artemisia Vulgaris around selected areas to produce heat, and warmth into the body, is often used in conjunction with Acupuncture. Or additionally, an infra-red heat lamp may also be used.