BREIF HISTORY OF ACUPUNCTURE
Some archeological studies report evidence that crude forms of acupuncture were used in Egypt and Persia over seven thousand years ago. It is thought to have migrated to India and Tibet finally making its way to China. There is also evidence that different forms of acupuncture were practiced from Babylon to South America three to five thousand years ago, making it the oldest healing art known to man.
Throughout the millennium the practice of acupuncture was at the mercy of the many emperors that ruled China. Certain emperors looked favorably upon acupuncture while others banned the application of it during their rule. The rejuvenation of acupuncture began after the communists took power in the 1950’s. Chairman Mao Zedong directed a policy to unite western schools with the traditional schools as matter of national pride. He also encouraged acupuncture anesthesia for surgery. Most Americans got their introduction to acupuncture during President Nixon’s 1972 trip to China. An American reporter, James Reston, developed a case of acute appendicitis while traveling with the President. His surgery with acupuncture anesthesia was widely covered by the American press.
In rural areas of China where there are no established health care facilities, a bride has to demonstrate a working knowledge of basic acupuncture before the village elders will permit the marriage as she is responsible for the health care of her family. These caregivers are at times forced to treat their families with their sewing needles because almost all acupuncture needles produced in China are exported. Today acupuncture is practiced worldwide in many forms and with many different techniques. In this course we will introduce you to many of these different acupuncture styles. Our main goal is to teach you the fundamentals of acupuncture needle technique and its application in your daily practice.
VOCABULARY ACUPUNCTURE: Acu = needle, puncture = to pierce with a sharp point QI: Chi Energy, or Qi, travels through the body via the meridian systems. Qi is the fundamental substance that is found in the universe. Qi has been translated as energy, matter, vital force, life force, and moving power. Qi is difficult to translate correctly because of its fluid nature, whereby Qi can assume different manifestations and be different things in different situations. There are many different forms of Qi.
YIN/YANG: Yin and Yang is probably the single most important and distinctive theory of Traditional Chinese Medicine. Yin and Yang represent opposite but complementary qualities. Each thing or phenomenon could be itself and its contrary. It is the principle of the entire
It is the parent of every change, and the root source applied to the human body every physiological process and every symptom or sign can be analyzed in the light of Yin —Yang theory. The Yin and Yang theory states that Yj and the shady or dark side of the slope, were as Yang is positive and is the y lig of the slope. These principles in nature are the causes of diseases that befall those who rebel against the laws of nature or those who do not conform to them.
The length and width of the patient’s finger(s) are taken as a standard for point location. There are three methods commonly used:
- The width of the interphalangeal joint of the patient’s thumb is taken as one cun.
- When the patient’s middle finger is flexed, the distance between the two medial ends of the creases of the interphalangeal joint is one cun.
- The width of the patient’s four fingers (little to index) close together is three cun.
- A Fen is 1/10 of a Cun. Used with depth.
MERIDIANS, CHANNELS, VESSELS: The meridians are specific pathways that run throughout the body. These meridians are sometimes near the skin surface (ie. superficial pathways), and sometimes deep (ie. deep pathways). There are twelve principle meridians which is assigned to an organ. Six of them carry predominately the yang qualities of energy and six yin carry qualities. At specific locations along the meridians the energy may be regulated. These locations are called acupoints.
FRONT MU POINTS/ALARM POINTS: These points are located on the chest and abdomen where the qi of the respective zang — fu organs is infused and converged. They are located close to their corresponding organs and play a significant role in the diagnosis and treatment of internal disorders. These points are 3 times as powerful as the acupoints on the extremities.
ACQUIRED QIJ NUTRIENT QI: Derived from the qi of the food essence (ying qi) produced by the spleen/pancreas and the stomach. Acquired qi is also formed from the clean qi (ging qi) inhaled by the lungs and physical exercise. Ying or acquired qi circulates in the vessels.
JING/ESSENCE: Jing is a type of vital substance similar to Qi. While Qi has the property of energy, Jing is more fluid in nature. Jing or essence forms the basis of growth, development and reproduction.
I. THE PRINCIPLE OF YIN & YANG
Oriental medical science originated in China about four to five thousand years ago.
The most important of the medical classics was called the Nei Ching or “The Yellow Emperor’s Canon of Internal Medicine” The authorship of this book was attributed to the Yellow Emperor and his physicians. The Nei Ching is a treatise on the Chinese therapy. It is in the form of questions and answers and it embraces hygiene, pathology, physiology as well as politics, economics and the arts and sciences of that day. The work was definite, and the development and evolution of Chinese medicine stemmed from it.
THE THEORY OF THE YIN-YANG AND THE FIVE ELEMENTS
The Nei Ching said: “The principle of Yin and Yang is the basic principle of everything in creation. It is the principle of the entire universe. It is the parent of every change; it is the root and source of life and death; it is also found within the temples of the gods. In order to treat and cure diseases one must search into their origin. Heaven was created by an accumulation of Yin, the dark element. Through their interaction and their functions, Yin and Yang, the negative and positive principles in nature, are the causes of diseases which befall those who are in rebellion against the laws of nature, or those who do not conform to them.”
The law of the Yin and the Yang and the law of The Five Elements are the absolute and fundamental laws of Chinese philosophy, and it is upon these laws that Chinese medicine based.
OVERVIEW AND HISTORY OF AURICULOTHERAPY
A Historv of Auriculotherapy
- Ancient China: (475 BC) All systems of acupuncture began with the original Chinese medical text, the Yellow Emperor’s Classic of Internal Medicine. In this text, all six Yang Meridians were said to be directly connected to the Auricle, whereas the six Yin meridian were indirectly connected to the ear. These, ancient Chinese Ear Points were not organized Somatotopicaily, but were arranged as a scattered array of points on the ear.
- Ancient E Greece, and Rome: (400 B.C.) Ancient physicians like Hippocrates and Galen recorded clinical uses of ear rings and other forms of ear stimulation for various problems, particularly the treatment of sexual and menstrual disorders.
- Ancient Persia : (200 AD.) After the fall of Rome, ancient medical records were best preserved in Persia. These ancient records showed a treatment for Sciatica by cauterizations on the ear.
- Middle Ages: (1500) The f East India Company, while pursuing merchant trading in China, brought Chinese acupuncture back to Europe. Included in these discoveries were the use of Ear Acupuncture, as well as the development of the Western hypodermic needle from Chinese acupuncture needles.
- Renaissance : (1700) Sporadic clinical reports in Europe discussed the use of ear cauterizations to relieve Sciatica pain.
- Modern France: (1950) Dr. Paul Nogier, a neurologist from Lyon, France, observed the occurrence of scars on the ear of patients who were successfully treated by French lay practioners for Sciatica pain. He developed the Somatotopic Map of the Ear, based upon the concept of an Inverted Fetus orientation. I-Es work was first presented in France, then communicated to a German acupuncture society, and finally was translated into Chinese.
- Modern China : (1960) The Nanking Army Ear Acupuncture Research Team verified the clinical accuracy of the Nogier Ear Homunculus. They empirically assessed the ear points of over 2,000 clinical patients, utilizing “Barefoot Doctors” as part of Mao Tse Tung’s efforts to de -Westernize Chinese Medicine.
- United States : (1980) A double blind, experimentally controlled UCLA research study statistically verified the scientific accuracy of Auricular Diagnosis. A statistically significant level of 75% accuracy was achieved in diagnosing the musculoskeletal pain problems of 40 pain patients. By evaluating specific areas of heightened tenderness and increased electrical activity on the ear, areas of the body with some dysfunction could be correctly identified, whereas areas of the body free from pathology were correctly identified as non – pathological points on the ear. Subsequent UCLA research focused upon the comparison of Chinese and French auricular points, the use of auricular electro – acupuncture for withdrawing chronic pain patients from opiate medications, and the naloxone reversibility of dental analgesia produced by auriculotherapy.
Comparison of Ear Acupuncture and Body Acupuncture
- History: Both systems of Acupuncture had their historical origins in Ancient China. However, Body Acupuncture has remained essentially unchanged, whereas Ear Acupuncture was greatly modified by the discoveries of Dr. Nogier in France. Further research has yielded even newer developments in Auriculotherapy and Auricular Medicine.
- Meridians: Body Acupuncture is based upon a system of 12 Meridians, six Yang meridians and six Yin meridians, which run throughout the surface of the body as lines of force. Ear Acupuncture connects to these Meridians, but it is not dependent upon them. The ear is a self-contained micro-system that affects the whole body.
- Somatotopic Inversion: In Body .e the Meridians run in lines along the body, with no apparent anatomical Logic regarding the body organ represented by that Meridian. In Ear Acupuncture, there is an orderly arrangement of points, based upon an Inverted Fetus perspective of the body. The head areas are represented toward the bottom of the ear, the feet toward the top, and the body in between M with the somatotopic map in the brain, the auricular humunculus devotes a proportionally larger area to the head and hand than to the body. The size of a somatotopic area is related to its functional importance rather than its size.
- Acupuncture Points: ‘these points are anatomically defined w on the skin. They are set at a fixed, specific locus in Body Acupuncture, and can always be detected. In Ear Acupuncture, however, an Acupuncture Point can be detected only when there is a problem in the corresponding art of the body which that ear point represents. The dull, aching feeling called “The Chi”, which often accompanies the stimulation of body acupuncture points, is not observed by stimulating ear acupuncture points; rather, there is a sharp, tender, piercing feeling which accompanies auricular stimulation.
- Skin Resistance: In both Body and Ear Acupuncture, the Acupuncture Points are localized regions of lowered Skin Resistance, or inversely stated, higher Skin Conductance. Also in both systems, when there is pathology of some form in the body organ represented by that Meridian Point or Auricular Point the Electrodermal Activity of that Acupuncture Point is even higher, and it feels more tender to touch.