Acupuncture is a key component of Traditional Chinese Medicine

Acupuncture is a key component of Traditional Chinese Medicine
Picture: Andrey Popov | Dreamstime
Victoria Mamaeva
Pharmaceutical Specialist

Acupuncture refers to the types of reflexology. A well-known medical methodology that allows a person to recover from many ailments. Until now, the history of the emergence of acupuncture is surrounded by secrets and mysteries.

Features of acupuncture

When acupuncture actually appeared is not known. According to researchers in this field, acupuncture has been used by humans since the Neolithic. The treatment was carried out with the help of pointed stones. The found cave paintings that describe this procedure date back to 1600-1000 BC.

This type of alternative medicine has been widely used in Asian countries since antiquity. Chinese healers have identified especially active points on the human body. Each of them is responsible for the work of a certain organ of the human body. The essence of the method is reduced to the use of thin needles. With the help of them, an action takes place on the energy points of a person.

Yoga – an activity for the soul and body
Yoga – an activity for the soul and body

In the People’s Republic of China, acupuncture is considered a traditional treatment. In European countries, including Russia – to alternative ones. The debate about the benefits and harms of using this method for health is still ongoing.

The mechanism of the therapeutic action of acupuncture

Acupuncture is based on the ancient Chinese philosophy of the origin of vital energy: the disease affects human organs, in case of violation of the movement of energy along the meridians. By influencing certain points, the balance of vital activity is restored.

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Modern supporters of alternative medicine prove the effectiveness of acupuncture in terms of the structural features of the nervous system. After all, the impact of a needle on nerve endings and reflex areas includes a number of mechanisms at once:

  • A needle prick stimulates nerve fibers, the impulse from such an impact enters the brain faster than pain sensations. Thus, the areas of the brain responsible for the diseased organ are blocked.
  • Excitation of nerve endings leads to the release of a large amount of endorphins by the pituitary gland. These hormones are responsible for the emotional mood and can reduce the level of pain.
  • The release of the hormone cortisol, which has anti-inflammatory properties, into the blood.
  • Stimulates the production of serotonin. Due to which a person feels a surge of strength, the effectiveness of taking painkillers increases.
  • The mechanisms of skin regeneration are launched, the swelling of human limbs disappears.
  • Arterial and venous circulation improves, resulting in normalization of pressure.


A course of acupuncture, consisting of several sessions, contributes to the normalization of blood circulation, metabolism and hormonal levels, improves the functioning of the nervous system, and also gives an analgesic effect.

Ikigai – Japanese philosophy of life
Ikigai – Japanese philosophy of life

The advantages of such treatment of diseases include:

  • Absence of any allergic reaction;
  • Involves, directly, the reserves of the body;
  • Painless passage;
  • No side effects;
  • The duration of the session does not take much time (up to half an hour);
  • Improved well-being after the first treatment.


The procedure is assigned courses. Usually the course is from 10 to 20 sessions. If after passing the first course the effect is insignificant, then it is repeated in a month. The time, number and duration of sessions depends on the disease, age category, and gender of the patient.

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For example, if a person has an unnatural weakness, a breakdown, then the sessions are held in the morning, as this is the best time to raise the spirit. A patient with overexcitability and sleep disturbance, on the contrary – in the evening.

Types of methods:

  1. Inhibitory or sedative. The bottom line: needles are placed to a depth of 10 centimeters, in an amount of no more than 6 pieces (usually 4-6). The duration of the session varies from twenty minutes to one hour. Assign for diseases, the course of which is accompanied by severe pain and convulsions.
  2. Exciting or toning. Essence: 10 needles are inserted, to a depth of 1 centimeter (0.6-0.8). This technique is prescribed for a decrease in the sensitivity of a person’s limbs, after suffering a stroke, as well as for paralysis.


Acupuncture is not a universal method of treatment. It is used in combination with medicamentous and other physiotherapeutic methods for the treatment of a number of diseases.

  • Osteochondrosis. There are many active points in the spine. Exposure to them with a needle contributes not only to the relief of painful sensations, but also prevents the development of the disease in the future. Often this type of therapy saves people with intolerance to certain drugs. The maximum effect of the treatment appears if massage is added to the complex.
  • Herniated discs. Acupuncture can relieve severe pain and muscle spasms caused by displaced discs. After completing the course of sessions, the number of which is prescribed individually by the doctor, not only the pain goes away, but also the blood circulation is restored. Patients usually do not feel anything during the procedure.
  • Obesity. Acupuncture contributes to the normalization of metabolism in the body, getting rid of stress. In combination with a proper and healthy diet, as well as physical activity, the effect of losing weight comes much faster.
  • Normalization of blood circulation. There is an increase in the capacity of blood vessels. As a result, the improvement of metabolic processes.
  • Get rid of bad habits. Needles are inserted into points located in the auricle area at a certain angle. The effect will not be long in coming, but only if the patient shows willpower (you can’t smoke for the first 8 hours). Nicotine addiction disappears, and over time, smoking becomes disgusting.
  • Rejuvenation. Acupuncture face lifting is the most effective procedure. Such a session lasts up to 40 minutes, while the patient does not experience any pain. After the introduction of needles, the metabolism is accelerated, all cells are saturated with oxygen, so mimic wrinkles, bags under the eyes, as well as the effect of a double chin completely disappear. The skin becomes firmer and the complexion improves.
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Experts in the field of alternative medicine argue that the success of the treatment still depends on the following factors:

  • Confidence in the doctor;
  • Psychological mood;
  • Attending sessions no earlier than half an hour before or after meals;
  • The procedure should not be performed after going to the sauna;
  • During the sessions, completely abandon the use of alcoholic beverages;
  • Hypercooling during the procedure is excluded;
  • Immediately before acupuncture, you should not go to the gym or do fitness.


Like other medical procedures, acupuncture is not suitable for all patients. There are categories of people to whom it is completely contraindicated:

  • Children under one year of age. There is a certain risk of skin tissue damage.
  • Psychically unstable people. Sensations during the insertion of the needle can provoke attacks of overexcitation.
  • Cancer patients. Improved blood circulation promotes the growth of tumors of various types.
  • Pregnant women. There is a risk of premature birth or miscarriage.
  • Patients with infectious diseases (AIDS, tuberculosis, sexually transmitted diseases, hepatitis of all forms).
Happiness – it is and you can be happy
Happiness – it is and you can be happy

There are also conditional contraindications, in this case, the course can be completed only after the permission of the doctor. These include the following types of diseases:

  • Stroke and post-stroke condition;
  • Menstrual period;
  • Epilepsy in all forms;
  • Muscular dystrophy of the last stages;
  • Emotional and physical strain;
  • Multiple sclerosis;
  • Varicosis;
  • Postoperative scars and scars.

For most people, acupuncture is a safe non-traditional way to treat various types of diseases. An important role in the effectiveness of the procedure is played by the qualifications and professionalism of the master conducting the session.

Ancient Chinese methods, combined with modern research and development in this field, contribute to the continuous development of acupuncture treatment.

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