According to the California State Oriental Medical Association (CSOMA), qi (energy) and blood travel through pathways in the body. The pathways being “somewhat like the nerves and blood vessels,” are known as meridians. There are sixteen main meridians with acupoints on them, which, when needled, directly address various symptoms and imbalances. During a treatment, other lesser known meridians may be indirectly activated from points on other meridians. This indirect, but effective, method opens the affected meridian so qi and blood may freely flow. Direct and indirect approaches are two ways acupuncture can be used in order to establish balanced health.
The Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) practitioner will diagnose a client through a variety of assessments: noticing how a person carries themselves and the energy behind how they speak; feeling the pulses on the wrist, which indicate the health of various organs; noticing the shape and color of the client’s tongue, along with the presence or lack of a tongue coating, and its color. All of these situations are indicators of health of the organs or lack of health and are identifiers of the pathogenic (germ) factor that may be involved.
Out of the possible thousand acupoints, a TCM practitioner will choose a certain combination of two to about nineteen and commence the treatment. Although the client may be permitted to sleep for the twenty to sixty minute traditional acupuncture treatment, due to the power of Intent, clients are generally advised to be awake and active participants in Esoteric Acupuncture treatments.
Some people who may want to try acupuncture might have concerns about the safety of the needles. To put minds at ease, there is no ointment or medicine on the needles, and the needles are disposable (not reused) and pre-sterilized. With insertion, some sensations may be felt briefly, but overall the treatment will be relaxing and energizing as qi becomes more balanced.
Doctors (MDs) who practice acupuncture on their clients are doing a form of acupuncture referred to as “medical acupuncture.” The CSOMA guidebook says, “The consumer should be aware that unless medical acupuncturists carry the designation of L.Ac., they are not licensed through the California Acupuncture Board.” It is recommended that a consumer interview the medical acupuncturist and ask for credentials in order to ascertain if the practitioner is the kind being sought. Also, a potential client would be advised to ask if the doctor uses an autoclave on reusable needles or the pre-sterilized disposable needles, which are being used by licensed acupuncturists.
For more information, please visit www.csomaonline.org
Oriental Medicine: The Basics
According to A User’s Guide to Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine published by CSOMA, Oriental Medicine has “gained worldwide acceptance and recognition as effective medical treatment.” Substantial research proves that Oriental Medicine is a valid and valuable alternative when considering a treatment protocol. Acupuncture, acupressure, Chinese herbal medicine, and Tai Chi are a few of the better known modalities. However, Oriental Medicine is comprised of so much more.
The California State Oriental Medical Association (CSOMA), according to their website, is “a professional organization of licensed acupuncturists and supporters of Oriental medicine dedicated to the preservation and advancement of the art, science, and practice of oriental medicine.” Oriental medicine encompasses the techniques being used in China, Korea, Tibet, Japan, Viet Nam, Thailand, and even India for over 2,500 years.
Acupuncture has gone from bamboo needles to disposable, stainless steel needles that are so fine they can be placed in the end of a hypodermic needle. Acupressure is a technique that uses pressure from the practitioner’s fingers and hands on acupoints and painful, or hard spots. Both forms of stimulating the points are techniques to chase chi within the body, to adjust a deficiency, or to clear a blockage.
Chinese herbs are minerals, objects from the animal kingdom, and hundreds of individual plant parts, each with a particular action to perform on a person in order to establish balance. Tai Chi and Qi Gong are two forms of martial arts meditative movements, each able to bring about balance, strength, and focused energy (Qi) in order to create a particular goal.
An Oriental Medicine practitioner may use a variety of techniques, adjusted to meet the individual needs of each client. Diet and nutritional strategies appropriate on an individual level, differ from western nutritional support. For example, calories and ingredients are not the concern of the Oriental medicine practitioner and diet counseling goes beyond recommendations against diet sodas, coffee, and sugar in general. The temperature, taste, combination, and preparation of foods are of concern and are considered against the person’s constitution and symptoms.
A little zing may be required, and the practitioner may choose electroacupuncture. Once the needles have been inserted into the client, the practitioner hooks the needles up to wires that lead to a small machine. A gentle microcurrent travels to the acupoint for a desired result. The client may feel a gentle, relaxing pulsing or pulling sensation at the acupoint.
Cupping is a suction device used on the back of the client to stimulate blood and qi circulation, and to disperse certain pathogenic factors. Truly, each acupuncturist has a plethora of techniques to offer clients individualized treatments.
Acupuncture originated in China more than 3,000 years ago and due to its proven effectiveness, has been embraced throughout the world. Acupuncture treatments consists of inserting very fine, pre-sterilized, disposable needles into specific points corresponding with fourteen main meridians and a few secondary meridians in the Etheric Body, which in turn stimulates and activates the body’s self-healing mechanisms.