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  • How does acupuncture affect our body?

  • It is widely known that conventional medicine is only a secondary form of natural medicine. The oldest historically history of our human civilization focused around diseases and ways to combat them. Of course, the development of technology and the opportunities it brings rewards classical medicine, and it is thanks to it that we can make many diseases curable today. On the other hand, it is worth looking at science, because it often discovers something that has long been invented. For example, quantum physics explains to some extent how many herbs and weeds work on human health. Therefore, it reveals something that folk knowledge has long since possessed. Natural medicine has been a mystery to people for centuries. It is no different with acupuncture, which, although it helps, is often treated by us with care or even with a slight distance. Is that right?

  • Natural, unconventional or non-traditional medicine?

  • Or maybe folk? There are many possibilities. Both acupuncture, herbal medicine and other human health activities originating from folk space have a great relationship with the Far East countries. The first association here is naturally Tibet, Mongolia and China. What's more, this association is completely correct, because it was in these ancient civilizations that special attention was born to unconventional methods of treatment. This does not mean that our lands or lands of other continents have shunned popular beliefs. In the Polish language, even the 'witch' form has been preserved, which was formerly referred to herbalists that 'know what for what' [1]. Only later did the name acquire pejorative overtones. Today, natural medicine merges with traditional, although it still remains in its shadow. This does not mean, however, that we should not use it. On the contrary! That is why it is worth asking yourself some basic questions ...

  • What is acupuncture?

  • Although today it is considered one of the methods of medicine, its pedigree goes back thousands of years and the area of ​​ancient China. Acupuncture comes from the words 'acus', which in Latin means 'needle' and 'punctus', which translates as 'stinging'. Her Chinese name is "zhēnjiǔ". It is inseparable from Far Eastern mythology. Acupuncture is based on special, precise and controlled stimulation of places on the body, the so-called acupuncture, in such a way that the stimuli we send clear the energy channels (so-called meridians), stimulate the functioning of the body and stimulate qi energy. The roots of acupuncture go back to the Stone Age. It was then that the peoples of today's Mongolia used first stone knives, then needles of stone or bamboo to treat various ailments. A unique form of acupuncture was the Chinese method of treatment with bian stones. These are specially sharpened fragments of the meteorite that fell many millions of years ago in the Far East. The first texts related to acupuncture were also created in ancient times, and are already around 2500 years old!

  • The work called the Canons of Internal Medicine of the Yellow Emperor conquered the local world and set the treatment for many centuries. So it is clear that the rooting of acupuncture in the history of humanity dates back to extremely distant times. Moreover, according to The Lancet report, there is evidence that the method of body piercing has already been used in Eurasia [2]. All this creates a picture of a full and integral treatment method, which today is included in the unconventional methods used in many countries around the world.

  • Map of our body

  • Each acupuncture treatment focuses on properly stimulating a specific body part. According to ancient beliefs and the assumptions of traditional Chinese medicine, the human body can be divided into many zones in which there are energy channels corresponding to specific organs or muscle parts and other "elements" of the human body. In this way, a map was created that roughly indicates where the nerve endings and meridian connections are in our body.

    (...) one can influence the system regulating energy flow in meridians, consisting of a number of active points on the map of the entire human body. If this flow is not even, i.e. too high or too low, there is a pathology or disease in the organ or area. [3]

  • Acupuncture mechanisms scientifically proven

  • Acupuncture treatments are designed to relieve pain and unblock energy channels. Medical issues are explained in detail by Professor Piotr Woźniak from the Polish Acupuncture Society:

    Discussions about whether or not meridians have been going on for many years, while at the moment we are explaining the effects of acupuncture on the basis of knowledge about the functioning of the nervous system. The flow of the nerve signal in the extra-neuronal system is scientifically proven. In 2004, prof. Helene Langevin published papers based on the use of electron microscopy and, among others thanks to that we are one step to confirm what the Chinese noticed 5000 years ago. [4]

  • The use of needles has an important role in the process of acupuncture treatments. Although it seems that the invasion of the needle in the body - in this case it is worth remembering even injections - must be painful, it turns out that the pain in this case is definitely less than when injecting. Why? First of all, this is due to the specifics of acupuncture. The doctor does not puncture the body to cut the tissues and thereby tear the nerve cover, which will signal the brain immediately. Needles, about which are immediately rounded, which allows the tissue to separate, stimulate its structure from the outside, not inside. Thus, during the procedure, the doctor inserts needles into the patient's body at the right angle and at the appropriate depth in places that exactly match the flow of energy and nerve channels. In this way, it can precisely stimulate the nerves and stimulate them to the desired reactions.

  • Generalization in acupuncture treatment

  • Needles should be stuck in as little as possible. Of course, their number depends on the specific form of action, but a properly performed procedure should rationally limit their number. What rules should we still remember?

    • Optimal number of needles: from 10 to 15;
    • The puncture depth depends on the patient, however, the needle is assumed not to go deeper than 0.5 cm;
    • The invasion site is important. The forehead, foot and stomach are different. The angle of needle insertion also depends on the place and specificity of the patient;
    • The number of treatments is of course an individual matter, however on average a series of 10 treatments is accepted with a frequency of 3 - 4 treatments per week.

     

  • The specificity of acupuncture needles

  • However, not every needle is suitable for acupuncture treatments. First of all, they must be disposable needles. Sterilization is therefore not an option. Theoretically, the procedure may cause the needle to break, but its design rather excludes such events. It is an object made of flexible materials, and at the same time it is full, and therefore different from the one we were used to on the occasion of injections. This makes it bend, but not break. Traditionally, needles are divided into three types:

    • Korean - handle wrapped in tight metal wire, usually steel or copper, less often silver or gold. The lack of a loop at the end dissipates the energy of qi, and therefore does not circulate it. Correspond to Korean school;
    • Japanese - not finished with a loop, made with a different production technique. The handle of these needles consists of a steel tube, which is clamped on the needle. The art of Japanese acupuncture school;
    • Chinese - the most common. The loop made of the same material as the handle is meant to make the qi energy circulate, penetrating through the needle and penetrating back into the body. The handle itself is tightly wrapped with steel, copper or silver (rarely gold) wire.
  • Needles are also distinguished by the length and width of the blade. The most popular length is 40 mm. Treatments in more difficult places may require 50 mm. In turn, needles up to 15 mm are used for the face, ears or su jok. Precise and accurate. The longest needles can be up to 100 mm and can be used for specialized treatments or on special occasions. In contrast, the blade diameter is a difference of tenths of a millimeter. Usually between 0.12 mm and 0.30 mm. The rule is that the smaller the diameter, the sharper the needle. The specialistity of these treatments and their precision mean that only specialized doctors can deal with this type of treatment. There is no comprehensive training in Poland that would bring up a generation of acupuncture doctors. The situation is completely different in the West and, of course, in the Far East. Only doctors who know the Eastern art of medicine can definitely say about themselves as specialists. It is worth remembering that acupuncture is a method of treatment, and therefore a method that is first of all harmful.

  • About what helps and where not to use?

  • So what can we use acupuncture to help us and alleviate pain? Let's give voice to experts again:

  • Here is Professor Piotr Woźniak once again:

     The classic is the treatment of pain, in addition migraines, joint and bone pain. An anti-inflammatory effect has been proven to accelerate repair processes, e.g. healing. In addition, acupuncture has a positive effect on functional changes resulting from a disruption of the vegetative system. [5]

    And doctor Łukasz Kmieciak, secretary of the Polish Acupuncture Society:

    Acupuncture is thought to be neuromodulatory, i.e. it affects the conduction of pain impulses in the sensory tract, although some studies indicate that it affects the interpretation and perception of pain stimuli at the brain level. [6]

    What exactly does this mean? Acupuncture has three levels of action. First of all - local. Affects the blood vessels. It expands them, which changes their permeability and diameter. The second level is a segmental reaction based on nerve reflexes. It takes place in the vicinity of the puncture, in the tissues. The third and last level is associated with central activity and endorphin secretion during the procedure. This directly stimulates the nerve centers in the brain. What it can do for us:

    • migraine treatment;
    • against headaches of various origins;
    • for neuralgia and muscle pain;
    • for sinus and toothache;
    • for PMS and painful periods;
    • various types of pain: postpartum, postoperative, childbirth, cancer;
    • for bouts of kidney stones;
    • in allergic diseases, asthma, hypertension or coronary heart disease - as an adjunct.
  • Acupuncture can also relax our body and bring it to rest. Thus, it can be used as an antidote for stress. The best solution is to use acupuncture where we can bypass pharmacology. In this way, we will allow our body to rest, and at the same time reduce the amount of toxic substances that we introduce into it every day, also in food or drink.

    However, as Professor Piotr Woźniak says, one should not use acupuncture as a medicine for all evil:

    I think that we are not well educated yet to treat cancer with acupuncture. The essence of cancer treatment is inhibition (i.e. removal of the tumor mass and suppression of the disease by either chemistry or radiation therapy or derivatives), and we are not able to assess to what extent we are inhibiting this process and whether we accidentally ignite it again. [7]

    Then he specifies by adding:

    In my opinion, cancer is contraindicated for acupuncture treatment. Of course, the exception is palliative medicine. [8]

    Above all, however, acupuncture should not be used where full diagnostics have not been performed. If for some reason we have not ruled out the causes of the ailments that require more effective and specific therapy, then we should not start a series of acupuncture treatments. Doctors, wanting to prevent the improper effects of treatment, recommend an initial blockade of pain, and only then begin treatment with the methods of ancient Chinese wisdom.

    Although acupuncture treatments are not that popular in Poland, and the development of the Polish Acupuncture Society does not resemble not only what is happening in China, Japan, Tibet or Mongolia, but also in Great Britain or France, it is worth seeking help from specialists. When choosing doctors, let us be guided by their experience, history of science and the place where they come from, because acupuncture treatment requires every change in the way of thinking and perception of the world of medicine. It is worth knowing your own body and let wisdom triumph.

  • Footnotes:

    [1] Cf. Witold Mańczak, Polish etymological dictionary, p. 216, Krakow, Polish Academy of Skills, 2017.

    [2] http://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140673698122420/fulltext, access: 23/03/2018.

    [3] Gazeta Lekarska, interview with prof. dr. hab. Piotr Woźniak, president of the Polish Acupuncture Society, http://gazetalekarska.pl/?p=34613, access: 23.03.2018.

    [4] prof. dr. hab. Piotr Woźniak, president of the Polish Acupuncture Society, http://gazetalekarska.pl/?p=34613, access: 23.03.2018.

    [5] Gazeta Lekarska, interview with prof. dr. hab. Piotr Woźniak, president of the Polish Acupuncture Society, http://gazetalekarska.pl/?p=34613, access: 23.03.2018.

    [6] Gazeta Lekarska, an interview with prof. dr. hab. Piotr Woźniak, president of the Polish Acupuncture Society, http://gazetalekarska.pl/?p=34613, access: 23.03.2018.

    [7] Gazeta Lekarska, an interview with prof. dr. hab. Piotr Woźniak, president of the Polish Acupuncture Society, http://gazetalekarska.pl/?p=34613, access: 23.03.2018.

    [8] Idem.

  • The scope of our help:

  • A diagnostic and therapeutic method known for millennia with high efficiency and even greater safety of use.

    Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM)

    Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM)

    A diagnostic and therapeutic method known for millennia with high efficiency and even greater safety of use.

  • Doctors practicing this medicine are the best clinical practitioners in the world of many ailments and diseases especially in the aspect of civilization diseases.

    Traditional Medicine
    Tibetan-Mongolian (TMM)

    Traditional Medicine
    Tibetan-Mongolian (TMM)

    Doctors practicing this medicine are the best clinical practitioners in the world of many ailments and diseases especially in the aspect of civilization diseases.

  • The attending physician is a high-class specialist Prof. Enji - internist and clinical professor of traditional medicine and acupuncture.

    Classical medicine - internal medicine

    Classical medicine - internal medicine

    The attending physician is a high-class specialist Prof. Enji - internist and clinical professor of traditional medicine and acupuncture.

  • During her work as a doctor, Prof. Enji met most of the Traditional Medical Systems including Japanese acupuncture and Far Eastern herbal medicine.

    Eastern Traditional
    Medical Systems (TSM)

    Eastern Traditional
    Medical Systems (TSM)

    During her work as a doctor, Prof. Enji met most of the Traditional Medical Systems including Japanese acupuncture and Far Eastern herbal medicine.

  • Prof. Enji's books