The precise date of this ancient invention in China is uncertain. One observation indicates that soldiers returning from war, who had been pierced with arrows, had been cured of chronic afflictions. The art of Acupuncture travelled from China to Korea, Japan and Taiwan and it was not until the 2nd century BC that stone and bone needles were replaced by metal, the earliest seen in a tomb dated 113 BC.
Portuguese missionaries in the 16th century were among the first to bring reports of this procedure to the west and the first legal Acupuncture centre opened in Washington DC in 1972 and was attended by thousands of patients.
In the west Acupuncture is classified as "Complimentary health care"
This is based on the premise that the body is represented by energy and that any disruption of this can be the cause of disease. The process of Traditional Chinese Medicine [TCM] identifies disharmony such as certain blockages of the energy flow. There are 14 main energy channels which link to our organs and subsequently their functioning.
When the acupuncture points are activated, the blockages are released and well being returns to the physical body. With a return to balance the body will automatically detox and sluggish metabolism will be revitalized.
A collection of procedures is involved with the penetration of needles to stimulate acupuncture points, of which more than 1000 exist in the body.
Different forms of diagnoses are used, like colour and texture of the tongue, the quality of one's pulse and characteristics of a person, plus vital information of one's illness or complaints. Acupuncture emphasises that today we are too reliant on sleeping pills, pain killers, steroids and a host of harmful drugs. There is certainly much accuracy in this statement.
Most serious is the risk of the transference of the HIV virus, accidentally puncturing a lung and a common infection reported is viral hepatitis, a serious infection of the liver. Bacterial infections can too result around the point of entry of needles. This can be contributed to poor hygiene and lack of professional training.
The use of needles made of stainless steel, sterilized and sealed in packages by the manufacturers will eliminate risk.
No chemicals should be used with needles and these must be disposed of after use.
It goes without saying that only the most reputable practitioners should be consulted.
Finally, although science may not recognize Acupuncture and one may have doubts there are thousands of people who have benefited from this ancient practice.
Caring for the skin after having Acupuncture is vital. A warm bath is beneficial to relaxation followed by applying a mild, soothing body butter such as Matsimela's Marula nut, Rooibos & Honey or Baobab seed enriched with pure shea butter.
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