Monday, October 6, 2008

How Acupuncture Works

How Acupuncture Works
German Survey

Our Teutonic friends have been busy lately in collecting research covering a wide range of acupuncture effects and techniques. From one side of the pond to the other, a lot of great investigation is being done and I have included links to some of my favorites.

Measurement of acupuncture needle grasp at acupuncture points and control points

One of the most controversial aspects of acupuncture is whether the location of acupuncture needling sites is important, ie: does the needling of classically defined acupuncture points have an enhanced therapeutic effect as compared with the needling of any other set of points on the body.
Resolving this issue is of fundamental importance, since the specificity of acupuncture points is implied in some of the most basic principles underlying the traditional practice of acupuncture.These results provide objective evidence that acupuncture points have different biomechanical behavior than control points.

Whether this is due to anatomical and/or physiological differences between acupuncture points and surrounding tissues, and what these differences are, remains unknown. Our results also show that needle manipulation strongly influences needle grasp, and does so at control points as well as at acupuncture points. We are planning to use the results of this study as a first step to understand the mechanisms underlying needle grasp, and the therapeutic significance of both de qi and acupuncture points.

As someone trained in TCM, I have always believed if there is no Qi, there is no treatment. Perhaps it is Western programming to believe “no pain, no gain,” but I see better results with patients who report feeling sensation over ones that feel nothing. In my experience, I find the patient will have the Qi sensation a moment after I feel the needle “grab.” For those patients that I know are sensitive, I try to keep the needle positioned at that threshold between the grab and the sensation so that they can reap the maximum benefit with the minimum discomfort. Of course, there are those others that can’t get enough Qi either, or as one of my patients says, “Give me the ju-ju!”
Acupuncture Malaysia

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