What Is Acupuncture ? A Brief Introduction
Originating in China more than 3,000 years ago,
acupuncture is one of the oldest Traditional Chinese
Medicine (TCM) procedures. As an essential part of
TCM, acupuncture involves the insertion of very
thin, metallic needles, (sometimes in conjunction
with electrical stimulus), on some specific points
(acupuncture points or acupoints) of the body's surface. The
extreme thinness of the needles ensures that little
or no discomfort will be experienced during the
treatment. At medical level, the insertion of these
very fine needles on the acupoints
influences the physiological functions of the body,
cures the diseases and restores the health. (please
refer to the How Does Acupuncture Work
the theories of acupuncture).
Acupuncture is being widely accepted as a
supplementary healthcare service to the mainstream
health care system across Canada. It has already
been regulated in British Columbia, Alberta and
Quebec. In Ontario, Traditional Chinese Medicine
Act, 2006, has been passed by the provincial
legislative assembly in 2006. The transitional
council of the College of Traditional Chinese
Medicine Practitioners and Acupuncturists of Ontario
(CTCMPAO) has been formed to establish the
regulation by-laws. Please refer to
How Does Acupuncture Work?
Many researches have been done by scientists about
how acupuncture works. The most widely accepted
theory is the energy theory called 'Qi' in Chinese
(pronounced as 'Chee').
In Chinese medicine, it is believed that there is a
universal life energy 'Qi' in every living creature.
This energy is circulating in regulated patterns
throughout the body along specific pathways that are
called 'Meridians". So far, 14 meridians have been
identified throughout human's body. These meridians
conduct the flow of the vital energy 'Qi'. As long as
this energy flows freely throughout the meridians,
health is maintained. When this flow is disrupted or
blocked, then pain and illness will occur, just like
rivers that are blocked and cause flood. By
inserting needles into the selected points in the
meridians, the normal flow of the energy can be
restored, and thus the health brought back to the
How Is The Treatment Carried Out?
In acupuncture, 10~30 very fine needles are inserted
into the acupuncture points of body (called "Shue Wei"
in Chinese). The needles are left in places for 20~30 minutes,
manipulated by hands or electrical stimulations
during the course of treatment, producing
a beneficial effect on other related parts of the
body. The number of needles required and the length
of time needles left in body depend on the problem
and the consultation with the acupuncturist.