Monday, October 6, 2008

Acupuncture And Famous Five Elements

Acupuncture is a healing technique developed by the Chinese who believed that the mind and the body of a person are one complete unit and a sickness cannot be treated in isolation. In fact, Chinese medicine has based the technique of acupuncture on five basic concepts. These are described briefly below:


Yin and Yang are two opposites in nature. Both continuously flow in and out of each other and play an important role in the treatment of acupuncture. For instance:

Heat and Cold:
The acupuncturist must learn about the heat and cold in the body of a person. If a person feels too hot then his yang is too strong and he will be subjected to urinary problems, constipation and fever etc. If he feels cold then his yin is too strong, which means he will be subject to diarrhoea, a pale face and pale tongue

Dry and Wet:
When a patient has a dry cough or dry skin or any symptom of dryness in the body then there is too much of yang in the body. When there is too much of sweating, running nose, frequent urination then there is too much of ying. Thus the acupuncturist can understand the basic nature of the disease by categorizing it as predominantly Yang or Yin

It is when yin starts to dominate that yang suffers and vice versa. So it is up to the acupuncturist to bring the yang and the yin to a desirable balance.

The five elements of fire, wood, earth and water form an essential concept of Acupuncture. It is believed that these five elements make our whole physical and mental system. Any change or imbalance in our body can be related to a change in one of the five elements.

'Qi' means energy and is the most basic concept over which acupuncture is based. When the flow of energy is disturbed imbalances of various kinds occur, making one prone to diseases. Thus, an acupuncturist first studies the Qi of a person. He studies the path of the energy, its nature, the changes in it and its rhythm and balance before embarking on a course of action.

The 12 Meridians are the pathways of the Qi or energy. Each path is linked to some organ. The organs in acupuncture are not known by their name, location or the basic structure but by their functions. Imbalances in these meridians lead to different ailments and problems. Each meridian is linked to a particular organ that can be treated by treating the different points on that meridian. The liver, heart, spleen, lungs are amongst the 12 meridians.

The Points in acupuncture are those pin points on the 12 meridians which when touched upon or treated, affect the whole meridian thus increasing the Qi and also treating the problem. There are a number of points on each meridian and a good acupuncturist is able to identify the right points that have to be touched so as to cure the disease.

So the next time your acupuncturist talks of the yin and yang or the meridians, don't look foxed! An understanding of these elements will help you grasp the intricacies of this ancient science.

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