Acupuncture A Chinese Tradition Essay Research

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Acupuncture ? A Chinese Tradition Essay, Research Paper Acupuncture?A Chinese Tradition I hate needles. Don?t get me wrong, I want to be a doctor, and I have no problem sticking other people with needles, but as soon as I become the patient, there?s a problem. I?m scared of things piercing my skin and my body. But when I decided to do my project on acupuncture, I told myself that in order to get the whole experience, I must face my fear and do it. So one Monday afternoon I went with my project partner Fritzie to the acupuncture clinic and had my first experience with this ancient form of Chinese medicine. Acupuncture is used for many medical conditions, but I went in primarily for stress. Dr. Susan Shao, the licensed acupuncturist, had me lay down on my stomach, and she felt

for tense spots on my lower back and up to my neck. She found that my left side was much firmer than my right, which was typical of stress-related tension. I had particularly large knots in the lower back region and shoulder area, and I also had tension in my jaw muscles, since I tend to grip and grind my teeth when I feel stress. Dr. Shao started the acupuncture treatment using one-inch needles, so about three-fourths of an inch penetrated the skin. An interesting fact that she shared with us is that the ancient acupuncturists made their own needles out of gold or silver, so the needles were fairly large. Needless to say, the old forms of acupuncture were very painful for the individual, unlike today?s techniques. She felt for pressure points along my back and put the needles in

those spots. I didn?t even feel the needle go in, only the plastic surrounding the needle tapping my skin. She put in about ten or so needles down each side of my back including one in each of my forearms. Dr. Shao then hooked the twenty needles up to a battery that produced the electrical stimulation, which ran for fifteen minutes. I felt a slight tapping feeling as the electrical current went through my body, but I didn?t feel much else. During the fifteen minutes, I felt very relaxed, and I just wanted to lie there all day and rest. After the time was up, Dr. Shao removed the needles and gave me a short but deep massage. She felt the same spots I had tension in before, and the stiffness was almost completely gone. There was an even, jello-like feeling on both the left and

right sides, and the tension in my jaw was much better. I stood up and felt fifteen pounds lighter?the weight in my back was gone, and I felt so relieved. The whole concept of acupuncture ties very closely with other medical systems that use balance as the key to feeling healthy. The Chinese word chi meaning ?energy? is constant throughout the body. According to the traditional Chinese medicine of acupuncture originating three to five thousand years ago, the major organs produce vital energy that flows along the continuous circulatory channels called meridians. If the flow of energy through the meridians is smooth, the body is balanced and healthy. If, however, the flow of energy is disturbed in any way, there will be pain or illness?a sense of imbalance. Acupuncture is applied

to specific sites along the meridians called acupuncture points that stimulate energy flow, so the organs will function in a way that restores the balance of the individual. This then creates a feeling of wellness in the individual, both physically and mentally. Dr. Shao gave me some examples of imbalance as I talked with her. For example, if one has cold hands and toes, there is probably a lack of energy in the right kidney, so an acupuncture treatment would focus on a meridian that the right kidney lay in. Another example is my own experience with acupuncture. In my case, ?getting rid of the knots? in my back allowed the built-up energy to flow again, which relieved any pressure or pain that I felt. The chi was able to flow freely, and I in turn felt balanced. My partner