Originally thought to have been practiced using instruments such as thin, sharpened stones, acupuncture as a theory is tied to altering and enhancing the flow of naturally-occurring energy within the body; needles, as a more effective alternative, would come later. Dated to a time before the Chinese common era, where the practice originated, acupuncture comes secondarily to an understanding of the body’s meridians.
These twelve meridians – or energy conduits – are tied to the body’s unique functions and, though they don’t follow an organic blood flow, can be influenced. This is where precise acupuncture points are developed, with the intention of diverting energy to problem areas of the body in need of some additional attention, without forfeiting balance throughout.
Understanding the principles that work in harmony with acupuncture is as important as understanding the effect of the practice. For example, Taoism is rooted in identifying the natural forces that fluctuate to create balance, and adjusting one’s self to join in that rhythm. Much like the body, the natural environment is in a constant state of motion to maintain balance – in a sense and on a philosophical level, acupuncture emulates that organic process on a smaller scale to combat disease.
Of course, there’s more at work here than philosophy. Though It was during the 17th century that interest in acupuncture started to diminish, the position would not endure. The increase in western methodologies and a national disdain for superstition would overwhelm the historically-proven benefits and the theories fuelling the practice, for a time. It wasn’t until the 20th century that acupuncture saw a resurgence and started to appear in institutes and hospitals. Today, acupuncture is widely accepted and backed by an endorsement from the National Institutes of Health.
As acupuncture’s popularity and global utilization continues to spike, so too has progress in the field. Modern technologies like ultrasound are now commonly used by acupuncturists, working in tandem with and modernizing the ancient core methods.
Typically a core component in naturopathic regimens, acupuncture complements, and is complemented by, therapeutic massage, strategic nutrition, and herbal remedies. Though it is a complete system of medicine (and therefore acts as a treatment for nearly any disease), it has been proven to be more effective in some treatments than others. For a full suite of information on acupuncture and how we employ it at Cornerstone, don’t hesitate to reach out to us for a conversation.