WHAT IS ACUPUNCTURE?
Acupuncture is considered a therapeutic method. True and false at the same time:
- It is true because it might be the solution for healing a lot of conditions. In most of the cases the patients come to the acupuncture practices after they tried to find the solution for their illness either in different allopathic medical practices, or in places with doubtful medical credibility. What is spectacular in acupuncture is the fact that through this method unbalances of the body may be discovered before they come out as symptoms of various diseases.
- It is false because acupuncture is not only a therapeutic method but, at the same time, is an entire philosophy of life.
About our method
In the crowded marketplace of the acupuncture practices, we propose a return to tradition. The attempt to bring into acupuncture cutting edge diagnostic and stimulation techniques does not make anything else but creates a hybrid which is neither academic medicine, nor acupuncture, nor is it both. The diagnosis and the treatment performed in our clinic is strictly based on the techniques and theories verified along millennia, with best results.
Acupuncture’s approach to the diagnosis is made from a totally different perspective when compared to conventional medicine. Thus, whereas in the official universities of medicine students are taught that a precise diagnosis can be made only if medical equipment (sometimes very complicated and costly) is used, in acupuncture the examiner is encouraged to use his/her own senses and sense of observation, together with a deep understanding of the philosophy that stays at the foundation of acupuncture. This philosophy starts from a very simple principle which states that humans are beings in permanent communication with the environment they live in, both social and natural. It becomes this way of utmost importance what the patient tells regarding different aggressions he suffers from outside (wind, heat, dampness, dryness, water), but equally important is the way he/she controls his/her own feelings (anger, joy, excessive thinking, melancholy, fear) coming from inside. All these factors act upon the body’s energy, initially with a modulating effect that generates defense mechanisms. However, if the action of these factors is prolonged, or the adaptation capacity of the organism is overpassed, the uniform and constant circulation or the body energy is disturbed, and symptoms appear. In order to highlight these changes in the energy circulation, more methods can be used:
1. The history of the patient: the symptoms described by the patient can lead to the outline of the so-called “meridian symptoms”. The meridians may suffer from “excess” of energy or, on the contrary, they may be deprived from energy being in “insufficiency”, each of the two situations with specific ways of manifestation. The diagnosis may afterwards be detailed into excess or insufficiency of Yin or Yang and so on, up to a level of detail in direct relationship with the competency of the acupuncturist. The more the diagnosis is accurate, the more the treatment is better targeted, and the chances of success are higher.
2. The general examination of the patient: through inspection, an unusual color of the face, tongue of different skin sections of the body may be noticed; through inspection and auscultation a week voice or a strong voice can be observed, as well as a characteristic look, mirror of the interior experiences of the patient.
3. Pulse examination: through the examination of the pulse in the vicinity of the wrist, the experienced acupuncturist can identify 12 pulses, 6 at each hand, three superficial and three profound. According to the characteristics of these pulses (strong, weak, ball-like etc.) a well-trained acupuncturist can say with a high grade of accuracy what are the energetic disturbances of the patient, where this happens and what the symptoms characteristic for such disturbance might be.
The first two methods have a certain degree of resemblance with those met in the conventional medical practice, the difference being determined by the degree of detail required in acupuncture. As for the pulse examination, in the academic medicine the pulse is relevant for the rhythm and frequency of the beats only, whereas for the physician who practices acupuncture the examination of the pulse is a more complex source of information, as shown above.
Once the diagnostic is made for an energetic disturbance, its location and type, the most appropriate treatment is applied in order to restore the balance and the uniform flow of the energy:
1. The use of the needles: it is the most used method and consists of the pricking of the skin in some specific points with specific role within the affected meridians. Basically, if a meridian is in excess, the supplementary energy is conducted towards the coupled meridian, which is, in most of the cases, in deficit. Of course, the energetic re-balancing of the body is a much more complex process and for this reason the acquirement of the knowledge requires a long-term effort. Just to give an example, there is a Traditional Medicine University in China, with a six years duration, similar with the duration of academic medical studies.
2. Moxibustion: consists of warming the acupuncture points. Worming the points can be direct (a cone of dried artichoke is placed on the desired point and burns dull). Direct moxibustion has a limited use because of the scars that might be produced. Indirect moxibustion performed by placing a slice of garlic or ginger between the herb cone and the skin, or by maintaining an artichoke burning dull cigar at a certain distance from the skin, thus heating the point.
3. Other methods used in acupuncture practices are: - the cups applied on different zones of the body, especially on the back; by this method vasodilation is produced, bringing additional blood supply rather than stimulating the acupuncture points. - the hammer with seven or nine needles (“plum tree flower”), used for hammering some special areas on the skin, aiming to produce an additional vascularization, even light bleeding, in order to release a certain type of energy in excess.
4. Massage of the acupuncture points.
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5. The stimulation of the acupuncture points through electric current, magnetic field or laser is also possible, but these methods are not used in our medical practice because we only do traditional acupuncture, the way it has been described and used since millennia, with extraordinary results.
Diagnosis and first treatment session:
Each of the subsequent sessions:
House calls for treatment sessions
The sensitivity to pain is a subjective evaluation and differs very much from individual to individual. We might say that, at the most, the pain produced by the needles can be felt like a small sting when skin is penetrated, and then disappears.
What diseases can be cured through acupuncture?
Acupuncture is based on totally different treatment principles from those in conventional medicine. So, in acupuncture the most important factor in healing is the energy reserve the sick organism still has. Of course, one cannot state that acupuncture is curing any disease, because it would be an exaggeration and will do nothing but harm this wonderful method of treatment. In principle, however, it may bring comfort to the sick person, even in very severe conditions (i.e. amelioration of the symptoms in diabetes mellitus or bronchial asthma, amelioration of the pain in cancer). On top of that, in most of the situations can lead to the healing of some illnesses (sinusitis, rhinitis, headaches, back pain, stomach pain, pain during menses, insomnia etc.).
How sure is the acupuncture treatment? Can diseases be transmitted?
The acupuncture treatment is performed with disposable needles, so any possibility of disease transmission is excluded.
How much does the treatment in acupuncture last? Do I have to make it all my life?
If we are speaking about curing some diseases which are settled and symptomatic, the duration of the treatment is in relation with more factors: the time since the beginning of the disease, the seriousness of the symptoms, patient’s reaction and his/her energy reserve, ambient and social factors he/she is submitted to. It is recommended that the first series of treatment should be done completely, which means daily sessions (with weekend breaks), followed by a one month interval treatment free. During this period of time the organism is adjusting its new energetic level and the patient may evaluate his condition. After that, it is possible that a new series is needed, but there are situations (in chronic diseases or in case of poor reactivity of the patient) in which the sessions must be repeated the same fashion (ten daily sessions). It is recommended that the patient remains in contact with the acupuncturist in order to receive recommendations regarding his/her lifestyle and nutrition. If the patient cannot come on a daily basis to the clinic from various reasons, a treatment plan will be established in by the patient and the doctor together.
If we are speaking about preventing some diseases, then coming to the acupuncture clinic might be recommended at larger intervals, once or twice a year. In order to give an example of how much importance is given to the prevention of the diseases in ancient China, we mention only the fact that the acupuncturist was paid by the “subscribers” as long as they were healthy; if they became ill, the acupuncturist was obliged to treat them free until the sick individual became healthy. Moreover, the relationship between the acupuncturist and his patient was based on an old Chinese saying which says “you do not start digging the well when you are already thirsty”.
The medical practice “Traditional Acupuncture” has been set up with the declared intention to bring
into the Bucharest landscape of alternative and complementary medicine the traditional
acupuncture, the same way it was practice along millennia. And this since, for acupuncture, the old
saying “better is, in most of the cases, the enemy of good” is entirely valid. Any attempt to
“improve” this method through the means modern techniques make it available for the physicians
does nothing but change its meaning and show an insufficient understanding of acupuncture by
those who practice it.
Dr. Octaviu Moldovan is one of the few doctors who believe that acupuncture must be practiced both in its spirit and by its book. Starting from 1982, with passion and dedication, he studied thoroughly this method and succeeded to understand its spirit. He gathered a rich database and had result that can look surprising to those who are not familiarized with the huge healing capacity this method is offering. Always fair with his patients, he informs them about the limits of acupuncture as well, because nothing can be more disadvantageous than over-estimation of its capabilities.
SANA Medical Centre,
No.5, Doctor Sergiu Dumitru St.