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Epic Ancient Acupuncture Diagram

Ancient
Acupuncture
Diagram

As shown in the ancient acupuncture diagram, Acupuncture was devised before 2500 BCE in China and by the late 20th century was used in many other areas of the world. Acupuncture consists of the insertion of one or several small metal needles into the skin and underlying tissues at precise points on the body.

Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) is one of the oldest systems of medicine. It is more than 3,500 years older than traditional Western medicine, which came to exist much more recently, for example with the formation of the American Medical Association in 1847.1 TCM should not be confused with “Oriental medicine,” a catch-all phrase used to describe a set of practices developed not only in Asia but worldwide.2

TCM is a standardized version of the type of Chinese medicine that was practiced before the Chinese Revolution that is based on several ancient beliefs. An important one is the Daoist belief that the human body is a miniature version of the universe. Another belief is that a vital energy, “Qi,” flows through the body and performs multiple functions to maintain health. TCM practitioners believe that chronic pain results from blockage or imbalance of Qi, and that their role is to correct or balance its flow.

Other concepts, such as the Yin/Yang—harmony between opposing, complementary forces that support health—and the Five Element Theories are equally important to TCM.3 In the Yin/Yang theory,(as shown in the ancient acupuncture diagram) practitioners describe the Yin or Yang character of health, such as its location (interior/exterior), temperature (cold/hot), and amount (deficient/excess). The Yin/Yang illustrates polarity and the notion that one characteristic cannot exist without the other. The Five Elements symbolically represent the stages of human life and explain the functioning of the body. Knowledge of these concepts is important to foster an understanding of TCM. However, the purpose of the current tutorial is to examine specific TCM practices and whether they are helpful in chronic pain management.

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