Term Paper: Acupuncture TMC

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Acupuncture -- an Overview

Briefly describe the five categories of therapies as defined by the National Institutes of Health and the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine and specify to which category the selected therapy belongs.

According to its official website, the National Institutes of Health and the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine NIH/NCCAM divides alternative therapies into five categories. The first are biologically-based practices that focus on herbs and food, the second are energy-focused treatments that treat energy imbalances in the body, the third are manipulative and body-based practices like massage and chiropractic therapy that treat the body through touching, the fourth is psychologically oriented mind-body medicine, and finally, there are 'whole' medical systems. While acupuncture is specifically an energy-based treatment to heal imbalances of ying and yang that affect a sufferer's qi or energy, it is important to remember that it is part of the whole medical or whole cultural body of practice known as Traditional Chinese Medicine. Traditional Chinese medicine treats sufferers with a variety of herbs, pressure points, and counseling in Chinese thought, as well as acupuncture.

Explain the philosophy, purpose, and treatment principles of the therapy.

Although usually thought of as 'needle therapy,' the term acupuncture actually refers to the stimulation of various pressure points on the body through a variety of techniques, including but not limited to needles. Heat, pressure, cupping with a glass, or small electrical impulses are also used to stimulate physical pressure points (Singer, 2007) However, the acupuncture techniques familiar to most Westerners and which have the greatest research-based scientific support involve penetrating the epidermis of the skin with "thin, solid, metallic needles that are manipulated by the hands or by electrical stimulation" ("Acupuncture," 2006, NIH). Most Westerners use acupuncture for the purpose of non-pharmaceutical pain alleviation and it became more widely known in the U.S. In the 1970s when New York Times reporter James Reston wrote about how doctors in China used needles to ease his pain after surgery ("Acupuncture," 2006, NIH). Nerve pain is the most common reason people turn to acupuncture, although it has been used for all chronic pain conditions, including post-operative pain, fibromyalgia, arthritis, etc.

Acupuncture's philosophy is rooted in the assumptions of traditional Chinese medicine that disease is called by a blockage in the flow of qi or energy which causes an imbalance of yin and yang, the hot and masculine and cold and feminine principles. Vital energy exists along pathways known as meridians. It is believed that acupuncture through the use of pressure points can help restore the correct energy balance between the twelve main organ meridians and eight secondary meridians ("Acupuncture," 2006, NIH).

Briefly summarize the historical development and evolution of the therapy.

Although it is commonly described as a 'New Age' therapy, acupuncture was first used in China more than 2,000 years ago, making it one of the oldest and most commonly used medical procedures in the world ("Acupuncture," 2006, NIH). The American… [END OF PREVIEW]

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Acupuncture TMC.  (2007, September 7).  Retrieved December 11, 2019, from https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/acupuncture-tmc/3992216

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"Acupuncture TMC."  7 September 2007.  Web.  11 December 2019. <https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/acupuncture-tmc/3992216>.

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"Acupuncture TMC."  Essaytown.com.  September 7, 2007.  Accessed December 11, 2019.
https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/acupuncture-tmc/3992216.