Acupuncture is an ancient Chinese medicinal procedure that uses whisker thin sterile stainless steel needles inserted into the skin at particular points in the body. In traditional Chinese medicine, the placement of these needles can influence the alignment and balance of qi/chi (pronounced, “chee”) – energy or life-force – throughout the body. In Western medicine that has adopted the ancient Chinese practice of acupuncture, these particular places on the body are considered to stimulate nerve bundles, muscle fibers, and their connective tissues, believed to stimulate enhancement of the body’s natural painkillers (endorphins) and providing those that undergo this procedure with increased blood flow.
The US National Library of Medicine defines Western medical acupuncture as, to paraphrase “…a mode of therapy that involves the insertion of fine metal or plastic needles. Western medical acupuncture has been adapted from Chinese acupuncture using modern understandings of human anatomy, physiology, pathology, and the principles of the scientific method. Though evolved from the Chinese principles, Western medical acupuncture does not seek to balance yin yang or to evenly distribute qi, as their scientific rigor cannot quantify these energies with their instruments.” The failing of the Western practice of acupuncture is its’ disassociation from the concepts of yin yang, as well as the qi elements, because those ideas are the fundamental undercurrent of the acupuncture practice.
Without these cultural ideas, the practice of acupuncture would never have come to pass, the Chinese masters recognizing the distribution of energy can affect the way that the body operates. Acupuncturists, those who practice acupuncture, from a Chinese tradition are additionally trained in the flow of qi, and in finding the balance of yin and yang within the bodies of their clients, giving those in their care the greatest treatment possible, which transcends conventional stimulation and confronts the underlying energetic issues.
Yinyang are the balances of all things, in Chinese philosophy, they are representative of two extremes. The ideal is to find a balance between these two forces, allowing for a synthesis that calms and induces tranquility, as two equal opponents coming to a standstill and complimenting each other instead of merely seeking to outbalance the other. While Western practitioners of acupuncture have abandoned the philosophies and undertones of a practice that they find effective, Chinese acupuncturists have achieved the balance between ancient thought and modern medicine. They do not discount the sciences that have confirmed the effectiveness of the practices, but continue to embrace the underlying ideas that developed the practices in the first place.
Given the choice between using a Western-trained acupuncturist or one trained in the ancient Chinese medical-art of acupuncture, even a skeptical mind would have to choose one trained in the Chinese method. This is because the Chinese methodology is a more comprehensive system than the Western fashion, which while having confirmed the efficacy of acupuncture, fails to also treat the energetic imbalance that pain-sufferers find relief from with acupuncture. Only Chinese-trained acupuncturists use a comprehensive system that relieves pain and discomfort from a wide range of diseases and conditions, from the inside out.