Acupuncture is written as ‘针灸’ in Chinese which is a general term for ‘needling’ and ‘moxibustion’. These two techniques are still frequently used as a combination in China and most of the Asia regions where TCM culture was spread to. As seen in western society, most commonly, ‘needling’ has become a relative major method compare to ‘moxibustion’ when acupuncture is applied. So in this section, the ‘acupuncture’ I am talking about is mainly referred to ‘needling’.
When acupuncture is performed, needles are inserted into the patient’s body at a certain angle and into a certain depth under the guidance of the TCM theory. Acupuncture techniques such as the use of twisting and lifting and thrusting should be applied to stimulate specific parts of the body so as to achieve the purpose of treating disease. The point(s) where needle(s) inserted is called Acu-point, referred to as point. A total of 361 points were found and located on the human body according to the latest statistics textbook.
According to TCM theory, disease or any form of discomfort is commonly caused by the imbalance of Yin and Yang of the body and stagnation of Qi and blood flow within the meridians. Although there is a huge and complex theory system behind the acupuncture treatment, its essential theory is relatively easy to be understood: Qi and blood flow within the meridians are impacted and regulated in the positive way by the stimulations on certain Acu-points for the healing purpose.
When receiving acupuncture treatment, the patient should gain a combined sensation of tingling, numbness and distension. ‘Deqi’ was created to describe such needling sensation. It associated with ‘grasping the Qi’ which is usually defined in relation to the needling sensations experienced by both of the patient and the practitioners. Partly this is due to different patient sensibilities. Elderly and weak patients may experience less ‘Deqi’ sensation. Normally thicker needles achieve stronger sensations more easily.