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Free Research Paper on Acupuncture

Many people experience headaches, migraines, back spasms, backaches, and sore muscles. Often times these potentially serious problems were probably treated with Tylenol, a doctor’s visit, or a trip to the chiropractor, but how many of them considered acupuncture? Acupuncture is an ancient Chinese treatment used as an anesthetic to relax and relieve a person’s pain. With very fine metal needles, a healer inserts the needles into specially designated channels on the body and manipulates pain. In China, acupuncture has been known to be used during child birth and surgery. Traditional Chinese doctors prefer acupuncture over new aged pills such as Vikodin and Tylenol. Unlike modern anesthetics, acupuncture does not slow down breathing or lower the heart’s rate and does not leave the person nauseated. This form of anesthetic may be very useful for treating patients that have allergic reactions towards pills. Acupuncture is an ancient healing method, and although it was once dismissed by western doctors, it proves to be more practical with less physical stress than any modern day pain reliever.

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In order to understand how acupuncture works one must understand the Chinese philosophy behind this antediluvian treatment. During the Han Dynasty, philosophers who studied cosmology derived the theory of yin and yang. The yin and yang represent all the opposite principles one finds in the universe. Under yang are the principles of maleness, the sun, creation, heat, light, Heaven, dominance, and so on, and under yin are the principles of femaleness, the moon, completion, cold, darkness, material forms, submission, and so on. Each of these opposites produce the other. (Hooker).

Often times, people have the misconception that yin and yang represent good and evil. What yin and yang really represent is balance between every existing object in this universe. According to David and Ming Ming Pan Molony, the ideas behind Yin and Yang developed by observing the physical world. It was observed that nature appears to group into pairs mutually dependent opposites. For example, the concept of night has no meaning without the concept of day. Americans picked up on the connection, but never truly tried to name it. Yin and Yang are just opposites. I believe that’s were the saying, “Opposites attract, originated from” (48). The Chinese believed that in order for an object to exist there would have to be a balance between yin and yang. Each of these opposites produces the other.

This production of yin from yang and yang from yin occurs cyclically and constantly, so that no one principle continually dominates the other or determines the other. (Hooker). All phases of life including good luck and bad luck, power and weakness, health and sickness are caused by temporary imbalance between one principle over the other. With no one dominating principle, the yin and yang balance can shift from one side of the spectrum to the other. When someone is sick and ill there is disproportion between yin and yang, but through treatment, the difference in yin and yang can be stabilized. In Chinese medical terms every organ within a body is either a yin organ or a yang organ. Yang organs are the larger organs and the yin organs are the smaller organs. The essence of every object is balanced between yin and yang and exists through a life force known to the Chinese as Qi (ch ).

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