Acupuncture is an ancient form of healing that has been passed down from centuries before Christ. There is a textbook that is still in use today that has been passed down virtually unchanged from those times. It is thought that acupuncture evolved from war situations where spearing was the main form of attack. Warriors who survived were reporting improved health due to being speared. Eventually, a framework of points on the body were identified which, when pinned, seemed to have a beneficial effect on pathologies or problems located elsewhere in the body. There are hundreds of points identified on the body, with about 90 on the ear alone.
These points cannot be identified anatomically, that is, they cannot be dissected out of the body and proven to exist. They belong to the realms of magnetic inﬂuence, which can be identified by infra-red photography only. Some would argue that they don’t exist and, who knows, they might be right.
For the moment, these magnetic lines or meridians cannot be proven absolutely, to exist. Further scientific investigation does suggest that Acupuncture points, when pinned cause changes that are not brought about when sticking pins blindly into the body. An acupuncture treatment, when done properly will produce endorphin release or, in simpler terms, a feel good factor. This is scientiﬁcally proven. Acupuncture can be used to treat a huge range of illnesses. People often make the mistake of only giving it one shot. One shot is a waste of every one’s time and money. Like all forms of treatment other than surgery, one attempt is not going to yield results. The results from Acupuncture are cumulative in that they are not very obvious after the first session. It takes a minimum of four sessions to decide if a full course should be undertaken.
Generally, a course of acupuncture can be a God-send to people with pain. But, no one with a medical background can give an absolute guarantee that your pain will be resolved as we know that for instance, leg pain can be caused by a disc problem that can be so big that surgery is the only option. Likewise, shoulder pain can be a symptom of lung or cardiac pathology and back pain can result from ulceration of the digestive tracts or gynaecological problems or a host of other causes.
No amount of Physiotherapy or Acupuncture will solve that pain which is called “referred” as it’s point of origin is some distance from the area of manifestation. So, beware of those that guarantee you they will get rid of your pain as they are usually not medically trained and you could be wasting a lot of hope, time and money and end up back seeking your Doctor’s opinion again. Those with medical training can suspect when there is a cause for your pain that may not be that obvious from your symptoms and will, thus, be reluctant to give you an absolute guarantee of pain relief initially until the nature of the pain and the response to treatment can be assessed.
Written by Alwyn Byrne
Published here 10 May 2023 and originally published Christmas 2000