Acupuncture Hierarchy

"Knowing others is wisdom.
Knowing the self is enlightenment."


Acupuncture hierarchy basically means that different diseases manifest on different levels, consequently the therapeutic approach also varies.

Different level of energy channels need to be activated for example for a common cold (wind invasion) as opposed to a deep dense organ system problem, cirrhosis for example.

macrocosmos meridians

The classical anatomy of acupuncture consists of a multilayered channel system thru which vivifying cosmic energy transfers thru, connecting the external universe (macro-cosmos) with the various internal organs (micro-cosmos).

It is up to the practitioner to choose the appropriate therapeutic input matched to acupuncture hierarchy for activating these different levels of interconnected channel networks based on evaluating the patient and understanding the underlying imbalances, and their connections.

Stand Alone versus Complementary

In general, the more superficial, the more physiologic, the more hormonal, or earlier a presenting symptom in nature is, the more responsive it is for acupuncture, and can be very appropriate for stand-alone acupuncture treatment.

In case of a deeper, consequently more serious disease, acupuncture can be still wonderfully “complementing” western treatments by controlling undesirable side effects, managing pain, or attributing to the healing effect.


The first step in acupuncture hierarchy.


Preventing problems before they occur rather than trying to fix and cure them later is an efficient and economical way of handling diseases. That is why both modern and traditional medicine presses the importance on prevention. Imminent and better results can be expected if the disease process is still on a superficial level or even before it starts.

Zen Painting_Dr.Mihaly_circa1992


"...the sages did not treat the sick,
they treated those who were not yet sick.
They did not regulate chaos,
they introduced regulation before the emergence of chaos.

Applying treatment only after a disease has become manifest is that not equally late to as of start digging a well when one is already thirsty, or start forging swords when the enemy is already at the gates?"

Huang Di Nei Jing

Today they would say something like this about acupuncture hierarchy and prevention...

"Take your car regularly to oil change, it is a preventive measure. Do not drive your car forever without regular maintenance waiting for disaster to happen."

And the sages are right.

We should not only go to the doctor when we feel sick already. We should go for regular maintenance. Acupuncture is an excellent preventive measure for keeping ourselves healthy.

In my opinion everybody, from young adults to advanced age, even if they are asymptomatic, or especially when they are still asymptomatic, should receive an acupuncture treatment quarterly or at least twice a year.

prevention Acupuncture, along with a healthy lifestyle, (see my anti-aging, how never get sick, and weight loss rules), is the secret to true health.

true health By true health I mean healthy MIND connected with a healthy BODY, living a full life without fear and worries, aging smart, and kept always in balance to avoid all the diseases.

Premorbid States

The second level in acupuncture hierarchy is the sphere of vague symptoms, the “just not feeling good” type of minor things. As you are already probably very well aware of it, Western medicine is not very effective in handling “vague” complaints, although these early minor symptoms are frequently the preceding signs of more serious conditions manifesting later.

Not palpable or tangible complaints, anything that is not X rayable, not CT-able, not MRI-able, not detectable on blood tests do easily escape the attention of conventional medicine and these patients without objective findings easily become nuances to medical practices, receiving attached labels of elusive diagnoses.

On the other hand, these early symptoms of patterns of disharmony actually make perfect sense from an acupuncture point of view, and can be treated and balanced out at this early stage.

Physiologic changes, acute conditions, inflammatory disorders, results from hormonal overproduction or underproduction, do all respond very well to acupuncture.

Anything with “– itis” at the end, like sinusitis, rhinitis, gastritis, cystitis, colitis, et cetera, are all treatable with acupuncture.

Inflammation vs. Infection

An important caveat, though: inflammation and infection are not synonyms.

caveat Inflammatory processes should not be confused with serious, bacterial, viral, or fungal infections. Infections, and their more serious complications like septic cases should be treated with the appropriate antibiotics by western physicians.

Again, inflammatory diseases, like autoimmune inflammatory processes, for example rheumatoid arthritis, Crohn`s disease, ulcerative colitis, et cetera responds well for acupuncture, (not everybody knows this).

Whereas serious infections like pyelonephritis, endocarditis, pneumonia, peritonitis, appendicitis, cholecystitis, septicaemia, sepsis (this list is endless) requires the full capacity of supportive therapy, antibiotics, ICU technology, everything that our hight tech and advanced western medical science can offer.

One more time. Every infection triggers the body`s inflammatory response but obviously not every inflammatory process is an infection. It is important to emphasize this distinction in order to understand how and when acupuncture is appropriate and when is not.

Dense organ problems

The third level in acupuncture hierarchy.

In case of serious conditions and dense organ problems that are worked up and diagnosed by western medicine, acupuncture is still a very versatile and highly adaptable treatment modality adjustable to the patients` needs, complimenting allopathic medical and surgical interventions by synergizing healing effects, managing pain, or as a bare minimum, alleviating side effects of allopathic treatments.

Acupuncture Hierarchy Summary

I provided a list of indications of what responds very well to acupuncture as recommended by the American Academy of Medical Acupuncture and WHO.

In general, pain, minor injuries, neurological conditions (Scalp Acupuncture), facial rejuvenation, respiratory, gastrointestinal, urinary, gynecological problems respond very well to acupuncture.

Furthermore, the rehabilitation value of acupuncture is internationally recognized, especially in smoking cessation, weight loss, narcotic addicition, palliative care.

A final thought

Not every treatment modality works all the time for everybody, the same caution applies to acupuncture, also.

Nonetheless, it is still an extremely versatile treatment modality, applicable as a solo treatment or can complement allopathic therapies with a very high success rate.

The limitation lies only in the creativity of the practitioner, and the receptiveness and responsiveness of the patient.

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