Mechanism Of Action
The Channel System
Our visible macrocosmic world (Yang) is organized by an invisible energy matrix system (Yin). The recently re-discovered, invisible, cosmic, universal, underlying organizing cosmic web puts the once ridiculed “etherist” phylosophists into a different light.
According to plasma-physicist Nobel Laurate Hans Alfen, our universe is filled with an invisible energy current filaments, capable to transfer information/energy/momentum over space faster than the speed of light. This is not only a theory, NASA actually photographed this “universal spider web” using special image satellites.
This organizing, signaling if you wish, energy channel field is not only consists of the universe (macrocosmos) but also the human body (microcosmos). Energy travels through the human body following these invisible filaments, believed to be the meridian system. Radioactive isotopes injected into acu point, the propagation of the isotope can be detected along the channels. The same phenomenon cannot be observed injecting into lymph, or capillaries.
Yet the Chinese, thousands of years ago, somehow detected this energy (QI) transfer signaling system throughout the human body and used it for healing, affecting physiology. Obviously, they were not aware of modern science so their descriptions of the healing mechanisms are esoteric, using metaphors acquired from nature.
Ancient physicians did not have the technology to examine the human body on a cellular, pathological or molecular level. Our high-tech, modern biophysical and biochemical research methods were not available to them so they compared everything to nature.
The Internal Medicine Classics from the Yellow Emperor explain the action of acupuncture that by inserting needles into certain points noxious external pathogens can be released from the body, similar to releasing excess steam from a locomotive. The body can return to a lower level balanced state.
They imagined Qi and the channel system as water flowing thru a stream and the reason of one getting sick was explained by blockages in the energy/water flow. (These blockages can be actually palpated by direct palpation, or diagnosed by pulse, or iris diagnosis, or seen on the tongue.)
So the earliest explanations of the action of acupuncture was that inserting needles into these blockages the flow of energy can be re-established, the organs will be re-nourished and the imbalances resolved. By the way, the organs they refer to, like heart, kidney, lung, et cetera, are not necessarily the same organs what we mean by it, and not necessarily the same functions, either. More functions, more sphere of influences, more esoteric attributes associated to each organ as opposed to our western pathophysiology based organ functions.
Well, our understanding how acupuncture works in our current biomedical framework is based on the signaling system.
The energy channels can be interpreted and explained as neural and peptide communication networks. Signals travel thru these communication networks. The most important of the signaling pathways obviously the nervous system, but others like serotonergic transmission, signaling peptides, neurotransmitters, and endorphins, activated and released upon needling the body, will set off a biochemical cascade.
Because of this “signaling” mechanism and release of internal opiates (endorphins) upon needling, understandably, one of the most researched, most published and best explained phenomenon in acupuncture is pain relief. That is why the general public and even professional health care providers still view acupuncture only as a complementary method for pain management. One of my goals by lecturing about acupuncture is to dissolve this misconception and reveal the real potentials of acupuncture.
The list of possible applications recommended by the American Academy of Medical Acupuncture, WHO and other authorities are summarized in the indications section of this website. Beyond those indications, as acupuncture treats the patient as a whole and the healing effect manifest on a more universal level, after resolving the patterns of imbalances and replenishing the nourishing and vitalizing flow of Qi and Blood, it can prevent, control, heal a long list of diseases, or it can “complement” current western allopathic treatments in more serious cases.
Overall we can conclude that achieving cure thru engaging the body`s energy by piquering points with acupuncture needles is real, acupuncture is effective, no matter if one believes in it or not, it even works on animals, (veterinary acupuncture is getting popular), so it is definitely not just an imaginary, autosuggestion, or placebo effect.
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