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Introduction to Acupuncture


Acupuncture is one of the therapeutic techniques used in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), which has its own complete system of anatomy, physiology and diagnosis.

Acupuncture has probably been practised in China for some 3,500 years. The first medical textbook dates from about 400 BC. Acupuncture has been known to Western doctors since the 17th Century and was used extensively by physicians in this country in the early part of the 19th Century.

The first edition of renowned medical journal The Lancet in 1823 carried a detailed report of the use of acupuncture in the treatment of rheumatism, extolling the virtues of the technique.


Traditional Chinese culture viewed the human body as a balance between two opposing forces, yin and yang; yin represents placidity or water, while yang represents activity or fire. If yin and yang are deficient or in gross excess, that balance between them is distorted and disease results.

The Chinese concept of health can best be defined as a normal fluctuating balance between yin and yang; their system of diagnosis and therapy is designed to particularise the imbalance of yin and yang and correct it, thereby restoring the body to a state of health. 


Chinese acupuncture pioneers also developed a very sophisticated idea of physiology, and specific functions were defined for each of the 12 main organs, which are connected by corresponding channels, or meridians. This view of anatomy (acupuncture points and channels) and physiology, along with a detailed examination of the pulse and tongue, provides the basis for TCM.


In order to balance the patient's yin and yang, needles are inserted into the acupuncture points. The majority of these are located on the 12 channels running over the body, each representing an internal organ. Qi, or vital energy, flows through these channels. 

In disease, the flow of Qi is imbalanced. The insertion of an acupuncture needle into an appropriate point corrects the flow of vital energy, thereby restoring the body to health. 


Sun Hie Chinese Acupuncture and Healthy Living Centre, 249 Whitley Road, Whitley Bay, NE26 2SY. Telephone: 0191 252 6101

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