In almost all big cities we come across many clinics which greet us with the sign “Acupuncture treatment for obesity”, “Obesity cured by acupuncture” and so on. The majority of the population in our country is gaining awareness of this ancient Chinese method of treatment with needles. For the past two decades, several orthodox medical practitioners have recognized the effectiveness of Acupuncture treatment in treating almost any type of disease which never yielded to the orthodox medicine. This system of medical practice has gained a prestigious place in the Alternative medical system after it underwent scientific scrutiny in the western countries until which time it was considered only as the ancient traditional practice of the Chinese.
What is acupuncture?
“Acu” means needles. Piercing the body in specific locations with fine needles, is the method of this treatment. Though from time immemorial, treating diseases with some sharp instruments or stones have prevailed, it was in China that Acupuncture took shape and later became one of the most famous form of medical practice.
There are around 300 and more acupuncture points in our body. These points are found along the so called meridians or channels. These channels correlate the internal organs like stomach, heart, kidney, liver etc. The points correspond to a particular organ to be treated. The practioner first finds out which of the organs are responsible for the problem to be treated and then selects the points. The points are then stimulated or toned up or sedated. An under active organ is stimulated, an overactive organ is sedated and a weak organ is tonified by inserting needles in those particular points of stimulation, sedation and tonification. Acupuncture points are found at various depth of a particular point, the length of the needles are used. After the insertion of the needles in such points, they are either rotated by hand to induce stimulation or are connected to a pulsating electro-stimulator.
Helps the body to cure itself
Acupuncture treatment is an adjunct to other natural treatment and not complete in curing diseases including obesity. It hastens the process of healing very effectively. But none of the practitioners of acupuncture will admit that acupuncture actually never cures any disease. But alters the body’s two complementary forces-positive and negative, mentioned as “Yang” and “Yin”-to bring about a balance in them so that the sufferer will emerge stronger after the treatment and will not need any drug to relieve his distress. In other words, acupuncture awakens or stimulates the dormant vital energy that gets stagnated or lowered and brings the equilibrium in the functions of the various organs in the body to a perfect balance. It can be said that acupuncture doesn’t cure but helps the body to be responsive and cure itself. It is the natural thing to happen to the human body.
For the insertion of needles, perfect knowledge about the anatomy, the principle and philosophy of acupuncture and accurate practical experience of the practitioner is extremely necessary in order not to damage the organs while inserting the needles.
The needles used in acupuncture, are very fine filiform needles that do not cause pain unless treated by a practitioner without proper knowledge, practical experience and skill. A little sensation of a pinprick is all that is felt while insertion. Once the needle is left on the site, it hardly attracts notice of the patient because it does not cause any pain. The Chinese system of acupuncture has an unique system of diagnosis by inspecting the acupuncture points. The pulse diagnosis that differs greatly from orthodox practice, deserves a mention in this place. Pulses varying in nature that corresponds to the 12 organs in the body are inspected by palpation and any deficiency or excess, is noted accurately. An experienced acupuncturist can efficiently diagnose this by the examination of pulse and decide about the selection of points to be treated in the body.
In the treatment of obesity, the points are selected in accordance with the cause for obesity. For instance, if the cause is overeating and eating for pleasure, then the acupuncture points corresponding to appetite stimulating centre and points that trigger cravings for tasty food which are deficient in nutritive value, are treated either by sedating or stimulating the particular points.
If the reason is the abnormal functioning of the endocrine glands, the acupuncture points pertaining to the specific glands are treated. In cases where obesity is associated with other problems affecting the vital organs like heart, kidney etc., the involved organs are paid attention to, before commencing the treatment for obesity.
There are persons who are extremely sensitive to needles and in the case of such persons, great caution is exercised. Some get their symptoms aggravated, while others’ response is extremely encouraging and perfect. So the acupuncturist is the best person to decide whether his treatment will help the person to reduce weight or not.
How it works
Acupuncture points are found all over the body, but in regular channels called meridians. The place where these points are situated, have lowered resistance of the vital force or bio-electrical or bio-magnetic force which assumes active flow with the stimulation with needles.
Acupuncture is fully effective only when the diet is also regularized, though a few kilograms will be lost initially without paying much attention to diet. The stimulation with the needles brings a balance between the deficient and excess functioning of the affected organs. So unless a proper diet is followed, the initial response does not continue.
If you wish to reduce with the help of acupuncture treatment, it is essential to seek an experienced acupuncture specialist. One advantage in this treatment is that one need do nothing himself during the treatment –that is, active participation in the treatment is not necessary during the treatment except relaxation. The specialist at some places may demand astronomical fees for each session of the treatment and for prolonged periods. This and the fear of needles may prevent many from undergoing this treatment for reducing. Such persons need not worry as another form of treating acupuncture points is available points is available through Finger Pressure. This form of treatment is known as Acupressure, which is described in the next chapter.