Chinese Acupuncture techniques are the basic techniques that must be mastered in acupuncture treatment. In a broad sense, they refer to all the methods of acupuncture, while in a narrower sense, they refer to a series of techniques such as entering, moving and exiting needles. In the narrower sense, it refers to a series of techniques such as needle entry, needle movement and needle exit.
In Chinese acupuncture, moxibustion methods are generally divided into two categories: moxibustion and non-moxibustion methods. The moxibustion method includes moxa cone moxibustion, moxa stick moxibustion, warm needle moxibustion and moxibustion with a warming device. The non-moxibustion method refers to lamp-fire moxibustion and sky moxibustion.
Acupuncture and moxibustion are used to stimulate the body’s meridians and acupuncture points to promote and unblock the meridians and qi and blood, adjust and balance the yin and yang of the internal organs, so as to achieve the purpose of preventing and treating diseases. Acupuncture treatment is based on the principle of “helping the righteous to dispel the evil”, where “righteousness” refers to the body’s regulatory, defensive and adaptive functions, and “evil” refers to all unfavourable factors that hinder the body’s normal development and lead to illness. Therefore, treatment is based on the principle of acupuncture, which is to “help the righteous and dispel the evil”, together with the harmonisation of yin and yang and the unblocking of meridians.
The principles of acupuncture treatment are based on the use of the four diagnoses (looking, smelling, asking and cutting) to collect clinical information about the disease, and then, through the comprehensive analysis of the eight principles and meridians, to determine the nature of the disease, whether it is Yang or Yin, cold or heat, deficiency or actuality; and to identify the location of the disease, whether it is in the surface or in the interior, in the organs or in the bowels, and in which meridians and meridians. Based on the results, the treatment can then be discussed and the corresponding treatment method, acupuncture prescription, either acupuncture or moxibustion, the technique of acupuncture, moxibustion, either tonic or diarrhoea, etc., can be formulated. The principles of acupuncture and moxibustion are “treating the symptoms and the root cause”, “tonifying the deficient and dipping the actual”, “clearing heat and warming cold” and “regulating the method”.
In acupuncture, there is a theory of treatment based on the identification of symptoms, which consists of a set of related symptoms that reveal the cause, location, and situation of the disease in different degrees. The treatment is based on the results of the diagnosis, and the corresponding treatment method is applied. Chinese medicine practitioners talk about treatment only after the evidence has been identified. When acupuncture is used, it includes the five aspects of theory, method, meridian, acupuncture point and technique, in order to unblock the meridians and regulate the qi and blood, thus balancing yin and yang, harmonising the internal organs and filling up the qi and blood.
The apparatus, which began with acupuncture stones, has evolved over thousands of years to the stainless steel needles that are now more commonly used in clinical practice.
The culture of acupuncture and moxibustion has a history of several thousand years, and many famous acupuncturists and writings have emerged, such as Fuxi Shennong and Xuan Yuan Huangdi in the ancient times; Bian Magpie and Cang Gong in the Spring and Autumn and Warring States; Hua Tuo, Cao Xi and Lu Guang in the Qin and Han dynasties; Huang Fu Qui, Ge Hong, Bao Gu and Wang Shuhe in the Wei, Jin and North and South Dynasties; Huang Can and Yang Jizhou in the Ming and Qing dynasties. The most representative of the works related to acupuncture is the Yellow Emperor’s Classic of Internal Medicine.
At present, the World Health Organization has published 64 dominant diseases treated by acupuncture, and Chinese scholars have summarized more than six hundred indications for acupuncture therapy. It is estimated that there are more than 100,000 acupuncturists worldwide, with the World Federation of Acupuncture Societies having more than 70,000 members in 46 countries.
Through a large number of clinical and experimental studies, the academic thinking of modern acupuncture has become increasingly systematic and mature. The characteristics of its academic foundation are summarized as follows: i. The nature of meridians and their biophysical properties have been studied on a large scale by means of modern technology, which has involved electricity, light, heat, sound, magnetism, nuclear and many other aspects. Secondly, the latest advances in modern medicine have been used to understand and explore the principles and laws of acupuncture and moxibustion needling, which have penetrated into the fields of electrophysiology, neurochemistry, endocrinology, immunology and so on. This move has also strongly promoted the integration of Chinese and Western medicine as a whole. Third, in terms of acupuncture apparatus, the emergence of laser, microwave, ultrasonic and other stimulation therapies in the 1970s as the representative, indicating the combination and development of modern technology and ancient acupuncture therapy, it has become a modern acupuncture apparatus. Fourth, the new clinical development of acupuncture and anesthesia and research to promote the improvement of the theory of acupuncture and anesthesia, and the improvement of the theory in turn guides the clinical practice of acupuncture and anesthesia. The mutual promotion of the two, also for the modern acupuncture system summary and in-depth development of the foundation. Fifth, acupuncture and moxibustion acupuncture and anesthesia have entered the modern world of medical profession. The ****** “acupuncture fever” reflects the fact that Chinese acupuncture has become an important part of contemporary human health care and medical care.
At present, it can be said that acupuncture knowledge and acupuncture treatments have spread to all corners of the world, and have gradually taken root in the treatment of injuries and illnesses of people from all over the world. However, this does not mean that modern society has truly accepted the theory and framework of traditional acupuncture. In fact, not only are foreigners confused, but contemporary Chinese themselves are often confused about concepts such as ‘yin and yang’, ‘qi and blood’ and ‘deficiency and reality’. Many Western doctors, having studied Chinese acupuncture, have used theories of neurology or reflexology to guide the clinical application of acupuncture. This situation is tantamount to applying the knowledge of modern (new) Chinese acupuncture. For example, when Dr Yuan Qilun was on an acupuncture exchange in Russia and Ukraine in 1993, he saw acupuncturists there studying with copies of the Russian edition of New Acupuncture, written by Zhu Chain in the early 1950s, which shows the profound influence it had. For example, there are few books on traditional acupuncture published in English (or Chinese-English) and few books on modern acupuncture published in Chinese, while there are many books on acupuncture in English compiled by foreign scholars, most of which are a mixture of traditional and modern content. Apart from the problem of translation itself, the main reason for this is the lack of attention paid by academics to the promotion and popularisation of modern and contemporary acupuncture. As a result, China will not only lose the overseas academic market for modern acupuncture, but will also affect the image and development of Chinese medicine and acupuncture.
In addition, the old ways of Chinese medicine and acupuncture have already had a clear negative social impact. As we all know, in the process of legislating Chinese medicine in the UK, the British officials have on the one hand attempted to classify Chinese medicine and acupuncture within the scope of herbal medicine and not give it the status of independent legislation; on the other hand, they have made the so-called Western medicine and acupuncture independent and excluded from Chinese medicine. Although TCM was introduced into the West, it was defined in their official documents as a “therapy not based on scientific evidence but associated with a religion or philosophy” and was therefore classified as alternative or complementary medicine. Such a situation is not uncommon in Europe and America. This makes it difficult for Chinese medicine to enter the mainstream medical system of the world today, and the sense of urgency of the Chinese people in the face of the worldwide development of modern medicine will be further increased. The Chinese medicine and acupuncture practitioners abroad are anxious to see their country’s medicine modernise and keep up with the times.
In the face of the objective reality that acupuncture and moxibustion medicine is at a low ebb in China, it should be a period of time when there is generally a lack of succession. It is therefore imperative that, while consolidating the position of traditional acupuncture and moxibustion, the modernisation of acupuncture and moxibustion should be stepped up to take advantage of the situation. In this way, Chinese acupuncture will not lag behind the world’s scientific and technological level; and in this way, Chinese acupuncture will still be able to lead the world’s acupuncture trend by innovating acupuncture academically and strategically. However, it is regrettable that many decision-makers in the Chinese acupuncture community are conservative in their thinking, lacking in innovative vitality, confined to a few small circles of laboratories, and not yet mobilizing the masses to activate academia, so that Chinese acupuncture is currently in a predicament where it cannot be stretched nor can it be bent.
In fact, we believe that the great achievements of acupuncture and moxibustion medicine at home and abroad should be attributed mainly to the substantial role played by the scientific core of acupuncture and moxibustion. This is due to the fact that acupuncture has been effective in treating all kinds of diseases, especially those that are difficult to treat in Western medicine, and that it is non-toxic, has no side effects, and is simple and inexpensive. This scientific core was already experienced by the ancients more than 2,000 years ago, but has not yet been made clear or fully understood by the present generation due to the limitations of technology. This is what the Ling Shu says: “Use micro-needles to pass through their meridians, regulate their blood and qi, and camp the meeting of their reversals and movements”. In modern terms, this means that stimulating the meridians with acupuncture activates the body’s regulatory and immune capabilities. This means that no matter which theory or coat of clothing is used, as long as this scientific core is applied consciously or unconsciously, then the therapeutic effects of acupuncture will be produced. Of course, those who apply it consciously are more effective, and this is the experience of acupuncture connoisseurs. This profound understanding should be a result of the modernization of acupuncture.
On the question of how to modernize acupuncture, the current more open view is that “experimentation is the basis for the establishment of modern acupuncture”. However, the path of modernizing acupuncture and moxibustion is also contested by a hundred schools of thought. In summary, there are several directions or ideas that deserve attention.
1) The idea of discriminatory treatment
This is to bring into play the essence of traditional medicine, combining it with modern technology and raising it to a philosophical level. For example, there is already experimental information that meridians are the self-control system of the whole body, in which the concepts of positive and negative feedback are very much in line with the spirit of discernment. Through the meridian control system, closed-loop regulation is achieved, so that the stimulation of acupuncture points to the production of therapeutic effects is achieved in a very logical and philosophical process. This is not only helpful in understanding the nature of meridians, but also in improving the efficacy of acupuncture. This way of thinking, when combined with the current development of evidence-based medicine in Western medicine, provides an academic basis for creating the development of a new ****** medicine. Professor Mei Wanfang reported on his latest research progress in this area at the recent ****** Medical Summit in Shanghai.
2) Ideas in bioelectricity
Experiments have demonstrated that nerve conduction is bioelectrical conduction, so there are more researchers studying acupuncture modernisation from this aspect. For example, our London School of Chinese Medicine is a great advocate of scientific research in energy medicine and has developed the Amity range of electro-acupuncture, TENS and laser acupuncture instruments. It is now believed that meridians are the pathways of electricity in the body, so electro-acupuncture or electrode stimulation can produce good therapeutic effects; it is also believed that Qi in the body is a collection of electrically charged colloidal particles, thus allowing an essential understanding of meridian sensory transmission and Qi Gong. Due to the energy of electricity, as well as the massive clinical application of electromagnetic waves and even lasers, modern energy Chinese medicine and even photonic Chinese medicine have come into being.
3) The idea of holographic medicine
With the study of biological holographic phenomena, it is a good idea to apply its results to meridians and acupuncture. One of the most popular topics is auricular acupuncture, which is a very effective treatment. The inverted fetal auricular chart proposed by Dr P. Nogier in France in the 1950s quickly became popular worldwide, and the addition of meridians in China has made it popular to this day. However, Nogier was pragmatic enough to propose two more diagrams, the orthogonal and the transverse, to supplement and modify them, indicating the lack of specificity of the fetal ear diagram. Dr Yuan Qilun’s innovative brain-type auricular chart in 1996 solved this problem better, and it is more beneficial to understand the holographic idea in this way.
(4) The neurological approach
Given that the neurological theory has matured in theory and medical practice, many scholars have studied acupuncture and Chinese medicine from this perspective. For example, some of the more influential ones include: the theory that meridians are related to the peripheral nervous system, the theory that meridians are related to the central nervous function, the theory that the body is connected to the visceral vegetative system, the theory of neurohumoral regulation, and so on. This line of thought provides a more rational understanding of the role and effects of meridians and acupuncture in healing and is therefore generally accepted. Although most Western acupuncturists prefer to emphasize neuroscience, the neurological theory is not harmonious and equivalent to the meridian theory. In particular, the attacking team of meridian research in China also started from the position of neurological doctrine, and for many years remained without breakthrough results. This line of thought, which is basically limited to the content of recent acupuncture, seems to be in need of adjustment.
(5) The essence of meridian thinking
To inherit the essence of tradition, one must first inherit the developmental thinking of ancient medical practitioners, something that many researchers have failed to recognize. We have perceived the idea of the essence of meridians in the relationship between the ancient Yellow Emperor’s Classic of Internal Medicine and the development of Chinese medicine, acupuncture and moxibustion, pulse science and qigong. Through the essential inheritance of the traditional essence of the research direction, specifically from the ancient “blood and qi flow”, “meridian points – internal organs related” and other basic exposition, especially the “Ying in the veins, Wei outside the veins In particular, we have explored the important ideas of “Ying is in the veins, Wei is outside the veins” and “Stabbing Ying causes bleeding, while stabbing Wei causes Qi to come out”, so that we have found a known structure that is both in line with the ancient treatises and has a realistic material basis. This is the “vascular and neurological theory” of the nature of meridians and the “systemic regulation theory” of the acupuncture and moxibustion mechanism – in which the meridian system in essence has long been This is the “vascular and sympathetic nerve complex” that we have proposed.
We believe that the concept of modern acupuncture, based on its formation and research characteristics, should be a new generation of acupuncture based on modern scientific and technological knowledge to organize and guide the theory, laws and clinical practice of acupuncture. This is fundamentally different from the modernisation of traditional acupuncture based on ancient acupuncture theory and clinical framework. Modern acupuncture has a high starting point, is scientific and contemporary, and is even distinctive in its academic aspects. If we talk about the relationship with traditional acupuncture, we can say that it is achieved with traditional acupuncture as the soul and modern medicine as the form.
It should be said that to conclude modern acupuncture, it is necessary to build on the experimental acupuncture that has accumulated a great deal of scientific data in the past. However, there are still various views and schools of thought on how to summarise modern acupuncture. For example, Liu Zhixian’s in Guizhou summarizes modern acupuncture from the perspective of anatomy and physiology; Liu Zongli’s in Shandong understands modern acupuncture from the perspective of biological holography; Wang Wenyuan’s in Beijing explains modern acupuncture from the perspective of balanced medicine; Yuan Qilun’s in Chongqing elaborates modern acupuncture from the perspective of the nature of meridian science. At present, it can be said that Yuan’s modern acupuncture is the most systematic and comprehensive, based on traditional acupuncture and supported by experimental acupuncture materials. Not only is it supported by three modern acupuncture monographs of one million words, but it has also created and applied new concepts and approaches in both academic theory and clinical application, and is thus scientific, novel, systematic and practical. This latest achievement has received strong support from renowned experts such as Academician Chen Keji, Professor Wang Dai and Professor Liu Jo Zhou, as well as enthusiastic welcome from doctors and patients in China and abroad, and has been reviewed as “a new model for the scientific system of acupuncture”, and was even listed as two national continuing education programmes by the State Administration of Traditional Chinese Medicine in 2003.