ACUPUNCTURE AND TRADITIONAL CHINESE MEDICINE
Acupuncture is an ancient healing method that has it's roots in ancient China.For at least 2000 years it is used as a therapeutic method ,but the first written document that describes a system of diagnosis and treatment recognized as acupuncture is The Yellow Emperor's Classic of Internal Medicine, which dates back to the first century.
The method consists of placing special, very fine needles into specific points of the human body(into the skin at different depths)in order to treat various diseases.Over the centuries acupuncture has undergone many modifications and improvements.
Today is among the methods of alternative or complementary medicine and is recognized by the World Health Organization .At 2010 UNESCO included acupuncture in the list of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.
CLASSIC WESTERN MEDICINE AND ACUPUNCTURE
Acupuncture became widely known in the West after the political changes of the 1970s,when a general interest was created for this strange therapeutic method.
About the same time started the first research for understanding the physiological mechanisms of acupuncture.
The most important elements of these studies where, The gate control theory of pain(Melzack and Wall 1965),the discovery of the "endorphins",now called endogenous opioid peptides (Hughes et al 1975)which play an important role in analgesia as natural pain killers,and studies that showed that acupuncture releases "endorphins"(Han and Terenius 1982).Since then there have been many studies that associated acupuncture with the function of the nervous system and more specifically with the stimulation of the free ending nerves and the release of vasoactive neuropeptides and endogenous opioid peptides which play important role in local healing and pain relief .
The diagnosis and the approach of the patient according to the Western Medical Acupuncture is based on our current knowledge of the structure and function of the human body according the classic western medicine.
Acupuncture is NOT panacea.Not every medical condition is treatable ,nor every patient.The acupuncturist MUST know when they can apply acupuncture or not.