Describing Acupuncture as a body science, Dr Prabhu says “the entire body consists of a circuit which controls all organs. There is a flow of energy around 14 meridians in the body and an imbalance in the Yin and Yang causes the ailment. More often than not, other forms of medicine treat the symptom and not the root cause of the problem”
“But in Acupuncture, the focus is on finding the root cause and hence the Relief is permanent in nature and not a temporary relief from a symptom,” adds Dr Prabhu. A direct fall out of a permanent cure is that cost involved in cure of an ailment is drastically reduced because there chances of recurring problems are reduced. “The cost of acupuncture depending on the ailment can range from as less as 60% to 70% of other forms of medicine,” says Dr Prabhu.
An important aspect of acupuncture is that there are no side effects, but there are a lot of side benefits. There is no risk of damage, but there is a high probability of cure. Acupuncture also restores the balance in the body and activates the immune system. Generally minor problems like common cold can be cured in 2 to 3 sittings if treated immediately, others in earlier stage can be healed within 10 days and the more chronic cases which comes at later stages takes 10 to 20 days to show improvement and 6 to 8 courses of 10 sittings each to get total relief. “The rate of cure depends on how early the patient reaches to me,” says Dr Prabhu.
He says Pulse diagnosis is main where one must study 12 pulses with quality and type of pulse like floating pulse etc. and then tongue diagnoses, eye diagnosis, ear diagnosis, history taking etc makes the diagnosis perfect. Diagnosis is very difficult but once you know which main organ or tissue is affecting other, causing the problem then one can treat root cause.
According to Dr Prabhu a wide range of ailments can be cured through acupuncture. To list a few Spondylosis, paralysis, arthritis, slip-disc, sciatica, backache, knee pain, frozen shoulder, tennis elbow, heel pain, asthma, sinusitis, migraine, vertigo, tinnitus, loss of sleep, gastritis, hyperacidity, chronic dysentery, impotence, menstrual(menses) disorders, hair fall, dandruff, pimples and other chronic disorders come under the purview of acupuncture.
In Chinese ‘acus’ means needle and puncture is to prick. The science of acupuncture believe that there are 14 channels in the human body through which energy or chi in Chinese, which is equivalent of pran in Ayurveda flows ceaselessly. This energy has positive and negative constituents called Yin and Yang. In a healthy person the two constituents are balanced. Any imbalance due to deficiency causes an ailment. This ailment is corrected by regulating the flow of energy with the help of needles bringing about harmony in the functioning of the different organs of the body, thus curing the patient.Acupuncture is an art of healing by inserting very fine needles into the body to stimulate specific anatomic points in the body (called acupoints) for therapeutic purposes. Along with the usual method of puncturing the skin with the fine needles, the practitioners also use heat, pressure, friction, suction, or impulses of electromagnetic energy to stimulate the points. The acupoints are stimulated to balance the movement of energy (qi) in the body to restore health.
Acupuncture involves stimulating. In the past 40 years acupuncture has become a well-known, reasonably available treatment in developed and developing countries. Acupuncture is used to regulate or correct the flow of qi to restore health.
To really understand how acupuncture works, it is necessary to become familiar with the basics of Chinese philosophy. The philosophies of the Dao or Tao, yin and yang, the eight principles, the three treasures and the five elements are all fundamental to traditional Chinese acupuncture and its specific role in helping to maintain good health and a person’s well-being.
Dao is often described as “the path” or “the way of life.” Just as its counterpart in ancient India, Ayurveda, The laws of the Dao advocate moderation, living in harmony with nature and striving for balance. Ancient Chinese believed that moderation in all areas of life is essential to a long and fruitful life. We are “fueled” by three treasures: Qi or Chi (pronounced chee), Shen, and Jing. Chi is energy or vital substance, Shen is the spirit, and Jing is our essence. Qi is both the life force (or vital substance) and the organizing principle flowing through all things and establishing their interconnectedness. Chinese believe that every living thing (both human and non-human) has qi. In the body, qi is found in the heart and lungs in circulating blood and oxygen. Shen is the treasure that gives brightness to life and is responsible for consciousness and mental abilities. Sometimes it is compared to soul. Within the individual shen is manifested in personality, thought, sensory perception, and the awareness of self. Jing is responsible for growth, development and reproduction. Jing represents a person’s potential for development. (comparable to western concept of genetical inheritance). Chinese believed that everyone is born with a finite amount of Jing. As we go through life, we lose or consume our Jing little by little. Once we lose Jing, it cannot be replaced. It is gone for ever. We lose Jing if we live a wrong or careless living. But Jing can be preserved if we live in moderation. Acupuncture can reduce the loss of Jing.
According to the philosophy of Dao, the role of the acupuncturist is to restore your health and enable you to live a little closer to the Dao, thus preserving your Jing and living to a ripe old age. A number of factors can contribute to the depletion of Jing. Living a life of excess, drinking too much, excessive emotional reactions, working too hard, inappropriate sexual behavior, etc. all were believed to result in the depletion of Jing. Balance in all things was considered the key to good health and long life.
In order to increase their understanding of the Dao, the Chinese developed two concepts that together form the basis of Chinese thought: yin and yang and the more detailed system of the five elements.
The idea of harmony and balance are also the basis of yin and yang. The principle that each person is governed by the opposing, but complementary forces of yin and yang, is central to all Chinese thought. It is believed to affect everything in the universe, including ourselves.
Traditionally, yin is dark, passive, feminine, cold and negative; yang is light, active, male, warm and positive. Another simpler way of looking at yin and yang is that there are two sides to everything – happy and sad, tired and energetic, cold and hot. Yin and yang are the opposites that make the whole. They cannot exist without each other and nothing is ever completely one or the other. There are varying degrees of each within everything and everybody. The tai chi symbol, shown above, illustrates how they flow into each other with a little yin always within yang and a little yang always within yin. In the world, sun and fire are yang, while earth and water are yin. Life is possible only because of the interplay between these forces. All of these forces are required for the life to exist.
The yin and yang is like a candle. Yin represents the wax in the candle. The flame represents the yang. Yin (wax) nourishes and supports the yang (flame). Flame needs the wax for its existence. Yang consumes yin and, in the process, burns brightly. When the wax (yin) is gone, the flame is gone too. Ying is also gone at that time. So, one can see how yin and yang depend on each other for their existence. You cannot have one without the other.
The body, mind and emotions are all subject to the influences of yin and yang. When the two opposing forces are in balance we feel good, but if one force dominates the other, it brings about an imbalance that can result in ill health.
One can compare the concept of yin and yang to the corresponding principle of tridoshas in Ayurveda, the ancient remedy from India. Ayurveda proposes that every person has vata, pitta and kapha. When these are balanced, there is the state of perfect health. When there are imbalances then there is disease.
One of the main aims of the acupuncturist is to maintain a balance of yin and yang within the whole person to prevent illness occurring and to restore existing health. Acupuncture is a yang therapy because it moves from the exterior to the interior. Herbal and nutritional therapies, on the other hand, are yin therapies, as they move from the interior throughout the body. Many of the major organs of the body are classified as yin-yang pairs that exchange healthy and unhealthy influences.
Yin and yang are also part of the eight principles of traditional Chinese medicine. The other six are: cold and heat, internal and external, deficiency and excess. These principles allow the practitioner to use yin and yang more precisely in order to bring more detail into his diagnosis.