Acupuncture is the insertion of fine needles into acupuncture points. Acupuncture points are found along meridians. What are meridians – they are trajectories of fascia, muscle, bones, blood vessels, nerves and electrical impulses that traverse the body. There are different types of meridian networks described in the Chinese Medicine Classics.
There are the sinew channels – that are external channels that follow the fascial networks in the body, as described by Thomas Myers in his work “Anatomy Trains”.
Here is a brilliant video with interviews with prominent researchers in the field of fascia. Fascinating. The mysterious world under the skin.
There is another system called the Luo channels that relate to the blood – circulatory system in the body.
There are the primary channels that communicate between the interior and exterior aspects of the body. Points found along these trajectories can be used to affect either the internal organs or the external areas that they traverse. The primary channels are the most commonly taught channels currently globally and historically. In China man-scaled sculptures made from Bronze were used for memorisation of the points and for practising needling techniques dating back to the Song Dynasty (960–1279CE).
Here is a video with current Chinese Medicine students at Beijing University of Chinese Medicine learning these points located on the primary channels. The Bronze Man: The Marvellous Techniques of Acupuncture.
The extraordinary channels are the deepest channels of the body, they arise in the human body with conception with the first cell division laying the foundation of the Du (Governing) channel, then the Ren (conception) channel and with the next division into four cells creating the Dai Mai (girdle meridian). Below are a couple of images from the book Hara Diagnosis: Reflections on the Sea written by Kiiko Matsumoto and Stephen Birch on the research of Dr. Kuzome and Dr. Yoshio Manaka, depicting this.
Moxibustion – the burning of the herb Ai Ye – Artemisia Vulgaris around selected areas to produce heat, and warmth into the body, is often used in conjunction with Acupuncture. Or additionally a infra-red heat lamp may also be used.
Below I have listed some of the common musculoskeletal conditions that Acupuncture treats as indicated by the Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC):
The Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC) will cover costs for the treatment of accidents that have resulted in –
Tenosynovitis/Synovitis, Fracture of Metacarpal Bone, Fracture Phalanges of Hand, Dislocation/Subluxation of Finger/Thumb, Sprain Radial Collateral Ligament (Thumb), Sprain Thumb, Sprain Finger/Interphalangeal Joint,
Open Wound Hand/Open Wound Fingers/Open Wound Thumb, Open Wound Fingernail/Avulsion of Nail, Amputation Finger(s), Contusion Finger/Thumb/Fingernail (haematoma), Crush Injury Finger(s) (open/closed)/Thumb (closed)/Finger (open).
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, Flexor Tendon Rupture Hand/Wrist, Fracture Scaphoid (closed), Fracture Carpal Bone, Sprain Wrist/Hand, Sprain Tendon Wrist or Hand, Open Wound Wrist, Contusion Wrist/Hand, Crush Injury Wrist or Hand, Burns Hand(s)/Wrist.
Elbow and Forearm
Fracture of Proximal Radius/Ulna, Fracture of Shaft of Radius/Ulna, Fracture of Distal Radius/Ulna Sprain Elbow/Forearm, Open Wound Elbow/Forearm, Abrasion Lower Arm (no infection), Contusion Elbow/Forearm, Burns Arm
Rotator Cuff Syndrome, Tendonitis Upper Limb, Fracture Clavicle (closed non-displaced), Fracture Humerus (closed proximal), Dislocation/Subluxation Shoulder, Sprain Upper Arm/Shoulder, Sprain Acromio-Clavicular Ligament, Sprain Infraspinatus Tendon, Rotator Cuff Sprain, Sprain Shoulder Joint, Rupture of Supraspinatus of Biceps Tendon, Open Wound Shoulder/Upper Limb, Abrasion Upper Arm (no infection), Contusion Upper Limb, Contusion Upper Arm/Shoulder, Crush Injury Upper Arm.
Chest and Trunk
Fracture Rib (closed), Rib Sprain, Open Wound Head/Neck/Trunk, Abrasion Trunk, Contusion Trunk, Contusion Breast, Contusion Chest Wall, Trunk Burns.
Cervical Disc Prolapse Radiculopathy, Thoracic Disc Prolapse Radiculopathy, Lumbar Disc Prolapse Radiculopathy, Chronic/Recurrent Pain (cervical), Low Back Pain, Acute Pain – Lumbar, Lumbago, Sciatica, Sprain Sacroiliac Joints, Sprain Cervical Spine, Whiplash, Sprain Thoracic Spine, Sprain Lumbar Spine, Contusion Back, Crush Injury Back.
Hip and Thigh
Sprain Hip/Thigh, Contusion Hip and Thigh.
Knee and Lower Leg
Prepatellar Bursitis, Fracture Tibia/Fibula, Acute Meniscal Tear (medial), Acute Meniscal Tear (lateral), Sprain Quadriceps Tendon, Sprain Lateral Collateral Ligament Knee, Medial Collateral Ligament Knee, Sprain Cruciate Ligament Knee, Sprain Gastrocnemius, Open Wound Knee/Leg, Abrasion Leg/Knee, Contusion Knee and Lower Leg, Contusion Lower Limb (multiple sites), Burns Lower Limb.
Tendonitis Achilles, Fracture Ankle, Ankle Sprain, Achilles Tendon, Contusion Ankle and Foot.
Fracture Tarsal Bones/Metatarsals (closed), Fracture Phalanges of Foot, Sprain Metatarsophalangeal Joint/Interphalangeal Joint, Open Wound Foot/Toe(s) Contusion Toe, Crush Injury Foot (closed)
Post-Concussion Syndrome, Open Wound Ear, Open Wound Scalp/Forehead, Open Wound Nose/Cheek/Eyebrow/Lip/Jaw/Mouth, Open Wound Buttock/External Genitalia, Amputation at Shoulder/Hand/Elbow/Foot/Upper Leg/Lower Leg, Abrasion Face, Contusion Head/Neck, Contusion Genital Organs Burns Head/Neck, Toxic Reaction Bee Sting, Bite(dog), Bite(human).