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Acupuncture is part of Traditional Chinese Medicine. It is an age-old method of treatment that, among other things, influences the Qi (life energy that flows through the body's energy channels, or meridians) through needles inserted in specific points, which activate the body's own healing powers.
In addition to the insertion of needles, acupuncture points can also be influenced by the burning of mugwort leaves close to the points, which will also directly influence the Qi.
Acupuncture treatments are preceded by an initial examination where, in addition to a detailed interview, the tongue and the pulse are analyzed. The assessment of symptoms and the establishment of treatment takes into consideration the Five Element theory, the Yin and Yang, and the states of of fullness and emptiness. Also important is an assessment of lifestyle and diet, and the possibility of internal and external disease-causing factors.
Ear acupuncture is a relatively young therapy, which was developed in the 1950s by French physician Paul Nogier and based upon traditional medicinal knowledge. Ear acupuncture uses the fact that the entire human body is “mapped” on the ear (somatotopy) and can be reached through it.
Points on the ear are stimulated by insertion of a needle, causing the nervous system to send out a signal which reaches the target area where it triggers self-healing.
Skull acupuncture is divided into two different methods: Chinese Scalp Acupuncture and Yamamoto New Scalp Acupuncture (YNSA).
Chinese scalp acupuncture was developed by neurosurgeons and is based on the human neuro-anatomy. Needles are inserted into points on the skull that correspond to specific brain areas. In some instances, the stimulus is increased by weak electrical stimulation. This allows the brain to “learn” how to perform certain tasks in healthy areas that can no longer be accomplished in other areas.
Yamamoto New Scalp Acupuncture was developed in the 1970s by Japanese physician Dr. Toshikatsu Yamamoto. He discovered that zones of the head directly represent areas of the body, a system known as somatotopes (see ear acupuncture). These zones display subtle changes when there are diseases or disorders in the corresponding areas of the body. A special neck and abdomen examination provides clues to the selection of points for the insertion of needles into the scalp.
Chinese Acupuncture employs the principles of energy balancing and is a regulation therapy.
Ear and Scalp Acupuncture employ the principles of Reflex Zone Therapy.
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