In the ancient Chinese texts that both the Chinese and Japanese use as the basis for acupuncture, there is the directive to needle until qi is felt. Interestingly, there is no pronoun as to who is to feel the qi: the practitioner or the patient.
The Chinese have interpreted this text to have the patient feel the qi, and is why the practitioner may manipulate the needle asking the patient to let her or him know when a sensation is felt: a pulling, heaviness, tingling, ache, whatever the sensation may be (qi is felt differently at different points, and differently by different people.) The Japanese have interpreted so that the practitioner feels the qi, which has led to different styles of technique.
In general, Japanese needles tend to be inserted much more shallowly and the patient may not feel them at all. The practitioners develop strong sensitivities in their fingertips, feeling for subtle energy. In fact, a tradition of blind acupuncturists has grown in Japan, where their fingers are so sensitive they often don't even insert the needles into the skin to feel the qi, and changes in the body's energy. An entire style of Japanese acupuncture, Toyahari, has grown from this style.
We are able to see is that as long as the acupuncture point is stimulated with intention, change can be affected in the body. Inserting needles may not be necessary to affect this change. In fact, moxibustion, or burning an herb over specific points, is also enough to cause desired effects in the body.
Laser acupuncture, or stimulating points with lasers, has also proven to be a successful way to affect change and treat disease and conditions. In Germany, a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trial showed that laser acupuncture was extremely effective in treating children with headaches and migraines. There have been many other studies, too, exploring the use of laser acupuncture on children and adults with all sorts of conditions, including carpal tunnel disease, paralysis after stroke, pain relief and headaches. Laser acupuncture is also useful and effective for treating pets, especially animals like birds and cats, who will not stay still for needles (dogs usually love the needles, and relax right away.)
After taking a pet acupuncture class, we bought a laser used for these acupuncture treatments, and we use it at the Birch Center today. We use it mostly for young children who are afraid to have needles. Severe fear of needles can be counter-productive to treatments, if fear is strong enough it can cause qi to become scattered. We have also used it on adult clients who are afraid of needles (though every single one of those people have gotten over their needle-phobia once they saw the needles and have gone on to needle treatments), people with chronic fatigue and fibromyalgia where needles seemed too fatiguing.
Laser treatments take less time than regular acupuncture treatments., The points are stimulated but obviously no needles are left in while the client relaxes on the table, which is common for regular treatments. After the intake, pulse and tongue examination, the acupuncture points are stimulated with the laser (which the patient does not feel at all), Depending on the reason for the treatment and client, adjunct treatments such as moxa or cupping may be employed just as in a regular acupuncture treatment.
If you have further questions, please call us today: (412) 381-0116.
~ Melissa and Dave
Please sign up
for our monthly newsletter! We have raw recipes, information about
Acupuncture and Chinese medicine, and overall wellness information.
Want Free Shipping on Vitamix Blenders and Excalibur Dehydrators? Check out our recommendation page to find out how! (You will be taken to our sister site, Food Under Foot, but in a new window.)
Read these articles by Melissa Sokulski, L.Ac. in Natural News for more information: