What is Acupuncture?

Contributed by Physician Lim Lee Huang
Acupuncture is an alternative medicine methodology originating in ancient China that treats patients by manipulating thin, solid needles that insert into acupuncture points in the skin. According to Traditional Chinese medicine, stimulating these points can correct imbalances in the flow of ‘Qi’ through channels known as meridians so as to achieve the therapeutic effect.[1]
WHO and the recognitions of Acupuncture
Acupuncture has been used throughout the world, particularly since the 1970s. Over its 2500 years of development in the ancient China, a wealth of experience has accumulated in the practice of acupuncture, attesting to the wide range of diseases and conditions that can be effectively treated with this approach.
In recognition of the increasing worldwide interest in the subject, the World Health Organization (WHO) conducted a symposium on acupuncture in June 1979 in Beijing, China. Physicians practicing acupuncture in different countries were invited to identify the conditions that might benefit from this therapy. The participants drew up a list of suitable diseases [2] (refer to annex 1).
Generally, acupuncture is safe when administer by well-trained practitioners using one-time disposable sterile needles and carries a very low risk of serious adverse effects.
Eyes Acupuncture (眼针疗法) - A stroke hemiplegia alternative therapy
Eyes Acupuncture is one of the newly developed micro-system acupuncture therapies, in which specific points located around the eyes were needled for therapeutic purpose [3]. Found by Professor Peng Jing Shan (彭静山教授), China, 1974. In 1987, were evaluated, appraised and awarded recognitions by the National identification, China. These acupuncture techniques were employ to diagnose and treat pain and deceases that may have caused by the dysfunctional of the Zang-Fu (viscera and bowels), meridian imbalances and stagnation of qi and blood [4].
The eyes acupuncture technique is similar with the body acupuncture technique and both are able to treat different types of indications. However, the eyes acupuncture is much simpler to operate and is distinguish by its prompt efficacy. This is especially notable for stroke patient with body movement disorder, the technique involves with acupunctures on eyes while the patient is receiving its physiotherapy concurrently (动气疗法). The eyes acupuncture is also commonly employ in treating acute pain such as the biliary-colic, lumbago, sprain and others deceases [4].
[1] Wikipedia - Acupuncture
[2] Acupuncture: Review and Analysis of Reports on Controlled Clinical Trials (2003; 87 pages)
[3] WHO International Standard Terminologies on Traditional Medicine in the Western Pacific Region (2001; 236 pages)
[4] 中华眼针,田维柱谝著,中国中医药出版社,2011.8
Annex 1[2]
Diseases and disorders that can be treated with acupuncture
Diseases, symptoms or conditions for which acupuncture has been proved-through controlled trials-to be an effective treatment:
Adverse reactions to radiotherapy and/or chemotherapy
Allergic rhinitis (including hay fever)
Biliary colic
Depression (including depressive neurosis and depression following stroke)
Dysentery, acute bacillary
Dysmenorrhoea, primary
Epigastralgia, acute (in peptic ulcer, acute and chronic gastritis, and gastrospasm)
Facial pain (including craniomandibular disorders)
Hypertension, essential
Hypotension, primary
Induction of labour
Knee pain
Low back pain
Malposition of fetus, correction of
Morning sickness
Nausea and vomiting
Neck pain
Pain in dentistry (including dental pain and temporomandibular dysfunction)
Periarthritis of shoulder
Postoperative pain
Renal colic
Rheumatoid arthritis
Tennis elbow