Introduction to Acupuncture

For thousands of years, the Chinese and other Eastern peoples have been using acupuncture to restore, promote and maintain good health. To the Chinese today, it is as much the norm to see an acupuncturist or doctor of traditional Chinese medicine as it is for us to visit our own doctors of Western medicine. They will expect to be asked questions about their health, have their tongue examined, their pulses taken at the wrist and, after due consideration from the doctor, to be treated by the insertion of fine needles at specific points of the body.

For most Westerners considering acupuncture for the first time, however, such an experience raises may questions. What can an acupuncturist determine from an examination of the tongue? What can he/she tell from the pulse? Why are the needles put in a particular place? What do the needles do? How can it work? Will it hurt?

This cannot be answered easily, however, because acupuncture, its philosophy and its practice is a large and complex subject, which has a 2,000 year-old written history. Without this unique perspective, acupuncture cannot be understood and cannot be effectively used for treatment. It is rooted in the Daoist philosophy of change and growth, balance and harmony, and some familiarity with these concepts is essential for understanding.

The Self-Healing Body