In an acupuncture treatment, the patient is treated with thin special needles, which are inserted into the skin in certain places. These acupuncture points lie along certain lines, called meridians (interconnections), which allow an association with specific organs. The choice of the points and the type of needles (their size and their weight) is the task of the therapist. In addition to an acupuncture treatment, which takes place in practice - usually lying down - even small needles with patches can be attached in such a way that they can be worn for a longer period of time (permanent needles).
Stimulation by electrical currents
In addition, it is possible to stimulate the acupuncture point by turning the needle or by electrical currents, beyond merely piercing the needle. After a slight initial puncture pain, after some time the patient feels a dull feeling of heaviness or warmth in the treated areas, sometimes a kind of electric tingling at the puncture sites.
Traditional or nonspecific acupuncture?
Stabbing and warming / burning, this is how the Chinese term zhen jiu can be translated into German. It probably stems from the fact that acupuncture was always performed together with moxibustion. But even with the exclusive "needles", the patient almost always feels heat after one of the acupuncture needles has been inserted. The initial slight pain usually disappears, the heat remains. In order to intensify the effect, doctors and alternative practitioners often heat, laser or sonicate the needles.
As a patient, one trusts that the therapist knows exactly where to place the needles. That still applies. But studies prove: It does not matter so much that is stung correctly at certain points, an effect is also evident in "random stinging".
- According to traditional Chinese acupuncture, the body is traversed by energy channels, the meridians. In it flows body Qi - a form of life force or arousal, often referred to as life energy. At several points, these meridians open through the skin, at the acupuncture points. By piercing with needles, the physician tries to influence the energy flow in the meridians and to compensate for an excess or lack of qi. 361 acupuncture points are known, but only about half are stung with needles.
- In non-specific acupuncture - also called minimal acupuncture or sham acupuncture - the needles are not pierced directly at the relevant therapy points into the skin. In the study of the Techniker Krankenkasse, classical and non-specific acupuncture were compared in a group of 900 patients. There were no differences in lumbar pain and migraine, both helped. The studies also provide similar results to ear acupuncture.
This special form of acupuncture is an independent method that uses needles, but assumes that different regions of the ear are assigned to specific body organs and ultimately the entire body is projected onto the auricle. Since the over 100 acupuncture points of the ear are very close to each other and are very sensitive, punctate piercing with extra-thin needles is necessary.
Numerous doctors and trained naturopaths apply the ear acupuncture. In its current form is just 40 years old and goes to the French doctor. P. Nogier back. But already in China were first in the 1st century BC. Around 20 acupuncture points on the auricle are mentioned. Hippocrates also knew individual reaction points on the auricle.
Ear acupuncture is usually more intense and faster than traditional acupuncture. They are used in acute illnesses and as pain therapy, as well as in addictions and emotional disorders. Internal and especially chronic diseases are harder to treat with ear acupuncture than with body acupuncture.