Three Styles of Acupuncture

Eight Principles Acupuncture

One of the most common styles of acupuncture is 8-Principles acupunture, which originated during the Qing dynasty around the year 1600 AD. Dr. Cheng Zhong Ling is noted as having synthesized previous thought and practice in Chinese Medicine into the idea of 8-Principles in the book Essential Comprehension of Medical Studies.

Eight Principles is the foundation for diagnosis in Traditional Chinese Medicine. These Eight Principles are Yin/Yang, Interior/Exterior, Hot/Cold, and Excess/Deficient. For diagnostic purposes these ideas contain all the information needed to identify and treat disharmony. Yin and Yang are the unifying aspects of the other six principles. Interior and exterior define the seriousness of the disease. Cold and heat relate to the nature of the disease. Excess and deficient are the strength or weakness of the illness. Each principle is associated with specific signs or symptoms. By matching your signs to them, it is possible to determine the depth, nature and strength of the disease. This approach allows me to identify the location and nature of the disharmony, and provide treatment through acupuncture, adjunct therapies such as cupping and moxibustion and herbal formulas. It is best used for treating internal illnesses and providing an overall diagnostic picture of one's health.

Although this is a valid and the most commonly used approach to treatment, it has its limitations. I have found that there are other styles of acupuncture which are more effective in treating conditions related to pain and emotionally-based complaints, such as depression, anxiety and stress.

Five Element Acupuncture

The ancient Chinese observed nature and saw that it was made of five elements: Fire, Earth, Metal, Water and Wood. These elements regulate the cycles of growth and change in the external world. Just as they govern the physical world, they also balance one’s physical, emotional and spiritual existence. Each of the Five Elements has its own unique nature and every person has a constitutional affinity to one or more of the elements, known as the “causative factor”. The symptoms one experiences has a direct correlation to their causative factor. For example, if someone has Wood as their causative factor, and their system is unbalanced, he/she is likely to experience headaches on the side of the head, neck and shoulder tension or pain, difficulty making decisions or excess irritability and anger.

Five element acupuncture is best used when the presenting problem is long-standing and it has negatively affected they way someone interacts with their surroundings. It focuses more on healing deeper emotional and spiritual disharmony rather than strictly on the physical complaints. Issues of depression, anxiety, being quick to anger and significant stress have been effectively treated using Five Element acupuncture. This holistic approach is also preventative in nature. Treatment integrating the body, mind and spirit enables you to begin to recognize imbalances and learn to balance them before you become ill.

Tan's Balance Method

Another style of acupuncture is the Balancing Method. Dr. Richard Tan brought this method to the US from Taiwan based on his long, family history of acupuncturists who successfully treated pain. The oldest belief in acupuncture is that to treat and heal pain, you locate the pain and then treat the affected meridian.

The major difference in this style of acupuncture is that the acupuncture points used are located away from the origin of the pain. For example, if you have elbow pain, then the treatment might involve acupuncture points on the knee. Or if you experience back pain, the acupuncture may be on the hand. This has the advantage of balancing the body without irritating the area where the pain is located.

The success rate using this method has been 90% pain relief! It has the benefit of quicker and longer-lasting pain relief.

Would you like to feel better now?

Bruce's training and expertise in each of these three styles of acupuncture allows him to have a unique and personal approach to each individual patient. Having a diverse set of skills and knowledge base allows him greater flexibility in providing treatment to his patients. One approach to treating all conditions is not necessarily the best one. It's like when all you have as a tool is a hammer, then all the problems appear to be nails. When you come to see Bruce, he will spend the time to identify the root cause of your concerns and select the most appropriate style of acupuncture that will support you to feel better the fastest.

About My Practice
My dedication to Chinese Medicine comes from experiencing my own healing process with the medicine. Treatment went to the root cause of my imbalances and I no longer use conventional medicines that treat only the symptoms and have an adverse effect on my life. Continue Reading...
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