Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - February 17, 1972, Lethbridge, Alberta
8 _ THE LE1HBR1UGE HST.ALD TliuFiday, Fsbrunry 17, 1972 fe Lji to know about acupuncture ,10i: MA WriUT If anTOinc'iitre is good enough for Prince. Uernhanl of The NllherhrcK Premier Lou of Cambodia, Dolly- adur William llolden and New York Times col- umnist James lleston, is it good enough for you'.' Cut, on olher hand, if you consider thr.i .1 needle sl'.iL'k inio fool should iiT.rjrove the functioning one's liver incredible, you are not alone. whole That was unlil we saw the operation, whore the only anesthclic was needles." What, then, is acupunc- ture? Acupuncture consists of, as the diTivalirei of Ilic word ucus needle, piuiclure) implies, the inser- tion of fine needles into spe- cifically-indicated poinls of the skin; and an associated treatment called moxisbu- tlon, practised by placing lilllc burnable ccnes of the dried leaves of Artc-mosia vulgoris (wormwood) on ccr- "Just rubbish." said the Australian Nobel Prize win- ner Sir John Eceles. "Acu- puncture is a bit like ccunterirritaL'on, wilh some hypnotic effect on very sug- gestible people but with no therapeutic value of itself." Aldciix Huxley, the lale British author, knew some people v.ould reject the idea out ci unloiowiiig. He said: "It can't be believed be- cpu5e, in terms of currency accented pliysiofcgicr.I t'lc- ory 'it r.ot sense' The only trouble with tliis argument is that, as a matter of empirical fact, it doss happen "Two courses are open to us. We can either shut our to the queer, embar- rassing data in the hope (hat, if we don't lock at them, they will go away and leave us in peace. Or alternatively we can accept them." What do the doctors in Lc Lnbridire think about acu- puncture? "Acupuncture must have benefit for Ihe one doclor said. "There are many well-d ocumented cases, olBerved by people in the medical profession. If acupuncture did not work, it would not have survived through the centuries." Acupuncture dates back to prehistoric times in China. Then why all the excite- ment now? Certainly, it has som-sihing to do with the re- cent discoveries on the appli- cation of acupuncture by Chinese doclcrs, and the eye- witness reports by knowl- edgeable Western observers. Store importantly, now is the time when we can no longer pretend that things which exist do not exist, and hopefully, is the begin- ning c[ the end of the igr.or- ance of the West and the iso- lation of China. When I was in Hong Kong, 3 ran into Dr. Arthur W. Gals'on, a Yale University physiologist, Lr.d Dr. Ethan S'igner, a geneticist with the Massachusetts I n s t i tute of Technology, first two American scientists actually to witness an acupuncture operation in Peking. "Like c-.erycnc else in the Er. Signer said, "I was skeptical alKut the tain designated spots, which generally coincide with those for needling. The moxa smoke smells a litLle bit like marijuana. Allegedly discovered when soldiers wounded by arrows fcund other ailments teriously improving, acu- puncture had its first record- ed entry some years ago. The legendary Yellow Em- peror celled his chief physi- cian and said; "Tell me nil about Nature, the Tao, the lav.'s of acupuncture Acupuncture is one of the four traditional Chinese mrel- ics! sciences. The others are horbalism, message and ex- ercises and psychotherapy. hereas hcrbalism. p h y s- iothcrapy and psychotherapy have their counterparts ia Western medicine, acupunc- ture has no equivalent and is therefore at first glance re- garded as rather bizarre and highly-suspect. acupuncture needles themselves don't cure any- thing it is the effect which they produce on the body that Is important. When for instance you take quinine against a malarial attack, the effect of its chem- icals is to raise the body temperature. This creates a condition heat inside the body which is hostile to the malarial virus. Simulta- neously there occurs a stim- ulation of antibody produc- tion, and these two factors work together to defeat the disease. Acupuncture is just anoth- er way of producing body re- action and quite often it can be equal to or more effective than drugs. During the Chinese-Jap- anese War, drugs were in short supply. Acupuncture was used to treat more than soldiers for malaria and Chinese government docu- mentation shows an astound- ing recovery rate of 92 per cent. Moreover, it was found lhat those treated by acupunc- ture suffered no recurrent attacks, whereas those treat- ed by quinine drugs often carried the malarial virus for years and were subject to frequent recurrences. To try to understand acu- puncture, one must look at lip complex philosophy jciiiml H. Acupuncture is based on Ihi' scheme of the I Cliing, (pronounced Cliing) the ancient ''Book of Changes" in which man's physical and psychological nature is seen in harmony wilh the uni- verse. "The Yin and the Yajig are contained within the Tao, the bane principle of the entire universe. They create all matter and its transmuta- tions. The Tao is the begin- ning and the end; life and death; anrl it is found within the Temples of the Gods. If you wish to cure disease, you must find this basic cause." The above words are from "Sc Wen Nei a fa- mous Chinese classic on acu- puncture. Yin corresponds to moon, cold, female, darkness, weak- ness, wet, parasympathetic nervous system, west and north, autumn and winter, louver, interior, water, moist, retiring, negative. Yang c o r r e s p o n d s to sun, warmth, male, light, strength, dry, sympathetic nervous system, east and south, spring and summer, upper, oxteri-ir, fire, feverish, parched, advancing, acute, positive. The list of tilings which are Yin or Yang is endless. The human body has 12 meridJaES, and Ihey are, too, divided into Yin or Yang: SOLID ORGANS (YIN) Heart Lunys Liver Spleen Kidney Circulatinn-tez HUM.OW flKGANS (YANG) intestine inico'.ine Gall bladder Stomach Bladder Triple-warmer Nervous system and energy There are 365 meridian points, according to fhe classical school. In addition, there is a number of. non- meridian points, and new poinls constantly come to be. known. Today, there are close to known acupuncture points. The aim of acupuncture is to break do'.vn the blockage and rcstere the free flow of Chi, man's energy or life force, through the meridians. This is achieved by inserting needles beneath the skin, into the acupuncture points which relate to the affected organs. The insertion of needles is painless; but when the point is reached, a slight prick or numbness may be felt. Often the sensation of a small electric charge zings through flic body. The medicinal smoke from moxisbulion is to help stim- ulate the flow of Chi. Acu- puncture may consist of nee dling alone, moxisbution alone, or both, depending on individual cases. Mostly it is the acute case which needs both acupuncture needles and moxisbution. The traditional diagnosis is made by feeling the patient's pulse. In a male the pulse is taken in tlie left arm first. In a female it is taken in the right arm first. The 23 mcst commonly-used pulse qualities, both for the Chi- nese Fa (Five Ways) and the. Japanese Pa Fa (Eight Ways) are: Floating, deep, slow, rapid, -WATER UWK6 METAL HEART TKIfLE IVAffMCR BALANCE OF FORCES Chinese medical chart show- ing aeupunctural points and meridians en the body. ,---------------CREATES, seoAres LAW OF THE FIVE ELEMENTS slippery, rough, empty, full, long, short, overflowing, min- ute, tight, slowed-down, hol- low, wiry, leather, hard, weak-floating, weak, scatter- ed, fine, buried, momg, hearty, knelled, inLernuLlent and hurried. Generally speaking, if the pulse beats more than 70 times a minute, Ihe affliction is regarded Yang in charac- ter; less than 70, Yin in ohar- fictcr. There are also the four Laws of acupuncture, name- ly, the Law of the Five Ele- ments, the Law of Mother- Son, the Law of Husband- Wife, and the Law of Mid- day-Midnight. LAW OF THE FIVE ELEMENTS The Chinese subdivide things into five categories: Wood, Fire, Earth, Metal and Water, which form a mutual- ly creative and destructive and endlessly-roving cycle. The Cycle of Creation is: W'ood burns lo create Fire; leaves behind ashes mines Metal: heated, becomes molten, like Water; is necessary for the growth of plants The Cycle of Destruction: destroys Fire by extinguishing it; destroys Metal by Melting it; destroys Wood by cutting it; destroys Earth by covering and breaking inlo il; destroys Water by containing it (a LAW OF MOTIIER-SON "If a meridian is empty, tonify its mother. If it is full, disperse the child." Yixue As Chi (life energy) flows through the meridians in a certain order, the preceding organ receives the energy first and gives it onto the organ lliat follows In the case of ex- cess or deficiency of one In two such related organs, il is ofton preferable lo give treatment via the "molhr.r'' of the affected meridian, rather than directly. Exam- ples: Tonificallon of the kidney produces Tonificalion of Ihe liver and Sedation of the large intes- tine produces Scdnlion of the bladder LAW OF HUSBAND-WIFE The "husband" (left wrist) Is said to dominate the "wife" (right while the "w i f c'J is said to con- tribute stability and solidar- The pulccs the left should slightly stronger than those on the right, "Weak strong then there is destruc- tion Strong 'weak then there is se- curity." LAW OF MIDDAY-MIDNIGHT This is basically a 24-hour timetable showing the Times of Maximum Energy. The meridian of the Heart, ins'.ance, is strongest at mid- but weakest at mid- night. The Chinese conceived t.be entire universe as activated by the Yin and the Yang. Matter and energy, Yin and Yang, heaven and onilh. are essentially one, or as two co- existent poles of one indivis- ible whole. Applying this lo animal life, it follows that every or- ganism, from the simplest cell to the most highly-devel- oped state of man, also hives and dies on the same pat- tern. And since neither Yin or Yang can be conceived cf as having an independent func- tioning either within its own physiological unit or in rela- tion lo what is exterior to if, il is an inseparable part of one unceasing interplay movement and vibration. Nothing is static. Life is a ceaseless process of becom- ing and decaying, indivisible and timeless. John Ilcrsey, in his Iwok noted signs of improvement after a blast victim was treated with acu- puncture. Could acupuncture, the art of needling cure or help ease displacements by radioactivity? Kimply put, the Chinese be- lieve if the forces of Yin and Yang do not balance, a slate of physiological illness unbalanced internal pres- Insertion of acupuncture needles can help lo restore balance-, and health, by elimination (if Ihe meridians im iilvwl. let us try lo explain the reasoning iwhind acu- puncture in a more scientific way Some excerpts from a recent study by Kim Iton Urn, professor- of physiology nl I'yonsyang University, North Korea: points: the acupuncture1 points consist o[ groups of small ovaj cells, surrounded by many blood capillaries. These structures are below the epidermis (out- er layer of skin) and are clearly distinguislmbic from, adjacent tissues the slruclual meridians, as Ihe acupunc- ture points, are in the inner layers of skin. They consist of clusters of microscopic tu- bular cells. properties of acupuncture poinls: Ih3re is a lower resistance to passage of electricity through the skin at acupuncture points than at any other point on the skin. Many Western doctors ar- gue that acupuncture is only successful in those ailments that are psychosomatic in na- ture. However, the Chinese use acupuncture on animals, loo. Dr. 'Bernard Straus, profes- sor of medicine at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine, said he thought that ''some Chinese physicians have been self-educated, brain- washed by their own phi- losophies and propaganda." IjOt us put it this way. An understanding of the philos- ophy behind acupuncture and belief in its effectiveness certainly hc'ps an acupunc- aurist. But this is not only true in the case of ths acu- puncturist; it is also true for practitioners of any branch of medicine. Moreover, acupuncturp works best on patients who have faith in il. Again, this not only applies to patients of acupuncture, but also to all patients treated by all meth- ods. Felix Mann, Ihe Oxford- nuthn.- of "Acupuncture: the Ancient Chinese Ail of Dealing'1 c-aiJ in il.s preface: "I think this book fulfills a need, for acupuncture can cure or alleviate many dis- eases in which orthodox medicine is powerless." Mr. Marm, also the author of "The Treatment of Dis- ease of Acupuncture" added that mcst of his acupuncture patients had tried Western medicine before. When we look at acupunc- ture, we must lake info tc- counl the elements of his- tory. In the past, foreigners re- turned from China with little k n o w 1 edge of acupuncture and some Chinese acupunc- turists were working mainly for profit and exploited their ignorant patients who had no other doctors to turn to. Until the fall of colonial- ism, most Western people be- lieved that the poor and backward countries had nothing lo offer but their cheap labor, raw materials and market. Naturally acu- puncture, which still has an air of mystery, was consider- ed meaningless. While it is still possible to- day for Chinese to be train- ed as acupiincturisls the tra- ditional way, without a suffi- cient understanding of mod- ern medicine, the correct ap- proach is for doctors already trained scientifically to learn flC'iipiuiclurc. A c u p u n c lure has been proven effective on mosl of the diseases known today, from headache lo impotence, from high blood pressure lo paralysis. A list of diseases that can be treated with acu- pnnclure can be found in Mr. Mann's books, copies of which arc available at the. Unibersity of Lcthbridge li- brary. The new discoveries in China are the use of acu- puncture needles as Ihe sole anesthetic in major opera- tions, including open-heart, gynecological, gastreclomy, maryngeotomy, lung, brain and denial surgery, and the application of acupuncture to cure deafness caused by cer- tain childhood diseases. More than 400.COO opera- tions employ i n g aeupunc- tural anesthesia have been performed in China and, ac- cording to the New China News Agency, the rale of success is above 80 per cent. If the Chinese have made a breakthrough, there is a ray of hope for the deaf ev- erywhere. The Chinese are convinced that they have found a cure, and have set up deaf-mute schools all over the country. They warn, however, that the is still in the ex- perimental stage, Urat acu- puncture only works in cases where the deafness was caused by certain diseases occurring in early childhood, and that the long-range re- sults are still unknown. After the ftrunding of the People's Republic cf China, Mao Tse-liing ordered the de- velopment of acupuncture Lo make up for Qu'ra's lack uf Westcrn-lrainrd doctors. Acupuncture alii hss the definite advantage of eco- nomy, for only needles and moxi cones are required. It flso takes the Chinese less time to train a acupunc- turist. Of course, there is no rea- son why countries like Can- ada should train acupunc- turists the way the Chinese do. Acupuncture should be a specialized, graduate course. Aiioiher thing is the spiri- tual power Mao Tse-tung's thought gives to Ihe Cliinese doctors. Mass indoctrination has convinced many Chinese that it is an honor to do any- thing for the country, and the acupuncturists take daring experiments on their own person, inserting needles to hitherto untouched poinls. Wilh the development of medical science and the in- creasing use of electricity in physiotherapy, acupuncture, loo, is becoming more so- phisticated and scientific in approach. E 1 e c I r i cal acupundure equipment is already on Ihe market and, according to Yim Kwan Hang, principal of the Chinese Acupuncture Institute in Hong Kong, more such equipment will be used by acupuncturists. In his clinic, there Is a life- size bronze stalue, the fa- mous Acupuncture Man de- veloped in China many ccn- luries ago. The Acupuncture Man shows all 3G5 poinls ac- cepted by lha classical school and is a slandard reference. It is only recently that Narth America is beginning to realize that acupuncture has also made use of the ad- v: nces i'.i technology. An- cient teachings are now be- ing explored in France, Rus- sia, Japan and China, using the most sophisticated elec- tronic equipment. More than 10 years ago It was found that the skin con- tained several pathways of decreased electrical resis- tance, and that those coin- cided exactly with those con- nective links described in an- cient medicine. There are now several electrical machines which can pinpoint precisely the poinls of acupuncture in fact, one such machine was a prize Russian exhibit at Expo 07 in Montreal, but most people did not know what they were baking at. While acupuncture can work where orthodox med- icine fails, Ihe Chinese are also aware that acupuncture is not a cure-all. Nor is it ne- cessary or pcssiblc or wise. Western medicine should continue as the mainstay, while acupuncture can com- plement it. This is why doctors trained in both Western medicine and acupuncture arc using ncupunctiiie as main treat- ment auxiliary tre-tment, or in combination with western mcdiciiw. A Chinese team of acu- puncturists recently loured Canada to explain the art of needing; the North Ameri- can College of Acupuncture (NACA) was established eight montlis ago in Vancou- ver; the University of West- em Ontario in London, Out., is doing a study on acupunc- ture. "There are now approxi- mately 200 acupuncturists, including 20 M.D 's, in Can- ada and the United Mntcs." norjcr Langrick, KACA administrator. "In Alberla, there are acu- puncturists in Calgary." So Canada, like other coun- tries in Ihe West, is learning acupuncture. 11 may be years before acupuncture is fully recognized, but it has begun. For doctors, new horizons remain to be discovered. "The need for good acu- puncturists in North America is overwhelming, Approxi- mately are needed im- mediately for ?Tlhrilic pa- tients Mr. Langrick said. Readers interested In the fundamcnlals of acupuncture may, in addition to consult- ing Mr. Mann's book at Ihe University library, write NACA at 4306 Fraser St., Vancouver ]0, for a booklet introducing acupuncture.