针刺术 Zhen Ci Shu

Piercing the body to alleviate symptoms of illness has occurred in some form in almost every human civilization around the world. The Chinese version came from a very different perspective from the west, focusing on the sensations generated by stimulating the nerves with very fine needles and minimising bleeding. When the possibilities this could offer became known to the west it attracted a lot of interest and debate in the possibilities of this age old practice.

The most common question asked is what it does and whether it can help a particular problem. The actual insertion of needles is known to have several effects: stimulating the nervous system releasing endorphins and oxytocin which reduce some types of pain, help protect against stress and produce feelings of revitalisation and well-being.

This can be used to enhance two traditional practices:

  • As an extension of massage: using a needle to target areas where pressure is inappropriate or not effective
  • As an extension of meditation: inducing a sense of relaxation and bringing our attention to certain points on our body
These effects can be used to give someone temporary relief from symptoms or enable a moment of reflection to help them find ways to change the patterns that are causing or exacerbating their condition.

Acupuncture usually includes moxibustion heat therapy to stimulate points in the combined term 针灸 (Zhen Jiu - Needle Moxa) and any other techniques that use tools to enhance traditional practices.