Acupuncture

The Master’s in Science of Oriental Medicine (MSOM) degree is a 3-year full-time degree studying different aspects of the ancient art of Chinese Medicine. The study includes the vast world of Chinese herbs, acupuncture, Qi gong, Chinese philosophy, food therapies and some Chinese language. Chinese medicine has been used for thousands of years for healing.

The term “acupuncture” describes a family of procedures involving the stimulation of anatomical points on the body using a variety of techniques. The acupuncture technique that has been most often studied scientifically involves penetrating the skin with thin, solid, metallic needles that are manipulated by the hands or by electrical stimulation.

Practiced in China and other Asian countries for thousands of years, acupuncture is one of the key components of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM). In TCM, the body is seen as a delicate balance of two opposing and inseparable forces: yin and yang.  The concept of two opposing yet complementary forces described in traditional Chinese medicine.  Yin represents the cold, slow, or passive principle, while yang represents the hot, excited, or active principle.

A major theory is that health is achieved through balancing yin and yang and disease is caused by an imbalance leading to a blockage in the flow of qi.

According to TCM, health is achieved by maintaining  the body in a “balanced state”; disease is due to an internal imbalance of yin and yang. This imbalance leads to blockage in the flow of qi.  In traditional Chinese medicine, the vital energy or life force proposed to regulate a person’s spiritual, emotional, mental, and physical health and to be influenced by the opposing forces of yin and yang. (vital energy) along pathways known as meridians.

Qi can be unblocked, according to TCM, by using acupuncture at certain points on the body that connect with these meridians. Sources vary on the number of meridians, with numbers ranging from 14 to 20. One commonly cited source describes meridians as 14 main channels “connecting the body in a weblike interconnecting matrix” of at least 2,000 acupuncture points.

Acupuncture became better known in the United States in 1971, when New York Times reporter James Reston wrote about how doctors in China used needles to ease his pain after surgery. American practices of acupuncture incorporate medical traditions from China, Japan, Korea, and other countries.