Acupuncture & Dry-point needling
Acupuncture is just one of many various systems of what is known as trigger point needling. In fact, one of the earliest medicinal discovered by Archaeologists was a bone-needle acupuncture like device, preserved in a European bog for thousands of years. ‘Trigger’ points are points that ‘trigger’ or activate biological reactions in the body oftentimes far away from where the trigger is located.
These ‘trigger’ points are observed to cause effect in other ‘zones’ of the body. There are many different ‘zone’ systems that have been observed clinically oftentimes with various doctors names - Fitzgerald who is the father of reflexology, Heads Zones, Travell’s muscular trigger points, Chapman’s, etc. . Over the years, these systems have identified a variety of ‘reflex’ sites that can treat apparently unrelated parts of the body. Many of these systems have identified locations similar to those in Chinese and other Asian systems of Medicine.
Let us look at how those ‘trigger points’ would be able to influence ‘zones’ of the body far away from their location.
Traditional Chinese Medicine describes a set of pathways on the body that are often translated into English as ‘Meridians’. Perhaps you have seen these ‘meridians’ on acupuncture charts as a series of lines connecting various points on the body. Those points represent acupuncture points and those ‘meridian’ lines are said to describe the flow of ‘Qi’, which roughly translates as ‘energy’, between those points.
A more complete translation into English would be that these ‘meridians’ describe the flow of nerve activity between acupuncture points. And that those acupuncture points are control points where that flow of nerve activity can be adjusted, increased, or decreased.
A simple analogy would be to think of the ‘meridian’ path of nerve energy in the body to be like a garden hose. If the hose is kinked, we have inadequate flow or if it has a hole the flow is reduced.
What does that flow of nerve energy have to do with health?
In Traditional Chinese Medicine the Qi directs and controls the flow of blood. Which is very much in line with the western scientific understanding of how the nervous system controls the movement of blood in the body. The heart is an organ that puts pressure in the circulatory system. The nervous system opens and closes valves and dilates and constricts the pipes. When a person blushes for example the heart is not increasing pressure to squeeze blood out of the cheeks. The local blood vessels dilate due to the nervous system. This same process happens through the body and in our organs and tissues all through the day.
Simply stated, acupuncture points are control points on the flows of nerve energy that control the distribution of blood to the various internal organs and tissues. Meridian flows are associated with different organs based on thousands of years of clinical observation as well as modern science that has validated, confirmed, and clarified those associations. If that ‘garden hose’ of flow is kinked, we want to unkink it, if it has holes that leak we want to reduce that leakage. This restoration and balance of the flow of nerve energy helps the body to heal.
The organs and tissues of the body needs a proper flow of blood and Qi (nerve energy) for proper function.The acupuncture points can also directly affect internal organ function activity – improving digestive enzyme secretion, improving hormonal output, reducing anxiety neurotransmitters, and more.The ability to influence organ and gland, nerve, and circulation is why there are so many applications for this technique and why it is frequently a part of the Bio-Thermal Therapy ® system of clinical treatment.