The term herbal acupuncture is very inaccurate because there is actually no such thing as herbal acupuncture. Instead acupuncture and herbal remedies are major components of Traditional Chinese Medicine.
Historically, Chinese doctors used both acupuncture and a wide variety of herbal remedies to treat diseases and other physical conditions. In many cases the herbs and acupuncture were used simultaneously much as many modern doctors use acupuncture in conjunction with modern medical treatment.
Traditional Chinese medical practitioners and man acupuncturists also use herbs as part of their practice. The herbs are not part of acupuncture they are applied in conjunction wit the acupuncture. Unfortunately some practitioners will confuse their clients by advertising herbal acupuncture or applying acupuncture herbs.
A wide variety of herbs are used in Chinese medicine and often applied in acupuncture. These herbs are applied in a variety of ways depending on the practitioner’s preferences.
Traditionally the herbs were usually boiled into teas or applied through very traditional methods. Today, many herbs are administered in the form of tablets and natural supplements. These can be sold or administered by practitioners as “herbal acupuncture” or acupuncture herbs.
Acupuncture does require the use of herbs because it involves the use of needles or massage on pressure points to relieve energy in the human body. The energy or Qi is believed to be of a mystical or neurological nature and may not be affected by herbs.
Medical Acupuncture and Herbs
Practitioners of modern or medical acupuncture maybe more likely to engage in herbal acupuncture. The belief behind medical acupuncture is that applying pressure to various parts of the body can affect the nervous system. The application of pressure affects the nervous system by causing the release of chemicals in the body that affect it.
It is possible that taking herbal supplements known to affect the nervous system could have an effect on the body similar to acupuncture. This could help relieve tension or pain in much the same that drugs like aspirin do.
Such use of herbs would not be traditional acupuncture because it would not involve the release of the Qi. It would however, be within the scope of medical acupuncture.
Uses of Herbal Acupuncture
The use of herbal acupuncture in lieu of traditional acupuncture would be an excellent means of those who are scared of needles or worried about being exposed to contaminated blood from acupuncture needles.
It would also be easier and safer for a person to apply herbal methods at home than use to needles or other devices. Some practitioners of medical acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine may prescribe the use of herbal remedies in lieu of acupuncture.
In recent years a number of natural supplements including some that have been used in Traditional Medicine have been revealed to have real medicinal value. Some herbs actually relieve pain or have antibiotic properties that kill germs. Others may actually stimulate the body or cause sexual arousal.
Much as traditional acupuncture with needles is now an accepted part of modern medicine. Traditional Chinese herbal medicine in the guise of herbal acupuncture could become a widespread medical practice in the future.
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