Hey Laura, what are the basic terms of acupuncture?

Becky S writes:

Hey Laura,
I am currently undergoing treatment for all kinds of ailments using acupuncture. I am specifically interested in knowing about the terms that were used to describe me (hot and wet). What other terms might I hear during acupuncture?

I am being treated for pain, infertility, irritation (emotional), and digestive track issues. I have had 4 treatments in 4 weeks. I have had noticeable pain reduction (severe inflammation in my sacrum ) and almost no digestive problems (my doc wanted me to have a scope to check for Crones, but I haven’t had any flare ups in a long time). As for the infertility, my cycle is progressing quite well with noticeable improvement in cervical mucus and my temps actually look good. I’ve done some research online, but wanted to know what you know about acupuncture treatments and terms. :) What might I expect as i go further into treating infertility specifically?


Ooh! I’m very excited to hear about your success so far with acupuncture! I’m a big fan of acupuncture; it has always helped me immensely! That said, I am not very experienced with the treatment or the terms, so I’m going to give you some links to follow that I found helpful in researching your question.


Body “Climate” Terms
I found an excellent analogy of the hot/cold, wet/dry terms used by Traditional Chinese Medicine in this article on the useful-looking TCM Advisory website:

In Nature, extreme wind, dampness, dryness, heat, and cold wreak havoc in the world. These same forces can derange balance within the human body, weakening or obstructing the movement of Qi in the organs. As winds shake the trees of the forest, disassembling leaves and branches, internal Wind manifests as vertigo, unsteady movement, and trembling. As saturated earth generates swamps, so Dampness becomes phlegm and edema in the body. As aridity withers vegetation, so Dryness causes chapping or cracking of mucus membranes, Just as ice inhibits the rush of water in a stream, so internal Cold retards circulation and depresses metabolism. And just as fire scorches the earth, so internal Heat may inflame tissue.


Other Common Terms
Qi? Chi? Meridians? Liver? Spleen? What? This article on Acupuncture Terminology gives a layman’s overview of the basic acupuncture glossary.

The Basic Concepts of Chinese Medicine sections at Chinese Medicine Works has a very well done overview of the terms. It also has a whole list of Conditions Treated.


Acupuncture as a treatment for infertility
Acupuncture enjoys a fairly solid reputation in Western medicine as a treatment for infertility. Its benefits are still explained in very Western terms (“aids blood flow to the ovaries”), but at least it is being offered as an option to women looking for natural infertility help!

You might want to check your library to see if there is some good reading on acupuncture and infertility. While a lot of the same information can be found online, it can be overwhelming to discern what is quality information and what is not. A few notable titles (some targeting acupuncture more than others) are The Infertility Cure and What to Do When You Can’t Get Pregnant, Making Babies, and Taking Charge of Your Fertility.

 

Hey Laura, I think... Hey Laura, what are the basic terms of acupuncture?

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