n. /ak"yoo pungk'cheuhr/; v. /ak"yoo pungk'cheuhr, ak'yoo pungk"-/, n., v., acupunctured, acupuncturing.n.1. a Chinese medical practice or procedure that treats illness or provides local anesthesia by the insertion of needles at specified sites of the body.v.t.2. to perform acupuncture on.
* * *Medical technique in which needles are inserted into the skin and underlying tissues, devised in China before 2500 BC.One or more small metal needles are inserted at precise points along 12 meridians (pathways) in the body, through which the vital life force (qi) is believed to flow, in order to restore yin-yang balance and treat disease caused by yin-yang imbalance. Acupuncture appears to relieve pain and is used as an anesthetic for surgery. Theories to explain its effects include stimulation of release of natural opiates, blockage of pain-signal transmission, and a placebo effect. See also acupressure.
* * *▪ medicineancient Chinese medical technique for relieving pain, curing disease, and improving general health. It was devised before 2500 BC in China and by the late 20th century was used in many other areas of the world. Acupuncture consists of the insertion of one or several small metal needles into the skin and underlying tissues at precise points on the body.Acupuncture grew out of ancient Chinese philosophy's dualistic cosmic theory of the yin and the yang (yinyang). The yin, the female principle, is passive and dark and is represented by the earth; the yang, the male principle, is active and light and is represented by the heavens. The forces of yin and yang act in the human body as they do throughout the natural universe as a whole. Disease or physical disharmony is caused by an imbalance or undue preponderance of these two forces in the body, and the goal of Chinese medicine is to bring the yin and the yang back into balance with each other, thus restoring the person to health.An imbalance of yin and yang results in an obstruction of the vital life force, or ch'i (qi), in the body. The fundamental energy of the ch'i flows through 12 meridians, or pathways, in the body, each in turn associated with a major visceral organ (liver, kidney, etc.) and with a functional body system. Acupuncture is designed to affect the distribution of yin and yang in these channels so that the ch'i will be enabled to flow freely and harmoniously.The actual practice of acupuncture consists of inserting needles (needle) into any of hundreds of points located over the 12 basic meridians and over a number of specialized meridians. The needles used may be slightly arrowheaded or may have extremely fine points. The typical insertion is 3 to 10 mm (0.1 to 0.4 inch) in depth; some procedures call for insertions up to almost 25 cm (10 inches). Once inserted, a needle may be twisted, twirled, or connected to a low-voltage alternating current for the duration of its use. The physician frequently inserts needles at a considerable distance from the point on which they are to act; for example, a needle inserted into the pad of the thumb is expected to produce analgesia in the abdomen. Similarly, successive points on a specific meridian may affect widely different areas or conditions; e.g., the first six points of the yin lung meridian deal primarily with swollen joints, excessive heat in joints, bleeding of the nose, heart pains, mental depression, and inability to stretch the arms above the head. The location of the points is mastered by the use of innumerable diagrams and models.Acupuncture appears somehow to be effective in relieving pain and is routinely used in China as an anesthetic during surgery. Western visitors have witnessed ambitious (and ordinarily painful) surgical operations carried out on fully conscious Chinese patients locally anesthetized only by acupuncture.Several theories have been advanced to explain acupuncture's effectiveness in this regard. There is speculation that the needle insertions stimulate the body's production of such natural opiates (painkilling chemicals) as endorphins or enkephalins. Others have posited that the minor stimulation of acupuncture selectively acts on impulse transmission to the central nervous system, thus closing certain neurological “gates” and blocking the transmission of pain impulses from other parts of the body. Some Western observers studying the method have suggested that acupuncture analgesia is plainly a placebo analgesia—which does not, however, detract from its effectiveness. Chinese assertions that acupuncture can actually cure disease defy rational clinical practice and have yet to be substantiated by Western medical researchers.
* * *
Look at other dictionaries:
Acupuncture — Intervention Needles being inserted into a patient s skin. ICD 10 PCS 8E0H30Z … Wikipedia
ACUPUNCTURE — Toutes les civilisations se sont efforcées de combattre la douleur. Le procédé le plus déconcertant est sans doute l’acupuncture, utilisée en Chine depuis plusieurs millénaires. Reposant sur des bases théoriques traditionnelles très complexes, sa … Encyclopédie Universelle
Acupuncture — Ac u*punc ture, v. t. To treat with acupuncture. [1913 Webster] … The Collaborative International Dictionary of English
Acupuncture — Ac u*punc ture, n. [L. acus needle + punctura a pricking, fr. pungere to prick: cf. F. acuponcture.] Pricking with a needle; a needle prick. Specifically (Med.): The insertion of needles into the living tissues for remedial purposes. [1913… … The Collaborative International Dictionary of English
acupuncture — (n.) 1680s, pricking with a needle to ease pain, from L. acus needle (see ACUITY (Cf. acuity)) + PUNCTURE (Cf. puncture). The verb is first recorded 1972 … Etymology dictionary
acupuncture — ► NOUN ▪ a system of complementary medicine in which fine needles are inserted in the skin at specific points along supposed lines of energy. DERIVATIVES acupuncturist noun. ORIGIN from Latin acu with a needle + PUNCTURE(Cf. ↑puncture) … English terms dictionary
acupuncture — [ak′yo͞o puŋk΄chər, ak′yəpuŋk΄chər] n. [< L acus, needle (see ACEROSE1) + PUNCTURE] the ancient practice, esp. as carried on by the Chinese, of piercing parts of the body with needles in seeking to treat disease or relieve pain acupuncturist n … English World dictionary
Acupuncture — L’acupuncture et la moxibustion de la médecine traditionnelle chinoise * … Wikipédia en Français
Acupuncture — The practice of inserting needles into the body to reduce pain or induce anesthesia. More broadly, acupuncture is a family of procedures involving the stimulation of anatomical locations on or in the skin by a variety of techniques. There are a… … Medical dictionary
acupuncture — noun … OF ACUPUNCTURE ▪ course ▪ I was recommended a course of acupuncture. VERB + ACUPUNCTURE ▪ have ▪ I m having acupuncture for a bad back. ▪ … Collocations dictionary