Three acupuncture needles, China, 1970-1980
In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), acupuncture needles are inserted into certain points on the skin to unblock the flow through the body of a life force known as qi (chi), which practitioners of TCM believe to be essential to wellbeing. These needles can also be used in another TCM treatment known as moxibustion, which involves burning dried moxa plant (Artemisia vulgaris) directly on the head of an acupuncture needle. Moxibustion and acupuncture can be used together to unblock qi. These needles were made by China National Chemicals Import & Export Corporation in Shanghai, China.
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Glossary: acupuncture needle
a therapeutic technique used in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) in which acupuncture points are stimulated by the application of burning moxa. Moxa is prepared from the ground young leaves of plants of the genus Artemisia – particularly Artemisia vulgaris. Slow burning moxa can be applied directly to the skin or burned on the head of an acupuncture needle in a combination therapy.
A central therapy in Traditional Chinese Medicine, where fine needles are inserted into the skin at specific points. These points are believed by to lie on channels, or meridians, of energy flow, or qi (chi).
Glossary: Traditional Chinese Medicine
Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) is a medical tradition originating in China, but now used worldwide. Treatments include herbal medicine, massage and acupuncture, which are combined to create a therapy tailored to the patient.
A large group of plants. Many of the individual species have been used for medicinal purposes. Dried artemisia, known as moxa, is a key element in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). Recently, artemisia-based drugs have been used to treat malaria.