Essentials of acupuncture and moxibustion behind successful treatments

Prologue of Acupuncture and Moxibustion Clinical Experience Protocols

Fundamentals of acupuncture and moxibustion

Acupuncture and moxibustion are eastern Asian methods of healing. Acupuncture is the insertion of thin needles into specific points on the body to relieve pain and restore the balance of qi and blood. Moxibustion is the burning of herbs or herbs mixed with salt onto particular areas on the body to relieve pain and restore the balance of qi and blood. The two are essentially the same thing, with acupuncture being the injection of tiny amounts of stimulation from acupuncture needles into the body and moxibustion the use of heat to affect the body in the same way.

I translated the prologue of moxibustion and acupuncture book by Dr. Huh, an ancient Korean doctor in the 1600s. Here are the basics of acupuncture and moxibustion that produce successful treatments in clinical settings. He was a doctor that treated kings. His treatments using moxibustion and acupuncture were all based on Neijing. In the prologue, he also mentions how to reinforce and sedate acupuncture points using acupuncture and moxibustion. You will feel his mind as a practitioner as well.

Prologue of moxibustion book in ancient Korea


Neijing says, “The deficiency of qi underlies the intrusion of evil qi.” Why is this? People generally develop diseases since wei qi and ying qi cannot circulate in the body properly, which results from the penetration of wind, cold, heat, and dampness into channels and collaterals by taking advantage of deficiency or weakness in the body. The deficiency or weakness in the body arises from their failure to regulate their meals and overindulgence in sexual activity and alcoholic drinks. The treatment method only differentiates the part and regulates qi and blood by reinforcing the deficiency and reducing the excess with acupuncture and moxibustion.
When part of the body is observed, the abundance of blue represents pain and the abundance of black means wind bi. The plenty of white indicates cold, and yellow red is heat. Wind, dampness, cold, and heat are expressed as colors in our bodies. The abundance of cold shrinks sinews and causes pain in the bones. The abundance of heat relaxes sinews and causes weak bones. Aversion to cold and cold feelings in the body indicates cold. Despite an aversion to cold, it means heat when the body feels hot.

Besides, cold does not cause pain in the head, while heat does not cause pain in the abdomen. When pain moves around and changes frequently, it is wind. If the pain stays in one place and the skin becomes red and runs a fever, it is a sign of suppuration. When the skin becomes swollen without itching or pain, it is phlegm. If the head and eyes feel dizzy and dim, it indicates the combination of phlegm with the wind. When phlegm enters the heart orifice, the mind becomes misty, and speaking lacks coherence. Disharmony between the spleen and stomach leads to an inability to drink and eat. Wind strike hinders speaking. Coma due to phlegm obstruction involves headache and vomiting.

All pain, itching, and sores generally belong to the heart, and all wind and dizziness belong to the liver. Dampness and swelling belong to the spleen, and all coughing and wheezing belong to the lungs. All pain in the sinew and bone belongs to the kidney. All joints belong to the gallbladder. These are the general outline of Medicine, a shortcut to examining diseases, and the critical secrets I have used in my practice.

The veins never stop circulating and running in the body. Therefore, the meridian connects yin and yang and nourishes the body. It starts at middle jiao and runs towards hand taiyin and hand yangming, from hand yangming to foot yangming and foot taiyin, from foot taiyin to hand shaoyin and hand taiyang, from hand taiyang to foot taiyang and foot shaoyin, from foot shaoyin to hand jueyin and hand shaoyang, from hand shaoyang to foot shaoyang and foot jueyin, from foot jueyin back to hand taiyin. Qi constantly circulates twenty-five times in the daytime and twenty-five times at night, with the dawn as the starting point in consistence with loosoo and baekgak. Its circulation in the day and at night starts again where it ends, following the rule of Heaven. It circulates in sinews, bones, skins, and the tissue between the skin and the flesh, just as water runs in the valley. Water would not be able to run through if it were obstructed. When the obstacle is removed, water can run through. Examining the symptoms of the disease, responding to frequent changes, and removing impediments to circulation can be learned from King Yu, who opened the river and guided water out of it. This is how diseases can be defeated.
Neijing says, “Medicine is thought. If you are not flexible and do not know of changes, discussing diseases is impossible. When talking about conditions is not possible, how can we expect to treat diseases? Make sure to recognize it in your heart, perform it with your hands, and manage your thought with some changes. Following the meridian, treat yang when the disease is in the yin aspect, treat yin when the condition is in the yang aspect, treat the right side when the disease is in the left side, and treat the left side when the disease is in the right side. Acupuncture and moxibustion are sure to produce a good effect.

According to Neijing, the rule can be given to people, but the skill cannot. Speaking of yin and yang, the back is yang, and the front is yin. The outside is yang, and the inside is yin. Women, they are the opposite. The back is yin, and the front is yang. The exterior is yin, and the interior is yang.

When treating diseases, examine the jing-well, ying-spring, shu-stream, jing-river, and he-sea of the relevant meridian and front-mu, yuan-source, and influential points of the organs (zang and fu). After examining arterial pulses and prompting qi by rubbing and twisting, move the yang first and then the yin, and use the technique of reinforcing or reducing, which is an acupuncture needle directed towards the meridian or against the meridian. Then, effectiveness will follow as sound responds.

When five fen are inserted, the reinforcing method is to insert two fens, a moment later insert another two fens, and then another moment later insert one fen. Then pull out the acupuncture needle when the patient inhales, and close the hole immediately to protect the true qi.

When five fens are inserted, the reducing method is to insert five fens, a moment later pull out two fen, another moment later pull out another two fen, and then pull out the needle completely when the patient exhales, which will pull out evil qi. Putting the acupuncture needle against the meridian is the reducing method as well.

Moxibustion also has the rule of reinforcing and reducing. The reinforcing method is to wait for moxa fire to reach the skin and extinguish itself. The reducing method is extinguishing it before the moxa fire reaches the skin. The hand method has been clear enough since ancient times, but later generations need help understanding the idea. They rely more on measurements in locating points, and they do not know that arterial pulses respond to hands. They must select essential disease points and only needle a few meridians with thought. They end up letting the true qi leak out of the body without treating the root of the disease. This is what ancient people said, “how could you expect to catch a rabbit if you spread the net wide in the yard?”
I was not smart, and I worked at a clinic due to the diseases of my parents when I was young. I made great efforts and was able to open my eyes to medicine. The correct rule may not be passed down to others. I edited what I saw and heard and wrote the importance of examining diseases. I also discussed the transformation of diseases, clarified reinforcing and reducing techniques, and corrected the wrong point locations. I also wrote some miscellaneous things, recorded the essential points I had tried myself along with the suitable medicine for diseases, and combined them into one book. I dare not compare my book to the books of the ancient people, but I find it unbearable to throw away what I have learned with great difficulty in my whole life. People who read the book will add their ideas and help end suffering.

Huh, Im wrote.

We already know the basics of moxibustion and acupuncture, but we should keep them in mind anytime we treat patients. In clinical settings, it’s easy to forget the fundamentals of acupuncture and moxibustion. We prefer to use various acupuncture and moxibustion treatment techniques, but it all boils down to one thing: Neijing.