Merlin Young - gentle and effective acupuncture for everyone


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Here on this homepage, I thought it might be useful to put a little information about acupuncture, moxibustion, and their origins.

Many people know acupuncture to be a form of East Asian medical therapy using needles which are inserted into the skin.

Whilst this is true, to utilise its full potential acupuncturists also use a refined herb (commonly known as "moxa") which is smouldered either just over the skin or on the handles of the needles themselves.

In fact, the word which describes acupuncture therapy in Chinese is zhen jiu (which roughly translates as "needles and warming"). This is how closely moxibustion is associated with needle therapy across East Asia, and is why this website is called "Acupuncture-and-Moxa", in the spirit of the traditional therapy.

   (You can see here the compound ideogram, the upper character (zhen) representing a metal needle, and the lower one (jiu) something old or matured warmed by fire)

As a fully conceived combined therapy, acupuncture and moxa is around 2,000 years old. In fact, texts describing moxibustion were found amongst the oldest authenticated surviving collection of medical scrolls in China, predating acupuncture, so it is quite probable that the roots of needle therapy actually lie in moxibustion itself.

Since those early times, acupuncture and moxa has been used by literally millions of practitioners on countless millions of people, treating a huge variety of complaints. Indeed it may well be the world's oldest continuously practised holistic therapy.

Today, acupuncture is practised in many styles across the world, and in recent times, it has been embraced by many visionary physicians both in the East and in the West, and it continues to be creatively developed and investigated. Its actions and mechanisms are still not fully scientifically understood, but this has not detracted from its application in the modern age.

 " no more experimental as a mode of treatment than is the Chinese language as a mode of communication. What is experimental is not acupuncture, but Westerners' understanding of it and their ability to use it properly."                                                                            

US District Court of Southern Texas, July 1980.