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The technique involves the puncturing of the skin with needles to achieve therapeutic benefit and is based upon the belief that the human body is subject to disease when there are imbalances in the level of invisible life forces. and describe all the therapeutic procedures in use during this period . As a therapeutic technique, acupuncture was first described in the Shi-chi text in the year 90 B. The Ma-wang-tui texts describe 11 mo, or vessels, that were believed to contain in addition to blood a life force known as ch'i or pneuma . E., it was believed that there were 12 vessels, and that these were connected in a network.The needles are used to stimulate various points located over the body, and by this means the body's balance can be restored. These provide a picture of Chinese medicine as it existed during the third to second century B. There was no distinction made at this time between vessels on the basis of content, and no information was provided on how the blood and ch'i circulated in the vessels, which did not make up a connected system . In addition, a picture had developed of the ch'i flowing through vessels separate from blood [9-11].The needles are usually inserted and twirled and may be left in for short periods. The most important text of this time—the Huang-ti nei-ching—mentions 12 connected vessels with different courses to the 11 described earlier .The points chosen for stimulation depend upon the patient's symptoms, the season, the weather, and the result of taking the pulse at the wrist. These were called "conduits" (ching) or "conduit vessels" (ching-mo).There was also an element of the ancient belief in a particular form of magictthat like corresponds to like.
If the flow was not continuous (i.e., the vessels not connected), then each vessel would need to be palpated for its own pulse.Each body organ was thought to send its own ch'i through the body, giving rise to the belief that the state of each organ can be determined through proper evaluation of the pulse.