If you Google “True Acupuncture” you will no doubt get responses for “sham acupuncture vs. true acupuncture,” however, that is not the “True Acupuncture” we speak of, but rather a lower level of acupuncture. George Soulié de Morant first described “True Acupuncture” in his book Chinese Acupuncture when he described the three levels of acupuncture:
“There are many kinds of acupuncture. One is simplistic and primitive. It consists of puncturing the place of pain without considering any other knowledge. Except for conditions of recent, acute pain, such treatment gives only partial, short-term relief.
Another method, somewhat better, uses points in memorized formulae. Problems are treated with little attention given to the patient or the action of the needles; i.e., in order to tonify or disperse such and such an organ, such and such a point is used; for this particular symptom, that particular point is used. This method allows moderate regulation of the organs, but does not treat the underlying cause of the problem, nor control the vital energy.
The truest form of acupuncture, which we describe here, enables the practitioner to evaluate imbalances of the vital energy, the basis of all functional illness. This is achieved above all through the study of the pulses. True acupuncture is founded on the relationship between the organs, based on the circulation of energy, a system which often differs from the Western anatomical physiological model. The method demands that we locate the exact center of each point, where its action is at a maximum. Although there are failures, these are rare. . .”
From Morant's statement we learn that there are clearly three “levels” of acupuncture, although he did not speak directly on the subject of different "styles" of acupuncture. Morant also clearly states in his text that a practitioner of True Acupuncture may utilize the lower two levels of acupuncture, but only when necessary and usually after applying the highest level of True Acupuncture first.
“The first method, which could be called local acupuncture or even primitive acupuncture, is rather simplistic and consists of puncturing the center of the pain indicated by the patient. It is used by people who do not know the location of the points, their effects, the pulses, or the circulation of energy. It does not require any study. This method is used for pains, swellings, or local inflammation, without taking into consideration that in Chinese medicine pain is recognized as a sign of dysfunction of a neighboring meridian or of the associated organ. True acupuncture occasionally uses this method after treating the root problem to remove what is called "the branch," the symptom. Even without using this method, the branch disappears some time after the underlying problem is resolved by true acupuncture.”
This is a very important consideration. It is unfortunate that in our current era the first two levels of acupuncture are solely practiced with few practitioners performing True Acupuncture. George Soulié de Morant even noted that the Chinese had never put into writing True Acupuncture theory:
“To fight off disease successfully by manipulating the energy of the body, one must fully understand the differences between the three methods grouped under the name of acupuncture. The Chinese cite only two, but in reality there are three.”
Though the Chinese did not explicitly describe True Acupuncture in written text, it was known by true masters of acupuncture and the basic ideas are presented in the “classical texts” of Chinese medicine.
It is the study and practice of True Acupuncture that the practitioners listed on this web site adhere to. Owing to our studies and research into this form, we have come to know the true benefits that True Acupuncture offers over any other form (level or style) of acupuncture.
In reality, the theory for True Acupuncture is rather simple in many ways. The great difficulty in applying this modality lies in point location and radial pulse diagnosis. The theory is just different from what you may have previously been exposed to. Morant's theories make a great deal of sense when applied to acupuncture as opposed to herbal therapy. Unlike other styles of acupuncture that are heavily based on herbal theory, True Acupuncture keeps the theory relative to acupuncture only. We do not mix herbal theories with acupuncture theories. It just doesn't work that way. Acupuncture utilizes an "energetic" system to get its effect while herbs suppress or stimulate functions. Through the energetic system acupuncture balances functions. This is a significant difference.
When acupuncture is applied it must "take" from another area. This is the natural re-establishment of yin and yang. Herbs do not work in the same way and therefore, to mix the theories together destroys the effectiveness of each.
You will often see us use the term "Classical True Acupuncture" interchangeably with "True Acupuncture." We have chosen to use the term “Classical” as a prefix for the simple reason that this level is truly the ancient understanding of this profound art. Although other styles may appropriately claim the term “Classical,” because they are literally based on the classical texts of Chinese Medicine, we believe that True Acupuncture contains a deeper understanding that is required to practice at this higher level.
While this site currently does not have a ton of information the reality is, Morant's text on acupuncture contains everything you need to learn True Acupuncture. With patience and hard work you can learn this level of acupuncture. . . the information is there.
The only resource we know of for True Acupuncture is Morant's book, Chinese Acupuncture. The first three volumes of Chinese Acupuncture were written by Morant himself during his lifetime. Unfortunately the last two volumes of the book were compiled after his death by his associate from Morant's own notes that he had compiled over the years.
Practitioners? See Acupuncture Centennial Colorado. Other than that we do not know of people who are practicing this style, wish we did. Nor do we know of anyone teaching True Acupuncture and we currently are not.
The best resource is Morant's own work, thank you.