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Acupuncture is a whole alternative medical system that was first developed in ancient China. It uses needles to manipulate the bodys energy flow in order to improve a patients overall health. It is believed that the within the body is a type of energy called chi or qi regulates most of our biological, and spiritual functions. Since this is a field that has not been proven by science, traditional western medicine does not officially endorse the validity or legitimacy of acupuncture.

The earliest known accounts of acupuncture appeared in ancient Chinese texts dating back to 200 BC. While the exact source of the art is unknown, the art still grew in popularity for the next two thousand years and spread to other countries like Japan, Korea and Vietnam. However, the rise of western medicine and its prescription-based methodology slowly took over acupuncture in Imperial China. It began to be increasingly associated with illiterate and lower class citizens. In 1822 the Imperial academy of Medicine was completely banned from teaching the subject by the Chinese Emperor, himself.

Modern Chinas rediscovery of acupuncture started when the communist party chairman Mao Zedong declared the art as a national treasure. Adherents to this particular ideology spread their knowledge of acupuncture throughout many western countries. They are seen as alternative health-providers with a particular affinity for analgesic services. The Internal Revenue Service even accepts acupuncture bills as legal deductions for medical expenses.

Acupuncture is one of the more complete alternative healing methods that still being actively practiced today. In addition to its body manipulation techniques, it is also frequently combined with Chinese herbs and remedies. A typical acupuncture treatment would have the effects of the procedure supported and enhanced by a prescription of various kinds of teas and mixtures that are said to have curative powers.

People seek the help of alternative healing methods in order to find relief from a number of common ailments. Patients who suffer from diseases and sickness that conventional medicine is ineffective against are the usual customers. Infertility, pain management and injury rehabilitation are other frequent complaints.

One of the other alternative healing methods closely related to acupuncture is acupressure. They follow the same exact philosophy, except that it uses application of pressure using the hands, fingers, and elbows, instead of sticking needles to the patient.

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The concept of meditation has reached a stage of widespread popularity. Most people around the world know about its benefits, but only vaguely. Even as there are many CDs, books and magazines to provide ample information on the subject, the compatibility of different meditation techniques always varies from individual to individual and can be practiced only when the thing is tested by a professional.

The object of this article is never to turn your views against meditation. It would be foolish to try to do so, since meditation and its effects and the positives it can offer have been proven beyond any doubt. But the opportunity is taken here to let you know how wrong the choice of a meditation technique can be for you unless it really suits you. Possibilities are that without the help and guidance of an appropriate teacher, you might only be able to derive minimal advantages from it. Indeed, the objective instead should be to optimize meditation, to find out what suits you best and get the maximum advantages out of the same.

But there is another and a very serious problem involved. When you place yourself before the vast sea of information about the principles, basic philosophies and practices of meditation, chances are you might simply get bedazzled. After all, meditation, though it grew primarily out of the Pan-Hindu cult in greater parts of India, different sects (e.g. Buddhism) have molded it in different patterns to suit their individual needs. So you are likely to get confused regarding which path you should undertake for yourself.

Unless you are individually guided in this path, it is too tough for anyone to grasp the entire philosophy of the art he or she is practicing. Some people contemplate joining a group to solve the problem, but really it helps little. The only solution that follows is to get a professional who can guide you individually in this business. During the course of the training be sure to let your instructor know your personal needs from meditation, so that he or she can alter his or her own schedule to optimize the learning for you so that you gain maximum benefits.

The following guidelines may help you somewhat before you prepare yourself for guided meditation:

a. Be very specific and objective about your meditation goals. For this, you first need to know what you really want from the process.

b. Find the suitable program of meditation. Choose the one that suits your lifestyle best.

c. Speak with the teachers of guided meditation and find out a suitable program for yourself.

d. Get to know clearly about the duration of the course, its calculated costs, and the clauses for refunding of initially paid money and the guarantees given by the course authorities.

e. Practice the techniques for a while and get to know if they are really working for you up to the satisfactory level. You are the one who would know best.

Please realize that this is a course offered to you by professionals so that you can improve your lifestyle, your living habits and your management skills. If, in any way, you are not satisfied with your progress, be bold enough to let your teacher know so that your money paid can be refunded back. It is never really just an ordinary set of exercise for you-even after you will have completed the course, the effects must guide you towards further, continuous practice and an improved state of living. So the phrases like "Nobody can teach you to meditate," and "It's all up to you," are simply not to be paid heed to.

Here's an excellent way to start enjoying the benefits of meditation today. The Deep Zen audio program is easy for anyone wanting to learn how to meditate offering a free demo, and helps advanced meditators achieve deeper levels of meditation too. Try another free demo here: Totally Tranquil