Reading, 7

You are going to read a magazine article about acupuncture treatment. Seven paragraphs have been removed from the article. Choose from the paragraphs A–H the one which fits each space (16–21). There is one extra paragraph which you do not need to use. There is an example at the beginning (0).

Pins and needles

I was curious to find out more about acupuncture as I’d heard a lot about its beneficial effects. However, I didn’t feel in any particular need of treatment myself so I decided to ask a friend of mine if I could observe her receiving treatment.


0:  H

The Traditional Acupuncture Centre was just as you’d expect: the incense, rubber plants and charts on the wall. These mapped out the body’s energy channels. They seem to be the typical wall coverings of an alternative health centre.

16: _____

Nina returned and explained that she needed to ask Joan questions about her health, lifestyle, diet and personal history. She began by asking why Joan wanted acupuncture. Joan described the shoulder stiffness and backache that had bothered her for years.

17: ______

Nina then explained that in Chinese medicine,physical and emotional aspects are not distinct. An imbalance of either manifests itself in the same way. The division between mind and body is a Western idea.

18: _____

Nina opened a sachet of sterile 4 cm long needles. They were fine and flexible, but Joan was still apprehensive. Nina took a pulse at six points on each of Joan’s wrists, looking for certain ‘qualities’ that she would then treat.


Nina inserted the first needle into Joan’s shin. It went in a surprisingly long way before she twisted it to the right and Joan’s leg shot up suddenly. ‘Ow!’  she exclaimed. She was visibly tense, but as Nina inserted the next needle it wasn’t so bad.

20: _____

When the time came to remove the needles, Joan was more relaxed, though she flinched as they came out. All the time Nina was reassuring her. She informed Joan that the shocks she felt were due to blockages of the energy channels.

21: _____

I asked Joan the next day about how she felt. She said that she felt a little more relaxed and that she had slept deeply that night. However, she really felt that she needed a course of treatment to be able to assess its effectiveness.


A Nina said that she felt Joan’s problems with her back and her shoulder stiffness came from her office job. She recommended that Joan do yoga exercises at work, as this kind of relaxation had many benefits for mind and body.

B Nina finished with a pressure point massage on Joan’s shoulders and back. ‘I’m looking forward to seeing you again,’ Nina said, as she bade a relieved Joan a fond farewell. Nina left the decision to Joan about arranging another appointment.

C Our health apparently depends on the motivating energy, or chi, made up of the equal and opposite qualities of Yin and Yang. When these are unbalanced, one can become ill. By inserting needles into points on the energy channels, healing responses are stimulated and the balance is restored.

D Surprisingly, these questions went on for a whole hour. Joan was asked about her attitudes to many things, including work and relationships. She was also asked about her attitude to herself on several occasions.

E Nina Doughty, the acupuncturist, introduced herself and then slipped away to prepare the treatment room. Joan was anxious. ‘I hope this doesn’t hurt too much,’ she murmured.

F She also looked at Joan’s tongue, an indicator of her general state of health. At this point, Joan felt that the experience was rather like being at the dentist. However, at the dentist one usually knows where the needle will be inserted.

G She placed more needles in Joan’s ankles, feet, lower back and forearms. She tweaked them as she put them in, regularly checking Joan’s pulse, then left them for 20 minutes. Joan lay on the bed all this time.

H I asked Joan Hughes, who I knew had been complaining of muscular stiffness for some time. She agreed, so excitedly we attended her first appointment at the local centre.

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