The art of bridging the Qi.
The Science of Acupuncture
Traditional Chinese Medicine or TCM, states that a person’s health is determined by a balanced flow of energy circulating through the body. Acupuncture and herbal medicines are means of promoting and maintaining energy within the body and thereby ensuring optimum health.
- Acupuncture, a form of TCM, focuses on balancing the body’s energy, which is called Qi (pronounced chee). The Qi from a quantum mechanical perspective is known as “vibrational frequency.” Qi naturally flows through the body along channels called meridians. A disruption to the flow of energy results in disharmony and can lead to acute or chronic health conditions. Through insertion of fine needles into the skin an acupuncture practitioner can re-direct the movement of energy and stimulate or sedate the energy to balance the meridian. Acupuncture needles are thinner than a human hair and are not painful. Many patients often describe acupuncture as a relaxing experience.
- Acupuncture can be used in conjunction with western medical treatments, chiropractic care or other physical therapies without any adverse side effects. It has been proven to help with post-operative healing times, stimulate bone repair from fractures and help restore muscle function from injury. Acupuncture can also be used by individuals who do not have symptoms but want to optimize their state of health by increasing their immune system, boosting their energy, improving their moods or increasing athletic performance.
- Acupuncture can be applied to a wide variety of health concerns such as musculoskeletal problems, sinus pain, headaches, joint pain, gastrointestinal problems, hypertension, and mental issues like insomnia and anxiety.
- Acupuncture is used extensively for female issues and is used to treat conditions such as infertility, PMS and menstrual problems due to its supportive nature toward organ function and hormone balance.
- Acupuncture is recommended by the World Health Organization for treating over 40 diagnosable medical illnesses.
Acupuncture s based on the energy routed via 12 main meridians connected at different levels which serve as bridges between the organs. These meridians start or end at the tip of a finger or toe and move towards the source at the center of the body. Meridians are pathways through which the body assimilates and routes energy.
There are 12 pairs of main meridians that are connected to the same number of energy dependent organs. Each organ is paired – one Yin organ to a Yang organ. Yin organs tend to be solid in nature and have a nourishing effect on body energy whereas Yang organs tend to be hollow and have an effect on dispersing energy. There is an additional 2 channels that flow down the center of the body.
There are more than 260 acupuncture points on the body which are areas were needles are inserted into the skin. All the points line up along acupuncture meridians. All points emit a high frequency when measured through electrodermal testing. This is reproducible and is the same for every person.
The acupuncture needles are inserted at specific points in the body and are placed between 0.5 cm to 3 cm deep (1/4 to 1 inch approximately). The needles come in sterilized, individual packages and are thrown away once used. In a typical session the doctor will use between 10 and 20 needles. Depending on the patient’s condition the needle can remain in the epidermis of the skin for 20-30 minutes. The length of the needles varies between 1 to 4 cm and are inserted directly into the skin. The needle is are made of medical grade stainless steel and are thinner than a human hair.
Understanding How Acupuncture Works
Acupuncture is based on the idea that energy moves along meridians throughout the body that surface at certain points. Imagine you are watering a garden in order to make it grow and flourish. Let’s pretend that the water is the Qi (or energy), the hose that carries the water is the meridian (acupuncture channel) that flows through the body and the garden itself represents an organ in the body (many different gardens representing different organs).
The rate at which that gardens grow (or how well organs function) is dependent on the specific amount of water provided. Imagine there are many gardens with many hoses watering them, which equates to whole body function. Now, a few situations can occur that could cause the gardens to die or the organs to move into dysfunction.
- Too much water (seen as an excess condition from a TCM perspective) will flood the plants causing them to drown. This is seen in conditions like fever, pounding intense headache, joint pains and itchy burning skin.
- Too little water (seen as a deficient condition from a TCM perspective) will cause the plants to dry up and die. This is seen in conditions such as fatigue, reduced memory, and decreased organ function like hypothyroid.
- Imagine if someone steps down on the hose supplying the water (seen as a stagnation of energy from a TCM perspective) This will cause the water to reduce at one end of the hose and the plants will dry up and die, while causing increased pressure at the other end of the hose. This is seen in intense pain conditions such as gastrointestinal upset, menstrual cramping and headaches.
The acupuncture needle can be used to bring the body back into balance and restore healthy body function.
- The acupuncture needle can be used to sedate the energy channel (to turn down the water release) thereby regulating the flow of water/Qi.
- The acupuncture needle can be used to stimulate the energy channel (to turn up the water release) thereby regulating the flow of water/Qi.
- The acupuncture needle can be used to unblock the energy channel (to remove the pressure on the hose supplying the water) thereby regulating the flow of water/Qi.