Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine
Qi (pronounced chee) is one of the most important concepts in Chinese medicine and acupuncture. It is the energy that drives the processes in the body. It can become depleted, exhausted, blocked, or stuck due to the way we live our daily lives. There are all kinds of things that affect the way our Qi flows or doesn’t flow including stress, injuries, overwork, lack of movement, under or overeating, childbirth, medications, overabundance of emotions, poor habits, etc. The Qi can be accessed through very fine acupuncture needles at specific points along channels in the body. It is stimulated in such a way as to remove blockages, increase energy, and promote better flow of blood and fluids. In doing so, this rebalancing alleviates pain and treats all kinds of symptoms and illnesses.
Chinese medicine is a complete system of medicine. Acupuncture and herbal medicine, along with other associated modalities of treatment have been around for many thousands of years. It is deeply engrained in the natural environment and can therefore be analyzed in the context of the relationship we have to our individual environment and in the microenvironment of the body itself. For example, someone may have an excess of heat (fire) because there are not enough fluids (water) to contain the heat or because the heat itself consumed the fluids. The patient may experience this as thirst, dry mouth, tongue ulcers, agitation, insomnia, palpitations, red face, dark urine, and a bitter taste in the mouth. To treat the imbalance the fire must be extinguished and the mechanism controlling water must be regulated and supported.
While this theory allows for an understanding of how imbalances might occur through the laws of nature, there is also a pragmatic system of diagnosis and treatment that accompanies it. Throughout history physicians documented case studies that resemble typical intakes and treatment plans. These were laid out with a list of symptoms, palpatory findings from the pulses, examination of the tongue, the concluded diagnosis, acupuncture points that were needled, a detailed description the prescribed herbal formula, follow-ups, and ultimate outcome. Over time the medicine continued to be analyzed and fine-tuned to become today's standard of practice.
What sets this medicine apart from the conventional norm is the individualized treatment, which is based on your specific symptoms, constitution, and palpatory findings. These vary from one person to the next. The focus is on the whole picture with consideration being given to lifestyle, diet, and other factors that contribute to your imbalance. It’s an approach to healing that accesses the body’s innate ability to heal itself by removing areas where energy or physical matter is blocked and instilling energy where it was previously depleted.