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Acupuncture 101

Almost everyone has heard of acupuncture but most people have many questions. Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine is a comprehensive, complete body of medicine. It has been used for over 3000 years. Not only is it still standing it is now the most requested treatment outside traditional biomedicine in the USA. Thousands of Americans are flocking to Acupuncture as the political quagmire of our Western medical system fails us in many aspects.

A simple analogy of considering acupuncture  could be to liken it to a car. You know what it's like when you avoid servicing the car or having the oil changed. Eventually you know it will give up on you and fail to work. How many of us carry on driving when the red warning light indicates a problem in the system? ? Do you fix the problem by putting a band-aid over the red warning light?  Well, the red warning light is no longer bothersome. But how long will that solution work for you? You know you are just asking for trouble.

The body is very similar in some respects - we ignore all the signs and carry on until our warning lights stop flashing .– The engine then stops functioning altogether and in some cases it's too late or is a costly exercise to correct. 
A regular maintenance check would have been the wisest solution. 


Acupuncture is the equivalent to that necessary regular service and maintenance. It detects imbalances and prevents disease. It goes to the root if you are already sick and corrects the problems.

In the theory of Chinese Medicine, invisible passageways for energy are called meridians. There are certain points on the body (more than 360) that correlate to specific physiological  functions in explicit areas to balance Qi where it has become unbalanced. Once this is done, Qi can freely circulate throughout the body, providing adequate nourishment to cells, organs, glands, tissues and muscles. Using extremely fine, sterilized needles, I stimulate these specific points on meridians directing energy back into balance. These very fine, FDA-approved, single- use needles are no thicker than one or two strands of human hair. Some people notice a mild sensation from the needles, but are generally surprised that it is nothing more than a slight pinch.

For thousands of years, the ancient Chinese have recognized that the 5 Element cycle of nature is the basis of existence of our world and also reflects our inner world. The 5 Elements work together and are seen as the flow of life-giving energy throughout all creation. Just as the sun and moon move in an orderly pattern so moves the workings of our inner body.

 

What are the 5 Elements?

Fire • Earth • Metal • Water • Wood

Each element represents a system within the body and all systems are interrelated in a perfectly balanced manner. When symptoms occur you know the inner balance is disturbed.

5 Elements

Acupuncture works with your body’s vital energy or Qi which flows through all the 5 elemental organ systems. Therefore it allows your body to use its own energy or “Qi” to heal itself without the use of forceful outside drugs and surgery.

 

What is Qi?

At the core of this ancient medicine is the philosophy that Qi (pronounced "chee"), or vital energy, flows throughout the body. Qi animates the body and protects it from illness, pain and disease. A person's health is influenced by the quality, quantity and balance of Qi.

Qi flows through specific pathways called meridians. There are fourteen main meridians inside the body. The diagram below shows a few of  the meridian pathways in the body. Each of these is connected to specific organs and glands.

Meridians

Meridian pathways are like rivers flowing inside the body. Where a river flows, it transports life-giving water that provides nourishment to the land, plants and people. Similarly, where meridian pathways flow, they bring life-giving Qi that provides nourishment to every cell, organ, gland, tissue and muscle in the body.

 

How is Qi disrupted?

An obstruction to the flow of Qi is like a dam. When Qi becomes backed up in one part of the body, the flow becomes restricted in other parts. This blockage of the flow of Qi can be detrimental to a person's health, cutting off vital nourishment to the body, organs and glands.

Physical and emotional trauma, stress, lack of exercise, overexertion, seasonal changes, poor diet, accidents, or excessive activity are among the many things that can  influence the quality, quantity and balance of Qi and result in health issues.

Normally, when a mild blockage or imbalance occurs, the body can easily self correct, returning to a state of health and well-being. However, when this disruption is prolonged or excessive, or if the body is in a weakened state, illness, pain, or disease can set in.

Blockage of the flow of Qi can be detrimental to a person's health and leads to various signs and symptoms or health concerns.