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Chinese Medicine is based on a philosophy and theoretical model that dates back over 5000 years Like quantum physics this model asserts that the body and physical universe is an expression of energy, in a constant state of change. Under observation the physical building blocks of matter is made up of sub-atomic particles, which are mostly comprised of space.
Chinese medicine refers to this life energy as ‘Qi’ (pronounced chee). The closest comparison to Qi in the occidental world is vitality. According to Chinese Medicine when one has good Qi and it is moving freely in the body there is a nature state of health and well being. When there is a blockage or diminishing of Qi, pain and illness arises.
Qi is not static. Instead it is in a constant state of change. Sometimes Qi is kinetic and warming, known as Yang. Sometimes Qi is cooling and nourishing, known as Yin. This Qi moves through the body through acupuncture meridians, which are subtle ionic currents flowing along facial planes of the body.
The meridian network is a control system, like the central nervous system that governs human physiology. Meridian traverse the whole body, penetrating and influencing all major glands, the nervous system and the internal organs. When the meridian system is compromised or blocked due to an injury or chronic tension an imbalance is created that results in pain. Acupuncture involves inserting very thin filiform needles into specific points along affected meridians to resolve the tension pattern and restore the flow of Qi.
Acupuncture theory is founded on an understanding of the body as a dynamic and self regulating system. However, there are many things that interfere with this balance. Chronic pain and degenerative disease often involves some long standing stress pattern that drugs or surgery alone can’t remedy.
Acupuncture works by relaxing stress patterns and myo-facial tension that block the self regulating nature of the meridian system. When ‘unblocked’ the body is better able to heal.
Sometimes results can be immediate, depending on how long the symptoms have been present. Many people report a significant reduction in pain, as well as improved mood and energy levels after an acupuncture session.
Millions of people use acupuncture daily for a variety of health complaints including migraines, depression, post surgical pain, insomnia, sciatica, low back pain, allergies, IBS, arthritis, chronic fatigue, PMS, and more.
Acupuncture origins and future
After the cultural revolution in China acupuncture theory was changed to reflect an internal medicine bias, similar to western medicine. This system is now taught widely as Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). In TCM acupuncture points are chosen based on formulaic protocols, irrespective of a detailed understanding of the meridian system or Qi dynamics.
TCM training has enabled the practice of acupuncture to spread around the world, but in the process few acupuncturists are trained in classical meridian based theory. While some teachers in China still maintain a meridian based approach to acupuncture it is necessary to look to Japanese, Vietnamese, Korean, English and French sources for modern interpretations of classical acupuncture theory.
As acupuncture goes global it always takes on some of the wisdom of the culture it is practiced in. One can argue that North America is the new frontier for a completely fresh expression of this ancient system of healing.
Give it a try
Silas Rosenblatt, RAc has served the Victoria community for over 10 years offering acupuncture and other natural healp options for chronic pain. Call 250 884 7061 to book a session today