Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine

~ Traditional Chinese Medicine teaches that channels of energy flowing throughout the body, can be manipulated by pressure, known as acupressure or with the insertion of fine needles, called acupuncture..

~A 5000 Year Old Art

Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) originated in ancient China and has evolved over thousands of years. TCM practitioners use herbal medicines and various mind and body practices, such as acupuncture and tai chi , to treat or prevent health problems.

Chinese medicine is a complete system of medicine with its own forms of diagnosis, treatment, prognosis, and therapies. Chinese medicine views the body as an energetic system in dynamic balance. Qi, which can be translated as energy or life force, flows in a regular pattern through a system of channels — or meridians — to all parts of the body.

 

 

Chinese Medicine Solutions

Acupuncture and the Meridians

The Ancient Art of Acupuncture is the needling of specific points along“meridians” or channels that run throughout our body. Acupuncture can be traced back as far as the Stone Age in China.

Acupuncture remained relatively unheard of in the United States until 1974 when James Reston, a reporter for the New York Timesaccompanied President Nixon on a trip to China where they witnessed an appendectomy and several demonstrations of serious surgeries being performed with acupuncture as the only anesthetic using Acupuncture Anesthesia. Western science has never been able to reconcile how Acupuncture works. They can prove “that” it works, but not “how” it works.

The body functions as an entity through 12 channels called “Meridians”, that distribute Qi. “Meridians” or channels are pathways of energy flow. Very often pain, numbness, soreness, sensations of heat or cold, and other sensations along the course of a meridian will be an important clue to problems in that particular system. Each meridian connects to an organ. It is through these meridians that organs receive nourishment and stay in balance (function properly). There are also 8 extra vessels. that store energy and help regulate the flow of Qi in the meridians. In addition there are gates through which the inner Qi communicates with the environment, to help regulate the body.

It is a natural law that energy flows in wavy lines like the breeze, mountain ranges and streams. In people, Qi flows in the meridians. This undulating flow is beneficial and natural and is relative to how Qi of people interacts with Qi of nature.

How Chinese Medicine Treats

“Several processes have been proposed to explain acupuncture’s effects, primarily those on pain. Acupuncture points are believed to stimulate the central nervous system (the brain and spinal cord) to release chemicals into the muscles, spinal cord, and brain. These chemicals either change the experience of pain or release other chemicals, such as hormones, that influence the body’s self-regulating systems. The biochemical changes may stimulate the body’s natural healing abilities and promote physical and emotional well being.”(5)

There are three main mechanisms:

Conduction of electromagnetic signals: Western scientists have found evidence that acupuncture points are strategic conductors of electromagnetic signals. Stimulating points along these pathways through acupuncture enables electromagnetic signals to be relayed at a greater rate than under normal conditions. These signals may start the flow of pain-killing biochemicals, such as endorphins, and of immune system cells to specific sites in the body that are injured or vulnerable to disease.

Activation of opioid systems: Research has found that several types of opioids may be released into the central nervous system during acupuncture treatment, thereby reducing pain.

Changes in brain chemistry, sensation, and involuntary body functions: Studies have shown that acupuncture may alter brain chemistry by changing the release of neurotransmitters and neurohormones in a good way. Acupuncture also has been documented to affect the parts of the central nervous system related to sensation and involuntary body functions, such as immune reactions and processes whereby a person’s blood pressure, blood flow, and body temperature are regulated.(5)

For an in depth research article on the theories of how acupuncture works, go to Andrew’s article: The Biomedical Basis of Holistic Acupuncture -by Andrew Pacholyk MS, L.Ac.

What Chinese Medicine Treats

World Health Organization (WHO)
40 conditions acupuncture treats well
Digestive
Abdominal pain, Constipation, Diarrhea, Hyperacidity
.
Emotional
Anxiety, Depression, Insomnia, Nervousness, Neurosis.
Eye-Ear-Nose-Throat
Cataracts, Gingivitis, Poor vision, Tinnitis, Toothache.
Gynecological
Infertility, Menopausal Symptoms, Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS).
Miscellaneous
Addiction control, Athletic performance, Blood pressure regulation, Chronic fatigue, Immune system tonification, Stress reduction.
Musculoskeletal
Arthritis, Back pain, Muscle cramping, Muscle pain, Muscle weakness, Neck pain, Sciatica.
Neurological
Headaches, Migraines, Neurogenic bladder, Parkinson’s disease, Postoperative pain, Stroke, Bell’s Palsy.
Respiratory
Asthma, Bronchitis, Common cold, Sinusitis, Smoking cessation, Tonsillitis.

Yin and Yang

Yin and yang are two words we frequently hear in connection with balance. Yin is generally thought of as being feminine, while yang is considered masculine, But there is much more to this. — Yin is also related to the earth, moon, darkness, shade, rest, space, west and north.

Yang on the other hand is related to light, sun, brightness, heaven, time, south, east and left. In ancient times when the daily cycle of night and day were noted, it was thought that day corresponded to yang and yin corresponded to night. Since one usually traveled and worked during the day, yang came to be associated with activity, while yin came to be associated with rest because at night, one rested. Yin and Yang are looked at in four distinct ways.

Yin and Yang are in: Opposition: in relation/relative to each other.

Interdependent: you cannot have one without the other.

Mutual Consumption: control and balance one another.

Intertransformation: one transforms into the other at it’s Zenith.

Yin and Yang exsist in everything in the Universe in relationship to each other. The duality of the universe and the world around us is expressed in this “Tai Chi,” symbol (often, mistakenly called the Yin/Yang symbol) a circle created by a light and a dark side, positioned end to end with one small circle of yin in yang and yang in yin. This is the presence of its complement. This has been accepted for several thousand years in Chinese philosophy, but the acknowledgment that every male has a feminine aspect, and every female has a male side, is new to the Western mind and medicine.

Together, yin and yang comprise a whole, and yet there is an element of each in the other. But sometimes we have too much yang, and other times, we have too much yin. It is up to us to find and maintain the balance between the two in our physical, mental, emotional, spiritual, sexual and intellectual selves. Achieving this balance helps us become grounded or centered.

Learn more about Yin Energy and more about Yang Energy

Qi 

The Concept of “Qi” (in China) Ki (in Japan), is often referred to as “life force”, or “vital energy” which flows through all things. Qi is containing, activating, transporting, protecting and warming. Qi is something that cannot be seen or recorded but yet, inevitably, is upon and within all things.  Qi is found in the paradigm of Reiki, Chinese Medicine and Feng Shui

Qi, often referred to as “life force”, or “energy” is that which flows through all things. Qi is containing, activating, transporting, protecting and warming. Qi is something that cannot be seen or recorded but yet, inevitably, is upon and within all things.

“Qi is the thread connecting all beings. Qi is the common denominator of all things-from mineral to human. Qi is the fundamental quality of being and becoming.”

As a concept, which is truly ethereal, it is the most deeply rooted intution in Chinese civilization. Qi is like the wind, a natural element and energy source that is constantly flowing all around us. We cannot see it, but we know it exists by the way it affects the physical around us. Qi is also like water, an energy source that can be governed to where it is needed and be more beneficial to our well-being. At the same time, Qi like water, also cycles constantly from one phase to another. It is a cycle that, if broken or interrupted, will affect everything else that depends on the continuity of this cycle.

When the flow of Qi is unimpeded there is harmony, balance, and good health. When there are Qi blockages, too much or too little Qi, there is an imbalance which can lead to disharmony and disease.

Pattern Diagnosis

Traditional Chinese Medicine treats dis-ease according to patterns and groups of symptoms. From hot-cold, dry-wet, inside-outside, a history of symptoms and reoccurring issues can be traced back to 5 groups (phases) or elements that either complement or work against each other…creating dis-harmony.

Certain fundamentals of Chinese Medicine must be understood when working with one’s constitution. One such fundamental is the Five Phases (Elements) Theory, which states there are five interrelated elements:

fire, earth, metal, water and wood.

Each element has certain characteristics, emotional, interpersonal and physical manifestations. The following are the ways (or cycles) in which the elements of nature are interrelated.

"The doctor is in...

Acupuncture

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