These days, it feels as though stress and anxiety has become a mainstay of modern life. Whether emotional stress, stress of the mind or stress of the physical body, one thing is for sure: stress is real. It harms the body and exacerbates previously existing conditions. While there are many activities that age us quickly, including a poor diet, lack of movement, little sleep or an overabundance of sun exposure. Still, the number one “ager” is stress. In the spa industry we see the manifestations of this every day.
And every day we look for solutions, remedies and rituals that will heal – mind, body, spirit.
Introducing Acupuncture into our collection of experiences seems like a natural fit.
Some terms to become familiar with in regard to Acupuncture:
In Traditional Chinese Medicine, a meridian is a channel through which Qi and the other fundamental substances flow. They are known by many different names, such as acupuncture meridians, acupoints, and energy vessels.
The meridians function as a network, much like a highway system, that can be mapped out throughout the entire body. They are like the circulatory system in western medicine, but these meridians are non-physical.
Pronounced ‘chee’, this is the vital energy or life force which flows through the meridians and is used to protect, transform and warm the body. Qi is believed to control and animate the workings of the mind and body. As such, it plays an important role in TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine). It warms the body and protects it from illness.
Qi is derived from two main sources: the air we breathe and the food we eat. Qi is believed to flow through the body via channels, or meridians, that correspond to particular organs and/or organ systems. Each organ, in turn, has its own Qi (e.g., liver qi, kidney qi, and so on). Occasionally, Qi may become imbalanced due to depletion or obstruction. When this occurs, the function of organs or organ systems may be adversely affected, because of the body’s inability to transport or produce the Qi necessary to fight illness or infection.
This is the abbreviation for Traditional Chinese Medicine. Among the components of TCM are herbal and nutritional therapy, restorative physical exercises, meditation, acupuncture, and massage.
TCM is based on a concept of vital energy, or Qi, that is believed to flow throughout the body. TCM proposes that Qi regulates a person’s spiritual, emotional, mental, and physical balance and is influenced by the opposing forces of yin (water, for example) and yang (fire, for example). Disease is proposed to result from the flow of Qi being disrupted and yin and yang becoming unbalanced.
Yin is associated with the feminine, nourishment, dark, moist, coolness, substantial, and being rooted or grounded. In a word, yin is calm. Yang is associated with the more energetic parts of our being and nature. Yang is associated with the masculine, life-force, energy, brightness, warmth, the ethereal, and rising up. In a word, yang is active.
Stagnation is a blockage or build-up of Qi, blood or phlegm that prevents it from flowing freely. It is a precursor of illness and disease and is frequently accompanied by pain or tingling. It can also lead to lumps or masses.
How can Acupuncture help you?
Acupuncture began in China over 10,000 years ago. It is a technique of inserting extremely fine sterile needles very superficially at specific sites on the body called Acupuncture points. These points are located along energetic pathways called Meridians. The body’s “Vital Energy” or Qi (Chi) flows throughout the body in these invisible vessels like electricity. To maintain good health, there must be a balance of Qi in every part of the body. If the flow of Qi becomes blocked or out of balance, illness may result. Acupuncture needles are like “keys” that have the ability to open the doors, windows and gates of the body which may be blocked or closed by internal stagnations and thus influence the flow of blood and Qi throughout the entire body. Healing results when the flow of blood and Qi are re-established.
Acupuncture is used to treat many common conditions.
Oftentimes people ask, "can acupuncture help with ___?" The answer is, yes. From insomnia and anxiety to even a lack of vision in life, acupuncture is reminding the body of what it feels like to be healthy. With that re-balancing and rediscovery, pathologies are able to be released and healing can begin.
Acupuncture is an energetic medicine that allows us to live into the fullest expression of who we are. The body is wise and knows exactly what it needs. There is no magic serum in the needles that creates change--the body does all the work.