Reduced to its simplest, acupuncture is the millenia-old practice of inserting sterile, hair-fine needles at specific points in the body to strengthen, stimulate and relieve symptoms of disease.
At the core of this medicine is the philosophy that Qi (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. Each of these is connected to specific organs and
glands. When Qi is circulating properly, we don’t feel it. We are just at harmony, balanced and strong. When it gets blocked, stuck or deficient, it
causes pain, dysfunction, depression and disease.
Pain specifically is considered energy and blood that has stagnated, and it is my job to figure out where to insert the needles to recirculate that energy,
to free your body up so that it may operate at its strongest and most efficient.
This medicine requires patients to look at health with a different perspective. Western medicine often dictates that “health” is the absence of pathogens,
and most medical treatment is therefore seeking out and destroying latent problems in the body after they’ve occurred.
Chinese medicine operates under the construct that our bodies are constantly seeking balance and strength naturally, just like nature does, so health is
more about nurturing, supporting and cultivating the inherent intelligence of the body to do its own job. If our bodies are operating at their highest
potential, without the interference of stress and trauma, and if we slow down enough to pay attention, we shouldn’t be sick, we shouldn’t be in pain
and we shouldn’t be cranky, tense and agitated.
Chinese Medicine offers a holistic view of the body. One very important piece to that is the incorporation of emotional factors in physical disease and
disharmony. At the root of many diseases and conditions is an emotional component; it is often a key to unlocking the progression to wellness. In this
way an acupuncture treatment can offer opportunity for connections to be made between physical ailments and emotional factors. The Chinese medical
model is often very effective at treating hard to diagnose problems since it does not rely on having to know the biochemical reason for the condition.
This difference in perspective means that Traditional Chinese Medicine can often make sense of illnesses that Western medicine has difficulty treating.
In cases where Western medicine may be limited to prescribing medication for symptom management, acupuncture may be able to intervene and encourage
the body in a self-healing process.