Einstein proved that everything is made of energy ,and radiates energy including our bodies.
For 5,000 years practitioners of Acupuncture refer to this energy as Qi. It is the essence in all living things from the tallest tree to the smallest cell. Inside our bodies this intelligent energetic system maintains balance, unity and health. Qi flows as an invisible current through pathways called meridians which run throughout the body like rivers, nourishing each related organ. Along these meridians there are points which allow access to the Qi. Through careful diagnosis the Acupuncturist selects specific points to help ensure that the Qi is moving without obstruction, and in a smooth, evenly manner. When Qi is balanced and flowing freely, internal stability and harmony occur. The body flourishes, and full health and vitality are expressed.
“To live is to have Qi in every part of your body moving, to die is to be a body without Qi. In order to be healthy, the proper balance of Qi must be maintained.” Classic Chinese Medical text, Nan-Jing, 5th Cent. B.C.
The focus of treatment is to understand the nature of the symptoms. The trinity of the human condition, the spirit, mind, and body, has an interdependent relationship that effects the quality of health. When one is out of balance, the other two are inclined to follow. For example; if a symptom manifest emotionally, say person is too worrisome, an ulcer can manifest, impairing digestion. As these symptoms progress their spirit becomes impaired, unable to share or see the abundance that is around them. All pathologies eventually lead back to an impairment at the spirit level. Symptoms stem from a person’s way of understanding and reacting to circumstance that arise daily. This manifests through lifestyle, as reactions to life, I need a drink, I want a piece of cake, I’m craving cheese. Each and every symptom is a reflection directly correlated to an imbalance . When the reaction becomes an excessive pattern, like drinking too much alcohol, then it becomes a pattern of disharmony. The intention of treatment is for the patient to learn and understand the correlations of consequences of their actions so that they are conscious of their behaviors. Helping create an awareness in the patient around their choices. Once they are aware they will be able to make more conscious decisions. The science of Acupuncture has proven it’s efficacy for thousands of years of treating imbalances on all levels. The majority of acupuncture practitioners through out the world treat mainly on the physical level because western medicine has set the tone. Focusing treatments on the physical level, will only treat the symptoms. As necessary as that is, the emotional body and spirit need attending as well.
It is important to understand that pathologies arise primarily from two causes; stagnant qi and/or deficient qi. When these conditions are present, other patterns of “dis-ease” or disharmony are then able to manifest. These are the pre-cursors to chronic ailments and disease. The allostatic load, , an essential tool for managing acute threats to the immune system through the frequent activation of the body’s stress response in order to maintain homeostasis, has been compromised at this point, thus homeostasis is no longer able to be maintained. This is why acupuncture is so effective as a preventative modality of medicine. The effective diagnostic tools in Acupuncture reveal where the disharmony is and and enable effective treatment. Through the use of qi (pronounced chee) manipulation, herbs, dietary shifts and life style counseling balance can be brought to the “dis-ease”.
There is an old Taoist parable about the work of the Alchemist that analogizes the relationship between patient and practitioner perfectly. An Alchemist is know for transmuting substances such as metals or herbs into elixirs for medicinal purposes, amongst other things. When doing alchemy the furnace and the cauldron must be stabilized properly, to burn away the slag. If the cauldron is not strong, the medicine is lost. If the fire is not focused, the fire will fly off at random not transforming the medicine. Once the slag is burned off, the gold is then pure. Now a new cauldron is put in place to do the advanced work, melting the real gold into liquid and frost, returning to a pure state. This is an example of how Tao (pronounced dow) can refine the body, mind, and spirit. Firmness of determination in cultivating the Tao is the cauldron. Becoming stronger with perseverance, never turning back even through foiled a 100 times, being imperturbable, unwavering. This is setting up the cauldron.
Translating this analogy we see the cauldron is the patient and the practitioner is the fire. When the furnace and cauldron are stabilized properly, the acquired habits that have become compulsive over the course of personal history are burned away, sloughing off the acquired pollutants, thus bringing to light the original state of completeness. When the slag is gone, the essence is pure. This is how a patient can evolve through treatment. Once the slag or symptoms and even toxins, are cleared, the core/essence of the patient can be treated. This is when the new cauldron is put into place so that the depths of the patient can be explored , strengthened, focused, and awakened.