Musings of an Acupuncturist, Part II
Acupuncture is a tool that helps to normalize imbalances in the human energetic system. It certainly is effective at eliminating symptomology and restoring health; yet, it is important for people to continue working on themselves, as there is no shortage of stressors in modern-day society. Chinese Medicine as a whole emphasizes the need for the human individual to live in harmony with Nature and to keep disease at bay through proper lifestyle and thinking that is balanced and heart-centered. In addition to receiving regular acupuncture, some of the ways people can work at maintaining balance are through meditation, exercise, eating well, stretching, positive thinking, maintaining healthy relationships, enjoying creative expression, and getting enough sleep. We need to let ourselves simply be human and tune in to what’s inside and what animates US rather than tuning out and being driven by all the external stimulus that exists in our technologically-dependent world.
It’s important for us to take a break from our devices. Screen time and excessive electromagnetic radiation robs us of Qi, or our life force and vitality. The artificial light and wireless bombardment affects the pineal gland, thus disrupting our hormonal system and natural sleep/wake cycles; therefore, it’s no surprise we have an epidemic of insomnia and stress. Look around the next time you’re at a stoplight: almost everyone in their car is checking their phone with one hand and having coffee in the other while holding the steering wheel between their knees. We have become a nation of adrenally-robbed, overly artificially-stimulated people on a plethora of side-effect ridden medications for everything under the sun. People have chronically tense upper bodies because many are at a desk all day hunched over their computers, or they may have a phone cinched up into their neck. Many are also stressed out while driving with their shoulders hunched up to their ears. It’s part of the natural protective response from our fight or flight system: our jaws begin to clench, our bellies get tight, our fists begin to close. Many of us breathe shallowly and interfere with our own circulation. This is all due to how we live. Just about all of us need a good “unwinding.”
Acupuncture is par excellence at releasing all this blockage that contributes to our woes. It’s blockage that impedes the flow of Qi. There are two great expressions in Chinese that allude to this: “a running river doesn’t rot” and “a door hinge never rusts”. Movement is key in Chinese Medicine, and acupuncture, above all, is a “moving” medicine – when the Qi is moved through stuck pain in the back, or through numb toes, or through a bad mood, or through a chronically fatigued nervous system, a regeneration occurs and the whole system re-learns how to re-set itself according to how it was originally designed and intended. Acupuncture and Chinese medicine help that process in an extraordinary way. By tapping into the energetic system, acupuncture helps digestion, deepens sleep, counteracts stress, relaxes the body, dissipates pain, improves energy, and enhances cognitive function. When our bodies and minds are working well, we feel full of vitality again and can live our lives with intention that manifests into something wonderful and powerful.
by Gregor Bertram, M.S., DIPL. AC., LICENSED ACUPUNCTURIST 针灸治疗师 食疗专家