Musings of an Acupuncturist, Part I
Simply put, we are energetic beings living in a world that is full of energy. In fact this experience that we call life is nothing but a play of energy and vibration. This energy is experienced, felt, seen, and heard in myriad ways – whether in the form of humans, trees, animals, rocks, houses, weather systems, or wireless networks. The universe is nothing but a play of energy in multiple forms and layers of vibratory expression. The human being is an energetic microcosm within this macrocosmic universe, and its life-force is largely dependent on the healthy flow of vital energy. The ancient Chinese termed this vital energy “Qi” (also read as “Chi”), and its flow throughout the body dictates the strength and vitality of a human being. Think of a time, if ever there was one (maybe it is right now…or maybe it was when you were five or maybe in your teens or twenties), when you had no health complaints and you felt strong and vital. At that time, your Qi was flowing unimpeded and you were in tune with Nature. You didn’t think about your health because you were in harmony with the greater picture of universal vital energy, which included your whole human system. As natural and powerful as that state of being is (and we all have access to that as long as we are living in tune with Nature), our lifestyle choices can get in the way of its full healthy expression, and can give way to interferences and blockages that create a dampening of our own vitality. In sum, our modern lifestyle is ripe with influences that affect the health and flow of our own Qi, for better or for worse.
When we get emotionally reactive, or we tweak our neck somehow, or stay up too late, or routinely eat genetically-modified junk food, or ignore the need for exercise, our vital energy gets stuck and our health begins to plummet. Neck pain and stomachaches are some examples of energy blockages, where pressure begins to build in the body (like a dam in a river), and over time pain and dysfunction ensues. This affects the flow of circulation, and other organs and structures within the body will also be affected. Over time, this “pressure build-up” can lead to exhaustion as the body’s adaptability to deal with this imbalance begins to break down. Chronic fatigue ensues, which then leads to a more sedentary and depressed way of life, which creates more stagnation and more depletion in the body and mind. The cycle continues ad nauseum. There is a way up and out, however. Acupuncture is a golden key, with the power to unlock this spiral of imbalance, leading one towards a new realm where health can be rebuilt to abundant levels.
Acupuncture helps to normalize the circulation of energy in the body by removing stagnating blockages (like pain) and eradicating deficiencies (like fatigue), while enhancing overall vitality. The strategic placement of a few needles on areas such as the arms, legs, and head sends a message to the entire dynamic network of energy in the body to elicit change. The body recognizes the stimulus from the acupuncture needles in these specific areas and responds by promoting circulation to those areas in need of healing. It is not unlike entering a program into a computer, which will update the whole system and make it run more efficiently. All systems of the body are involved in this process of “updating”: the immune system, the neurological system, the musculoskeletal system, etc. Depending on the issue at hand, the program entered can be made more precise (like treating hot flashes or plantar fasciitis or migraine); however, there are always fringe benefits when treating anything with acupuncture, as the entire human system as a whole gets a “reboot”, and health in a holistic sense begins to flourish throughout the entire body. Sleep becomes sounder, energy is boosted, digestion gets regulated, and hormones feel balanced. The list goes on and on…
Check back next week for Musings of an Acupuncturist, Part II