Acupuncture and How It Works
Acupuncture has been around for the past 5,000 years. It has helped millions of people move from a place of pain and discomfort to a place of health and well-being, something we are all looking for. Thousands of years ago, practitioners of Chinese medicine mapped out a series of pathways within the body called meridians. All of these lines are your meridian pathways, which travel throughout your entire body on the front and back, connecting every organ and gland. Each meridian have acupuncture points that have certain effects upon the body and mind when stimulated. Together, these pathways points and your organs form what we call the Meridian and Organ Network. Within the Meridian and Organ Network flows the essential energy called Qi. Qi is the “spark of energy” that animates and brings life to the body. Meridians are like rivers inside the body. Wherever a river flows, it carries water that provides nourishment and life. Similarly, meridians are the rivers where Qi flows inside of us. Qi is a substance that flows through meridians as an invisible current providing energy, nourishment, and support for every cell, tissue, muscle, organ, and gland.
Stresses of Daily Life can Affect the Quality and Flow of Qi
Different stresses affect meridians and organs in different ways, disrupting or blocking Qi flow. This blockage can manifest into various signs and symptoms. Over time, the body as a whole becomes weakened, and its self-healing abilities compromised. Eventually, it becomes susceptible to pain, disease, and ill-health. Some stresses that may affect the quality and flow of Qi are:
- poor diet
- bad habits
Acupuncturists develop diagnostic skills to evaluate the quality, quantity, and balance of Qi flow within the body. Diagnosis involves four main techniques:
- Looking – A person’s appearance, demeanor and tone of voice, as well as the color, shape and size of the tongue, provide an acupuncturist with vital clues about the internal health.
- Asking – By asking questions, information is gathered about past medical history, present health, lifestyle and emotional state.
- Physical Examination – Palpation to specific areas and acupuncture points can reveal imbalances.
- Pulse diagnosis – Over 26 subtle variations in the quality of the pulse are felt at six different positions on the wrist.
- Tongue diagnosis- When looking at the tongue, the shape, size, color, and coating of the tongue are evaluated and reveal internal imbalances. Look at the diagram below, which one is yours?
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