Acupuncture is one of the few medicines that has stood the test of time. Its origin said to have derived from ancient China through the experiences of physicians taking care of soldiers who fought during the Warring States period from roughly 500 B.C. to 220 B.C. Through the next millennia, acupuncture practices were honed by primarily treating farmers and trade peoples that accounted for most of ancient China’s population. During the Song Dynasty, in the twelfth and thirteenth century A.D., the modern theories of acupuncture became more codified. It is a practice that has been tested and retested by countless patients to this day.
In acupuncture we talk about and work with qi. There is no one definition of what qi is. Qi can be the physiological process that digest your food to make your energy or it can represent that ephemeral spark that is life. When you are angry your qi can get hot or rise up in your body, which can cause headaches or even neck pain. Over time this hot qi can eat up your energy, leaving you feeling tired and fatigued. Qi can also become stuck in the body. If it binds in the stomach the result can be acid reflux, nausea, gas and bloating, or a kind of agitation that you can’t put your finger on. When qi is bound in the pelvis women can experience cramping, pain and irritability with their cycles. When you burn your qi out by overwork or other taxation you’ll tend to feel listless, tired. Digestion may become slow and you might feel foggy-headed and unable to focus. While it is hard to put a finger on what exactly qi is, you can see that it can be used to describe functions of your body’s physiology.
When I practice acupuncture I am guiding the qi in the body. I am looking for where qi is moving improperly and guide it back to proper flow. If someone comes in with a splitting migraine behind their eye or in their temple, the qi is rising too much to the head. By using one or two acupuncture points I can guide the qi down to its proper movement, thereby eliminating the migraine. When qi is stuck in an area causing constraint and pain I can open up the constraint and allow the qi to resume its natural movement. It’s not uncommon for me to see people whose stress affects their digestion. In these cases often emotions and stress bind a patient's qi in their abdomen. This causes them to feel pain in their stomach or even nausea. I can then break open the stagnation and encourage the qi to flow through its natural path in their stomach, which will eradicate their symptoms and help their stomachs to function properly. I see lots of patients who are overworked and fatigued. They love what they do, but are tired from the countless hours they spend working and traveling. These people have depleted their qi. With acupuncture I can guide the qi into the organs to create warmth and build their energy back.