Every cell in our body is able to store electric charges. This is electrical energy. Much research has been made in trying to explain how electrical energy in acupuncture works.
Studies have shown that the skin’s conductivity over acupuncture points is much higher. This electrical energy circulating in our bodies is called Qi.
To explain in simplest terms: This circulation of energy (Qi) is at many levels. The levels being from the most superficial to deep within the body, much like a stream going into a river to meet the sea.
A typical chart of acupuncture channels illustrate only the superficial pathways of the 12 Primary channels. The channel network is considerably more complex. Every single cell throughout our body is supplied by the channels. This is much like a tree with its trunk and branches which spread out to finer branches and twigs.
This bioelectric circuit is similar to an electric circuit. It is essential that everything flow freely. These circuits have their own protective valves. For example the Luo Connecting Channels run from one meridian to the source point of its coupled meridian, this allows the paired meridians to drain off excess energy or fill a deficiency from one to another. This again is just an overview of an obviously complex system.
In order to have a healthy circuit you want to make sure the components are healthy and strong, the components being our organs. They will either burn out from too much current or malfunction from a deficient level of current. Anything that interferes with this flow or causes a stagnation within the system will upset the balance and cause problems.
We know that our emotions can affect our health. Biochemical reactions can constrict the flow. Now in regards to diet, we know that fat has a low conductivity, so you will want to rid your body of too much fat through diet and exercise. We must also learn how to relax. In our society we are always going a mile a minute. We need to learn how to slow down and relax our mind as well as our body. This is essential to good health. Tai Qi and Qigong are great exercises to help us achieve this.
Good health means to always have an abundant supply of Qi. This is conservation of energy. Acupuncture was born from Qigong, which is exercising the flow of Qi throughout our body. Understanding this, I will tell you a story of a top level internal martial arts master. Morihei Ueshiba, a frail looking old man in his late 80’s would have to be carried out on a stretcher into the dojo. He would then gather up his Qi, stand up and proceed to toss extremely strong men around like rag dolls. Afterwards, he would return to his stretcher and resume being a sick old man. The great masters of internal martial arts and Qigong articulated in great depth the energy principles. Our organs, nerves, blood, every cell have electric currents in them. When you look at the routes of the circulatory system, nervous system and lymphatic system you will see a similarity with the acupuncture channels or energy systems.
Hormone production within our bodies is very important. If the levels are high, cell replacement can happen faster and we feel better, more energized. The same thing is true with our immune system, when Qi is abundant, you get sick less often. Strong Qi means a strong immune system. Those of all ages can benefit from the internal martial arts methods (Tai Qi Chuan, Qigong) along with acupuncture. These methods can bring vitality. Injuries will heal more quickly, the body stretches more easily, nerves recuperate more rapidly from exhaustion, and blood flows more efficiently.
It is only by understanding the pathology and aetiology in disease that we are able to advise the patient. For example, his or her lifestyle, diet, emotional outlook, etc. There is no separation of these different aspects. If only one is addressed than the healing process is then confined to only one aspect. The physical, mental, spiritual make us what we are. I believe that it is imperative that the practitioner educate the patient in these areas. In doing so the patient takes on responsibility for his or her own health. It is also important that the practitioner understand differential diagnosis and when the patient needs to be referred to a M.D. for additional testing. Conventional (Western) and Chinese Medicine both certainly have their place.
The practitioner plays an underlying role in giving a treatment. The practitioner’s intention has great influence upon the quality of the treatment. In making a diagnosis and treatment plan, practitioners are analytical, but the actual giving of the acupuncture treatment is pure intention and intuition. Acupuncture is a personal, gentle, subtle yet highly technical medical system.
A lot of times people will discover after having treatments that they become more attune with their bodies, thoughts and emotions. They may discover that the problem that they initially came in for not only improved, but other conditions as well. It is not only about treating problems, but in giving the patient the tools to make healthy choices and better understand themselves. It’s satisfying for a practitioner to see positive results, especially for those patients that had previously unresolved symptoms.