themes in chinese medicine
BALANCE is arguably the most prominent
theme in Chinese Medicine.
BALANCE is integral to health in both
Chinese Medicine and the Western medical model.
Without balance, the body fails to adapt to changes in both its internal and external environment. Western Medicine calls this constant balancing act “homeostatic regulation”. The body perceives changes in pH level, temperature, hormone levels, blood glucose, nerve sensation, and countless other phenomenon to react appropriately and regain balance.
In Chinese Medicine, this imbalance involves different bodily constituents like Qi, blood, and fluids. Qi can be thought of as "vital energy" or "the Breath of Life". Qi is the energy that allows plants, animals, and people to live & grow. Qi is the spark that ignites the human mind & soul. Qi can also be thought of as the action potential that powers our every bodily movement and function.
Qi flows all throughout the body, particularly on pathways called "channels". The body reacts to changes in Qi, or energy flow, in these channels. If Qi flow is poorly regulated this causes imbalance and disease. If the flow of Qi is obstructed this can cause pain or dysfunction in specific bodily regions and organs.
One of the goals of acupuncture treatment is to regulate energy flow to correct existing dysfunction and prevent further disease or discomfort. Just like Western medicine, Chinese medicine seeks to correct imbalances.
When our body is in balance, we can react to changes in our environment or mental state more effectively. We can manage stressful situations with improved ease, communicate our emotions more clearly, and minimize the toll stress can have on our physical health.
Qi is often compared to water; bubbling up like a spring, flowing like a stream, joining a river, and eventually feeding into a lake or sea. The movement of water, like Qi in the channels, should flow unobstructed; when dams, boulders, or murky silt block the pathway of moving water, the life-giving quality of the water is impeded. By removing obstruction and easing Qi's flow in the body through acupuncture, balance is restored in the River of Life that flows within.
Life is a balancing act; acupuncture can help!