Acupuncture & Chinese Herbal Medicine

Acupuncture is  one of the oldest continual systems of medicine in the world.  It has treated more people than all other forms of medicine combined… pretty impressive.  Chinese Medicine is a system of medicine or worldview that has many useful tools within it including acupuncture, Chinese herbal medicine, qi gong, and tui na(chinese massage).  Firmly rooted in Taoism, Chinese medicine is all about balancing yin and yang so that our qi or energy flows without any impediments.  Ultimately gaining optimum health is about cultivating a lifestyle that is harmonious with our surroundings.  As we become more in harmony not only do we get the most out of what this world has to offer, but we also tap into deeper sources of energy.  It is another story of moving from developing a healthier relationship with dualism (nature)  into non-dualism bringing non-dualism into dualism… “being in the world but not of it”.

My acupuncture has evolved over the years.  In school, I learned how to move qi around the body and that along with tui na (chinese massage) has helped many people.  It helps to resolve symptoms like pain.  Many times resolving a health problem is ultimately about lifestyle change, but a person is in acute pain.  In these instances acupuncture excels.  Back pain, menstrual pain, migraine headaches, sciatica, and many other types of pain respond well to acupuncture.  In China many people receive acupuncture 5 days a week for months sometimes.  In this way the momentum for healing is achieved with using only acupuncture.  Here in the west twice a week is asking a lot of people, once a week maybe.  So, in this atmosphere, acupuncture works best with Chinese herbs that can be taken daily and lifestyle changes that support  a cure.  Nothing is going to bring down your cholesterol like eliminating animal products.  The back pain may not go away permanently unless you lose that extra weight.   The extra weight may not go away until the fast food habit is broken. And that cough may not go away until you stop smoking.  The mind is not going to calm down until it listens to the heart.  Nevertheless, acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine can be used to facilitate the process of healing.

So… acupuncture and Chinese herbs can treat just about any and everything.  Except it doesn’t treat cancer, only patients with cancer. The evolution in this practice is that I am understanding better how to use acupuncture to bring people more into the present moment. If pain is a message, then to relieve it and not get the message is a form of escapism.  If we understand the message in pain, we can make the necessary changes to eliminate the pain without escaping it.  Then it is not a temporary fix.  If we try to escape then the pain will come deeper and stronger.  If we adjust towards harmony, we grow with less suffering.  Good medicine helps us circumnavigate the pain until we grow out of it.