ABOUT CHINESE MEDICINE
Chinese medicine was developed about five thousand years ago. There were no x-ray machines, microscopes and no human dissection (cutting open the body would offend the ancestors.) So the only way to understand how the body worked, was to observe everything – sleep, diet, thirst, digestion, urine, feces, phlegm, sweat, sexual function, menses, emotions, etc. It’s like a jigsaw puzzle, the more pieces you have the better idea of what the whole picture might look like.
The medicine developed in a time when people lived very close to nature. In fact there was no distinction made between oneself and the environment, one influenced the other. They described health as a metaphor of nature, drawing similarities between the human body and the natural world. This greatly influenced the language of Chinese medicine. Instead of clinical and literal descriptions of disease, everything is poetic and metaphorical. Afflictions are called things like Wind, Heat, Cold, or Damp.
Ancient doctors noticed patterns of disharmony and disease and classified them into what is called the 5 elements –Wood, Fire, Earth, Metal, and Water. Every organ function, body tissue, even emotions are classified by element. For example - fingernails belong to Wood, the ears are associated with Water, crying is an expression of Metal and Earth is in charge of digestion.
Each one of the elements is associated with a season and just as the seasons flow from one to the next, each element gives rise to another in a cycle of creation and destruction, birth and death, Yin and Yang.
This symbolic way of viewing health is the foundation for the practice of acupuncture. One of the key concepts is Qi (pronounced ‘chee’). The best translation is “energy” or “life force”. It flows through our bodies in channels, much like blood vessels or nerves. These channels flow out to the extremities and inward to the organs of the body. By accessing the Qi through points on the surface of the body we are able to affect the functioning of the internal organs and body systems.
Acupuncture is one of the oldest, most widely practiced systems of medicine on the planet. It is a simple, safe and wholistic approach to healing and wellness. It addresses all aspects of health - physical, mental, emotional and spiritual. It is an effective treatment for almost every health condition you can think of.