Chinese Medicine Verus the Western Approach
The type of medicine practiced (including acupuncture) in the Orient is quite different from the Western medical approach with which we are all familiar. Rather than looking at the body mechanically, that is, as a machine made up of parts and chemicals, Chinese Medicine views the body as an ENERGY system. Specifically, our bodies (and all living things for that matter) are governed by a living energy known as Qi (pronounced chee). The Qi is present in all of our tissues and flows through every cell and fluid in our body. It is believed that imbalances in the amount and flow of this energy is the basis for sickness in the body. It is easy to understand this concept if you compare it to blood flow or impulses flowing over your nerve pathways (the basis for Chiropractic). The main challenge for the Western mind to comprehend this stems from the fact that the Qi energy is not visible or easily measured the way that blood flow and nerve impulses are. Even so, it is obvious to just about everyone that there is an “intelligence” at work in our bodies. Just think for a moment about all of the millions of functions occurring in your body, without your conscious control, even as you are reading this!
Acupuncture is used to treat imbalances in the body
The methods of analyzing the health of the body, as it relates to Qi, have been developed, studied and refined over the past 5000 years. Only recently has Western medicine begun to explore, validate and respect this alternative approach. Traditionally, the Qi is divided into two types of energy called YIN and YANG. The symbol for Yin and Yang looks like this [ and symbolizes all of the opposites in our world (e.g. hot and cold, male and female, light and dark, etc.). Disease in the body occurs when there is excess (too much) Yin or Yang, deficient (not enough) Yin or Yang or a blockage to the flow and distribution of Yin and/or Yang. These imbalances can be treated by stimulating specific points on the body surface which lie upon the pathways along which the Qi flows. These pathways are known as channels, or meridians, and contain hundreds of points, though only a small portion of them are used for actual treatment. These points can be treated with massage (acupressure), heat (moxabustion), electrical stimulation, laser, or with a sterile stainless-steel needle (acupuncture). Another important traditional method of balancing or moving Qi is with the use of herbal formulas, many of which have been used successfully for centuries in China. The combination of utilizing the acupuncture pathways along with the proper use of herbal formulas is amazingly effective and is the primary system of healing in China, which represents well over a billion people, or nearly one-third of the Earth’s population.
With the advent of instant communication, especially the internet, exchange of ideas from around the world has stimulated greater interest in these forms of alternative healing. These methods are on their way to becoming more commonplace within the Western medical setting. If your interested in learning more information on these healing methods please contact our Chiropractor office in West Boca Raton.
Steven M. Perman, DC, DACBN, DACBSP