Acupuncture is a therapeutic method used to encourage natural healing, reduce or relieve pain and improve the function of cells, tissues and organs in the body. It involves the gentle insertion of fine hair-like needles through the skin at specific energy points along the body to restore the balance of Vital Life Energy – or Qi (pronounced Chi).
What is Vital Life Energy ?
Age old traditions have always referred to this Life force. The Vedic traditions call it “Prana”, The Oriental traditions call it “Qi”. Other traditions refer to is as Essence or Source Energy.
We know that all ENERGY preceded MATTER. This is a fundamental law of physics. Vital Life Energy is simply the energy that gives rise to physical matter – the human body.
The human body as an integral whole is comprised of sub-units of organ systems: the cardiovascular system, the digestive system, the neurological system, the endocrine system etc. Vital Life Energy – or Qi – is the energy that flows through each sub-system that allows for synergy as a whole.
If Vital Life Energy is the common thread that binds all sub-systems and integrates the human body, therefore disease is not defined as an isolated organ or tissue dysfunction. Disease is an imbalance in the flow of energy through the system – giving rise to dysfunction to organ or tissue that leads to pathology. This is the essence of Acupuncture philosophy.
in the early 70’s, Acupuncture was revealed to the West in a grand way when New York Times journalist, James Reston, had an emergency appendectomy while in China and acupuncture was used as the anesthetic. He later wrote about his experience in the Times and an interest was garnered among American medical practitioners.
Since then, the interest to understanding the science of acupuncture has developed significantly. The fundamental difference between acupuncture and modern medicine lies in the philosophy of vitalism vs. mechanism. While acupuncture recognizes the body as a whole greater than the sum of its parts, medicine is trying to examine the body parts independent from the whole. And there-in lies the challenge.
To fully grasp the power of acupuncture, one must come to the realization that Vital Life Energy is at the core of our human experience. This is not to say that one who doubts the existence of this energy will not benefit from the practice of acupuncture, however the realization of this understanding will create an alignment between mind and body to allow for much deeper, transformational healing.
Acupuncture has been shown to benefit many conditions:
- Musculo-Skeletal Disorders
- Gynecological Disorders
- Diseases of the Ear, Nose and Throat
- Stress Management
- Chronic Pain Syndromes
- Skin Disorders
Remember, its not about treating the condition. It’s about bringing the flow of energy back into a state of balance. The body knows how to heal. It’s our job to restore a state of balance to allow for healing to take place.
To Your Health,
Shant Filo R.Ac
Registered Acupuncturist and Applied Mindfulness Meditation Specialist