Acupuncture is a principle modality of Chinese medicine, an integrative medicine in which physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual health is inextricably linked. Acupuncture works with all of these facets of being, treating a wide range of disharmonies. Underlying traditional Chinese medicine theory is a central tenet of Taoist philosophy: each part can be comprehended only in its relationship to the whole. Common reasons people seek acupuncture include support for the following:
Mental & Emotional Health
Menstrual and Hormonal Health
Fertility, Pregnancy, Labour, and Post-Partum Care
Digestion & Metabolic Health
Immunity & Autoimmune Conditions
Chronic Pain & Pain Management
General Health Maintenance
With acupuncture, fine micropins, or needles, are inserted beneath your skin into the meridians of your body to affect the flow of Qi (pronounced chee), Blood, and Body Fluids. These words are capitalized to distinguish them from western concepts of the same name. Qi is not a concept that can be translated into English. Ted Kaptchuk, a Chinese Medicine Doctor and author of the influential text, The Web That Has No Weaver, describes Qi in the following way:
“…Qi is not some primordial, immutable material, nor is it merely vital energy, although the word is occasionally so translated. Chinese thought does not distinguish between matter and energy, but we can perhaps think of Qi as matter on the verge of becoming energy, or energy at the point of materializing.”
In traditional Chinese medicine, every part of the body is linked by meridians. Meridians follow fascia lines, and some avenues of thought see them as the same thing. Fascia is a continuous network of connective tissue that, along with being under your skin, covers every bone, organ, muscle, cavity, nerve, and vessel of your body. It is posited that the needle creates a pressure change in your meridians, which encourages your body’s innate healing abilities—the vast knowledge that is alive in our bodies—to flourish.
Along with doing acupuncture, my practice includes other Chinese medicine techniques, such as cupping, moxibustion, gua sha (scraping), tui na (Chinese massage), acupressure, and diet and lifestyle recommendations.
To learn more about how the CTCMA describes Chinese medicine, visit: https://www.ctcma.bc.ca/public-protection/what-is-tcm/