Have you ever wondered how acupuncture really works? Do you wonder why needles are put in certain areas, why some needles hurt more than others, or why you feel so different after a session?
Good! These are great questions that we want to talk about!
If you’ve never heard of “chi”, or if you have no idea what it is, you’re not the only one. It’s a prominent word used in natural and holistic medicine and one that we want to discuss as it can very much change your perspective on your overall health.
Following we answer basic questions on chi to help you become familiar with the concept. Please let us know what additional questions we may answer for you!
WHAT IS CHI?
Ancient Chinese medicine revolves around the concept of “chi”, which is another word for “energy”.
The body is said to have 12 meridians of chi that flow through from head to toe.
Think of chi and these meridians as though they are highways throughout your body. When these highways are clear of traffic and accidents, energy runs smoothly in our bodies and we are in good health.
However, when our highways get clogged up due to traffic (chronic stress, anxiety, pain, etc.), or there is an accident (trauma, injury, etc.), our highways get backed up and energy becomes stagnant in that location.
This disruption in our meridians (our highways), creates imbalance and/or depletion of energy throughout our bodies and leads to symptoms and disease.
HOW DOES OUR CHI GET UNBALANCED OR DEPLETED?
Living in our fast-paced Western culture, we find that most our chi resides in our head. We tend to live out of our intellect, which creates stress and anxiety. We may feel scattered, irritable, and even have trouble sleeping or feel other side effects.
Ideally, Chinese medicine encourages our chi to be heart-centered. When this happens, we are at peace, living calmly, authentically, we process our emotions healthfully versus just reacting to things, and we feel grounded with the earth.
Chi can become unbalanced or depleted from many different things such as, but not limited to:
– poor diet
– lack of exercise or too much exercise
– a traumatic experience, grief, or loss
– emotions that are not fully processed
– environmental toxins
– unhealthy relationships
– lack of rest/work overload
In this day and age, there are so many experiences or feelings that can affect our chi, that it is quite easy for it to become unbalanced or depleted.
WHY SHOULD I BE CONCERNED IF MY CHI IS NOT IN BALANCE OR I DON’T HAVE ENOUGH?
Because simply, this is what can lead to illness and disease.
Chinese medicine believes that when chi is stagnant in a certain area of the body (let’s say from chronic stress) or due to depletion (possibly a poor diet that doesn’t maintain proper nutrients for the body), symptoms begin to arise.
These symptoms (i.e., weight gain, sleep disturbances, headaches, irritable bowels, etc.), are your body’s way of telling you, “Something’s out of balance! Time to fix this!”
If these symptoms are ignored or not treated properly, they can then manifest into illness and disease.
HOW CAN I BALANCE AND CREATE MORE CHI IN MY BODY?
There are many easy and simple ways to balance and restore your chi!
Acupuncture – different needle points bring back balance to the body’s chi depending on the symptoms you are experiencing. To balance the body, a few sessions a year may work, or depending on the severity of symptoms, 4-6 weeks of treatments with follow ups from there may be exactly what is needed.
Herbs – able to balance and build chi in the body. Taking the energy from the plant that was once in the earth, herbs can restore proper chi in the body.
Diet – a plant based diet can be easier for your body to digest and can replenish chi with the energy from the earth that is transferred through the food. Keep in mind that a fatty, processed food diet can deplete chi due to the body’s extra efforts it needs to put forth in order to process that type of food.
Tai Chi/Exercise/Movement – lots of walking and being out in nature can help your body build chi. Working with the energy within yourself and within nature can bring balance to your chi as well.
Rest – calming and resting your body can allow your system to absorb food and nutrients properly, encouraging balance and restoration of chi.
When you feel your health changing, experiencing symptoms, and just not feeling your best self, it may be time to look into the possibility of unbalanced or depleted chi in your body.
If you live in Castle Rock, Castle Pines, Lone Tree, Highlands Ranch, Centennial, Parker, Monument, Larkspur, or Colorado Springs, Dr. Graves can conduct an assessment of your chi and help you restore it for those clear highways!
Contact us now for a free 15 minute consultation to discuss your chi and what you can do to find restorative health through it.
Remember not to wait until the symptoms become too much and turn into disease!