Qi: Imbalance Leads to Poor Health
According to the theory of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), the free flow of qi, or energy, is the ideal state because it allows all body parts- cells, tissues, organs, and systems- to function together harmoniously. If the qi of the body is not balanced, illness will ensue. This might manifest in a number of ways depending on the individual, e.g., a backache, digestive distress, irritability.
An imbalance of the body’s qi is comparable to a traffic jam. If there is a jam on a highway, the traffic gets backed up. In the same way, a blockage in a meridian does not allow the qi to flow through smoothly. There may be a buildup of energy in one area and not enough energy in another area as a result. Acupuncture assists the body in fixing this imbalance.
What Causes the Imbalance of Qi?
Qi can become imbalanced by a number of things including: poor nutrition, dirty food, environmental toxins, infectious diseases, contagious illnesses, noxious substances, injury, overuse or ergonomic injuries. Exposure to extreme weather conditions (cold, heat, damp, etc.) as well as emotional triggers such as extreme stress, anxiety, sadness, etc., may also affect the balance of qi in the body and how it flows through the meridians.
How can Acupuncture Fix the Imbalance?
The acupuncture needles normalize the flow of the qi. So, if there is a blockage, the stimulation of the needle will unblock this; if there is a deficiency of qi, the needle can help bring more energy to the area; and if there is a buildup of qi that is causing a problem, the needle can alleviate this as well. The needle can be manipulated to elicit a specific effect. Of course, in most cases the imbalance cannot be corrected immediately, so a series of sessions to manipulate the energy is necessary to do the job. In addition, other therapies, such as moxibustion, electrical stimulation, herbs and lifestyle modifications can also help the process along.