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What is Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine?

Chinese medicine is the Science of Life.  Chinese medicine is a complete and sophisticated system of medicine that originated in China millennia ago. This ancient medicine includes its own system of physiology and anatomy, pathology and a diagnostic system based on signs and symptoms. Although the cornerstone of its treatment system is acupuncture, it also includes diet, massage, breath and exercise, herbs, moxibustion heat, meditation, lifestyle guidance and counselling.
This system is at its nature a preventative medicine at the health end of the medical spectrum. It observes and assists the flow of life.
Its primary intent is to help realign the patient to his/her natural order of life and identify the root of disharmony to prevent progression and development of disease.  It is not primarily concerned with the suppression of the symptoms as is the Western system of medicine. Acupuncture observes and treats the person and not the disease. The pattern of disharmony can only be identified in the context of the patient’s signs and symptoms and lifestyle. Dis-ease is not an alien invasion but is recognized as a departure from the natural flow of life within the individual and one’s way of life.
The organizing principle of treatment is twofold. Following a comprehensive interview, the practitioner counsels the patient in regards to the relationship between certain behavioural/ emotional patterns and the health problem itself, after which the treatment chosen initiates the body’s own healing potential and assists in a return to a more balanced state.
The outcome of the treatment depends on correct diagnosis, the insight of counselling and the patient’s own willingness and efforts towards change.
Although alleviation of symptoms is a directive of treatment, progress should not primarily be measured by this. Pain is a mode of communication that the body initiates to command our attention so it should not be so quickly dismissed. Through pain we have the opportunity to observe ourselves and reconnect with the truth of our being. We can see how far we have strayed from our original path and understand why we are now experiencing discomfort.
It is only with mindful awareness and expanded consciousness that lasting deep healing can occur.
With this understanding, progress may be measured not solely by the elimination of pain, but by an enhanced awareness of self, improved coping mechanisms with stress and stability in emotional crisis and a renewed sense of life itself.
Chinese medicine based on the wisdom of Taoist alchemical principles saw the goal of medicine as going beyond the healing of physical disease into the noble domain of working with the human spirit. Its primary goal was the transformation of human suffering into ever complex levels of higher wisdom, compassion and insights into self and reality.
Acupuncture is concerned with observing and influencing the movement of Qi, the life force, the animating principle of the body and all of life. This energy contains the blueprint of our individual lives. It flows through specific channels in the body and is behind all of life’s processes as we know them in a continuous rhythm of transformation. The ephemeral and the material are polarities of Qi.
Qi has divided itself into Yin and Yang in order to allow life to unfold in our world. Yang belongs to the breath, consciousness and the spirit, the immaterial motive of transformation, while Yin belongs to the material and the substantial, the flesh of the body, manifesting and reflecting the movements of Yang onto the material plane.
Acupuncture treatment can restore communication between mind and body, Yin and Yang and guide the patient to a more whole and complete awareness of oneself and the all pervading guiding principle of life.
The closer to balance these forces are within the human organism and by extension our relationships and environment, the closer we are to an ideal state of physical and psycho-spiritual health.
Acupuncture uses needles, pressure, massage and heat to influence the movement of Qi in the energy channels in order to assist the system back to a more balanced state of Yin and Yang. Conscious awareness during the process holds the power of transformative potential. Whether we know it or not, life is process of understanding our true nature by shedding the illusion of our conditioned selves as we experience the suffering of daily life. Suffering is a symptom of our resistance to the natural flow of life. When sickness enters our lives, it is a call from the spirit beckoning us back to our origin, “the light within”, “the spirit within matter”.
“When Qi flows in a living entity, it is called health, when Qi is blocked there is sickness”
Ramona Bazgan R. Ac