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This page contains some additional information on acupuncture and natural health collected from various sources. Please have a look around, try using the Search field above to find things quickly and enjoy your visit!

What is Qi?

 

Acupuncture, an energy-based system of healing, works with our vital energy, known as Qi, Chi or Ki. What is Qi? Often described as a “vital energy”, it is a life force that powers and animates every living organism.

In traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), Qi has the following functions:
1) Transforming (e.g. ingested food into energy)
2) Transporting (e.g. moving blood through the body)
3) Holding (e.g. keeping blood in the blood vessels)
4) Raising (e.g. internal organs, preventing prolapses)
5) Protecting (e.g. immune system strength)
6) Warming (just that, keeping our body temperature in check).

When the flow of Qi is strong, balanced and unobstructed, we feel strong, vibrant and positive. When our Qi is insufficient or stuck, we can feel weak, sluggish and unmotivated. The main task of acupuncture is to ensure a smooth flow of Qi in our bodies, which can have very practical applications, from pain reduction (as pain is the result of Qi stagnation) to boosting our overall vitality (think of charging a battery).

Acupuncture works by directly tapping into our Qi reservoirs via acupuncture points (Qi wells) and restoring our energetic balance.

Acupuncture, chakras and yoga

What do acupuncture, chakras and yoga have in common? Chakras are the wheels or pools of energy, that can be tapped into and balanced with acupuncture, while yoga helps us to maintain this equilibrium in our day to day life.

Apart from the twelve main acupuncture meridians linked to their respective organs/systems in our bodies, there are eight extraordinary meridians, the main functions of which are:

1) Acting as deep reservoirs of energy
2) Circulating Jing (concentrated essence or energy) around the body
3) Circulating Wei (defensive) Qi over thorax, abdomen and back
4) Regulating our life cycles, 7 years (for women) and 8 years (for men)

Combining the acupuncture points on both main and extraordinary meridians allows us to bring a deeper balance to our bodies, minds and spirits.

In addition, acupuncture and yoga can greatly enhance each other, see this article to learn how: 

https://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-5679/4-Yoga-Poses-That-Pair-Perfectly-with-Acupuncture.html

Five Elements – Metal Phase

 

Having just gone through the Earth element (late summer and early autumn), we are now entering a phase of Metal, end of the growing season, when the Earth begins to turn inward.

The Metal element is all about transformation, discovering hidden treasures, acceptance and ability to let go smoothly.

If we look at personal traits, Metal predominant people are methodical, intellectual and analytical, often perfectionists, paying a great attention to detail. Metal helps us make a unified whole of seemingly separate parts.

Physically, Metal controls our lungs, large intestine, skin and the immune system. When out of balance, this can lead to respiratory conditions, such as stuffiness, fatigue, sinusitis, asthma, colds, dry skin and digestive issues.

Mentally, try not to hold on to negative thoughts and embrace change. Cultivate tolerance and acceptance, understand that there is no perfection, only the state of continues improvement.

Emotionally, under Metal influence, we may be more prone to grief, introspection and having difficulties with letting go.

To summarise, during the cooling and contracting period of the autumn, we tend to become more rational, methodical and organised, striving to maintain order in our lives. To bring more balance, try to be more open and accessible and allow others into your emotional life.

Discover your Element!

 

Five Element acupuncture is inspired by nature and allows us to balance our bodies, minds and spirits at a very deep level. The five elements are Fire, Earth, Metal, Water and Wood. 

Each element corresponds to a particular season, emotion and organs. Each one of us carries the qualities of all five elements within, however at times we might find one of the elements to be dominating or out of balance. Five Element diagnosis and treatment was an important part of my acupuncture training, allowing for a more subtle approach to many conditions. To discover your Element, try this quiz, which should give you a good indication and we can bring more balance to it during your next acupuncture treatment!

Personality Type Quiz

 

Acupuncture in the autumn

One of the most beautiful aspects of traditional Chinese medicine is as a tool to live harmoniously with the seasons.

The beginning of autumn this year was on Saturday, September 22, the equinox day when night equals day. Autumn marks the turning point between the heat of summer and the cold of winter. It is a time of change & transition. “The wind begins to stir. This is the changing or pivoting point when the yang, or active, phase turns into its opposite, the yin, or passive, phase.” (Huangdi Neijing Suwen)

At this time we harvest the bounty that grew during the summer so we can prepare for the cold winter ahead. Squashes and pumpkins become plentiful and are very nourishing especially as warm soups.

Adding pungent spices such as turmeric (avoid in pregnancy!) or cumin will help warm and nourish during this season. Preserving extra fruits and vegetables, gathering wood for fuel, and retrieving warm clothing from storage for the cold, darker months, are important in autumn. It is a time to organize and finish projects that you began in spring and summer and prepare for winter – the season of rest and quiet.

Emotionally, we are affected by the change of season. “Just as the weather in autumn turns harsh, so does the emotional climate. It is therefore important to remain calm and peaceful, refraining from depression so that one can make the transition to winter smoothly.” (Huangdi Neijing Suwen)

In Chinese medicine, autumn relates to the emotion of grief and the need to “let go”. This can be an overwhelming and difficult change and we frequently get people coming in for acupuncture to help with this transition.

Autumn is associated with the energy of the Lungs in Chinese medicine. Get outside and enjoy the beauty of the change of the season. There is no better way to nourish your Lung energy than by taking deep breaths of fresh air!

Acupuncture’s effect on mental stress levels

 

If you have already tried acupuncture, you must have experienced a particular sense of calm felt after your treatment. Now you can easily monitor acupuncture’s effects on your health with an app called Welltory, that tracks your stress and energy levels with a smartphone.

Here is a snapshot shared by a patient, showing the mental stress levels before and after the acupuncture treatment.

If you are interested, you can find out more about Welltory here: https://welltory.com

Acupuncture for Fertility Support

Traditional acupuncture is increasingly used worldwide to help increase chances to conceive both naturally and while undergoing specialist fertility treatments, such as IVF, IUI & ICSI. Acupuncture can be helpful for both genders and the treatments used are very gentle, making you feel well rested and more balanced.

To learn more on acupuncture benefits for fertility, please see this page:

Fertility Acupuncture