I want to start by sending gratitude to the ancestors of the medicine whose knowledge we are tapping into when we do this work.
To those initial ancestors of Traditional East Asian Medicine who, 5,000 years ago, were Shamen that carved their runes onto turtle shells to do their divination work-we honor you, thank you.
To the thousands of years of ancestors that shaped and added to TEAM wisdom- we honor you, thank you.
To all the ancestors that had to choose between their traditional lineage and the demands of the Cultural Revolution, who had to choose between life or execution, or who didn’t get that choice- we honor you, thank you.
To the ancestors that brought the medicine from the East to the West, facing racism, prejudice, persecution, and jail- we honor you, thank you.
May all of us who engage in this work and have healing experiences through it, strive to become a healing ancestor for future generations.
The World Health Organization recommends acupuncture for many symptoms and conditions including:
- Mental Health
- GI Symptoms
- Pain: acute and chronic
- Infertility, Pregnancy, Birth, and Postpartum Support
- Detox from Alcohol and Drugs
- Bell’s Palsy
- Respiratory Issues
The Traditional East Asian Medicine theory of healing starts with Qi. Qi is the energetic force that keeps the body functioning, that connects us to others and nature, and that is at the heart of healthy exchange.
Qi flows through our bodies along specific pathways called meridians. When there is too much, too little, or a blockage of qi in our meridians our bodies start experiencing symptoms in the form of disease or pain.
There are areas where the Qi in our meridians comes to the surface. These areas are called acupuncture points. It is at these points that we use acupuncture needles to access the qi of the body and ask it to rebalance. By adjusting the amount of qi and making sure it flows smoothly, symptoms are alleviated or resolved.
In Traditional East Asian Medicine there is not a separation between the physical body, emotions, and spirit. That is why acupuncture can treat ankle sprains or depression/ anxiety. It is also why acupuncture can be effective at treating complex pain issues and trauma.
From the Traditional East Asian Medicine perspective there are 3 causes of disease: External factors, Internal factors, and Other. “Other” refers to disease or pain caused by accidents. External factors refer to pain or disease caused by exposure to the elements: think heat stroke, frostbite, colds, wind-strike (strokes), burns. Internal factors refer to pain or disease caused by unprocessed or stuck emotions.
A note about “psychosomatic” symptoms and Traditional East Asian Medicine: Sometimes when people hear that unprocessed emotions lead to physical symptoms and pain they think that is the same thing as the Western Medicine term “psychosomatic.” In my experience, that word can make people feel like they aren’t believed or like there is an insinuation their pain isn’t real. I want to be clear that isn’t what we mean when we talk about stuck emotions leading to physical symptoms. What it does mean is that part of healing the physical pain will be healing the old emotions. This is often the pattern in people with chronic pain or long term diseases who have a history of abuse or trauma in their pasts, people with a fibromyalgia diagnosis, or people who get physical symptoms under stress- IBS, asthma flares, migraines, etc.
Qi not only runs through people, it makes up all things on this earth. To be healthy, we must remember how to align ourselves with the qi of nature, rather than waste our energy fighting against it, and remember how we are connected to everything through our shared Qi. If this topic interests you, consider joining the Seasonal Calls. You can find more information about this here.
Every exchange- physical, emotional, and spiritual is an exchange of qi. In our work together, I will use my Qi (energy, experience, learning, care, connection) to facilitate a healing experience for you and in exchange you will give me green Qi (money). Just as we must balance the Qi in our body, to be healthy we must make sure the exchanges we participate in are balanced.
Other modalities that may be used during an acupuncture treatment:
- Gua Sha
- Topical Liniments
Your acupuncturist will discuss these modalities with you if they are appropriate for your case.