Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine

By Melanie Wee

What is Qi and Blood?
According to traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), Qi is the energy that flows in our body along the meridians and collaterals. When Qi is flowing smoothly in our body, it helps the Blood to flow smoothly as well. As long as there is no blockage or stagnation one will always be healthy.

What causes diseases and pain?
According to TCM theory, one of the main causes of diseases and pain are the poor circulation of Qi and Blood. This will be the primary focus of this article.

Qi and Blood Stagnation
Poor circulation will first lead to the stagnation of Qi and eventually the stagnation of Blood as well.WhenQi and Blood are not flowing freely, and has come to a stop, there will be pain in the area where they accumulate.

For example, in the case of a sport injury, Qi and Blood will stop flowing and accumulate at the trauma site.Other causes include improper diet, the lack of exercise and emotional disturbances (i.e., stress, anxiety, sadness or depression).

It should be noted that the poor circulation of Qi and Blood does not always lead to pain as it can manifest withother symptoms and cause different problems. I will discuss these problems in future articles.

How can Acupuncture help restore the flow of Qi and Blood?
After a blockage or stagnation of Qi and/or Blood has occurred, an acupuncture treatment can help restore circulation and remove the pain and discomfort. In a typical acupuncture treatment session, very fine (as fine as a strain of hair) stainless steel needles are inserted into acupuncture points along the affected meridian on the body. Stimulation of these needles will restore the flow of Qi and subsequently of Blood as well. Hence the pain and discomfort will no longer be a problem.

Things that aid the flow of Qi and Blood
Tai chi and Qi gong exercises are great for maintaining the smooth circulation of Qi and Blood. Walking and swimmingare also good exercises. High impact exercises on the other hand are not as good as they themselves may cause Qi to stagnate due to injury. Doing these exercises on a daily basis is the best way to maintain good health.

Being happy and laughing a lot also circulates Qi in the body. As the saying goes: prevention isbetter than cure. So, exercise, be happy and stay healthy.