By Qineng Tan, L.Ac., Ph.D.
Traditional Chinese Medicine is based on thousands of years of practical experience and research. It is also based on the philosophy that human beings are one with Nature. Nature built our body with systems to repair itself. Ideally, the body can heal itself from almost anything. But the universe is constantly changing; so are our bodies. People lose their healing ability from time to time, for many different reasons.
When all is balanced and in harmony–in the world, and in our bodies–we experience health and peace. But, everything is not always balanced in the world. In one area, there is a drought, while in another place, a river overflows, flooding the land. Our bodies, too, are often out of balance. One area weakens. Another area becomes stagnant. When we experience disease and trauma, it is both a reaction to and a reflection of imbalances in our environment and inside the body. Nature is cyclical; it is constantly creating, then destroying, and rebuilding.
Over time, some of our Qi–especially kidney Qi–drains away. The aging process affects the functioning of the organ systems and the healing process of the body. A healthy person in their 20s recovers quickly from a cold or flu, for instance. If they twist an ankle, they rest for a week or two, then function like new again. When you get older, your body starts to weaken due to trauma, environmental changes, toxins, and stress. Your healing power gets weaker and weaker. The body can’t regenerate tissues and healthy Qi like it used to. The kidneys and liver lose function; that is why people become diseased.
Are you experiencing one of the following?:
- Ongoing sneezing and allergies
- Getting sick easily or the same cold keeps coming back
- What used to be an occasional twinge becomes a daily ache
- An injury or wound seems to take a long time to heal
- A stable condition suddenly gets active and difficult to control
- Constant fatigue, difficulty generating energy without coffee
Health is never a final endpoint. No one–even me!– can say, “Now I am in excellent health, and I will be forever!” Health is about relative balance. There are good things on one side – healthy habits, good energy, and a sense of well-being–and on the other side, bad things–stress, pain, recurring issues and weaknesses. As we get older, the bad things start piling up, and the scale can tip to one side. When this happens, we must put in effort to add more to the “good” side – by exercising, eating well, resting appropriately, meditating, and getting regular acupuncture treatments. Acupuncture can play an important role in the healthy aging process.
Acupuncture helps you build up your healing process. We give support to the organ systems, the nervous system, the lymphatic system, the immune system. We adjust the flow of Qi and increase blood flow to help build a weak area up, unblocking stagnation. TCM works on a deeper level, healing problems at their source, so that a person has a chance of recovering in a more meaningful, lasting way.