The Language of Acupuncture

Traditional oriental medicine is relatively new to our country, yet it is the oldest known continually practiced literate medicine in the world.  For 2,500 years the Chinese have been thoroughly recording their study of the human body in many ways that include but also extend beyond solid scientific evidence.  The discoveries have been eloquently sewn over time into a language that has a different premise than what we learn in our western culture, making it sound "fanciful" to some who still can not deny its power and influence over the world's health care system.  There is evidence that the same acupuncture points I use today for low back pain were used 5,000 years ago, long before recorded history.  This does not make acupuncture simple, or something you can write up in a cookbook for those who do not speak the language.  When we speak of the elements and how they relate to the seasons, or how metal rules the skin, and the lungs, we are not speaking about something abstract or not real.  We are describing biological pattens that have been carefully observed over centuries.  I use the metal example because a recent scientific discovery about the connection between eczema and asthma has shown proof of one of these biological connections to the western eye.  My first understanding of this came about a year into my acupuncture program while working in the emergency room on the weekends as a nurse.  I had been witnessing the conditions I was learning about the whole time, but it took an understanding of the language to really see that it was not esoteric descriptions but a thorough guide to the human body and how it interacts with it's environment.  It had taken me a year to get over my previous knowledge enough to see the eloquent connections that were so clear once you understood the meaning.  Now I like to say "science is catching up" because as we know, traditional oriental medicine has been time tested, and holds truths we are just beginning to understand.

In this language the seasons are associated with elements that in turn are associated with organs; Spring (Wood, Liver), Summer (Fire, Heart), Late Summer (Earth, Spleen), Fall (Metal, Lung), and Winter (Water, Kidney).  This spring I have been observing liver wind patterns arise out of a slightly yin deficient winter, making eczema, allergies, headaches, menstrual irregularity, pain that moves around, spasms, dizziness and even frustration and anger arise as our energy makes its way from deep in our bones out to the surface.  This complex language is not easily understood, so don't get caught up in the details but observe the flowing patterns of the generating sequence (metal, to water, to wood, to fire, to earth); this is what we as practitoners use to balance the body, and why we suggest certain foods or habits that can help your body stay in harmony.   I look forward to helping you understand your body in any way that I can because I believe you hold the power to your own health and well being.  I also sincerly hope that our culture can successfully foster this invaluable medicine through correct understanding and not lose what took centuries to discover by dissecting past the knowledge (we may have just discovered that acupuncture channels are tiny physical structures that have been missed previously because when you cut the skin they are obscured by clotting factors).  Please come to class where we experience these connections while I explain the patterns; come in for a treatment so I can go over your diagnosis for you, and always feel free to contact me with any questions.