The Value of Stability (August, 2021)
It’s been a hard couple of years, to say the least. Most of us are hurting in one way or another, or in multiple ways. So why might acupuncture help?
For starters, acupuncture is primarily a therapy whose goal is homeostasis. In other words: “stable equilibrium between interdependent elements,” as defined by my dictionary. Keeping everything, or returning everything, to a normal, balanced state. A million different factors can knock this balance off, and acupuncture’s primary goal is to act as a reset.
This, of course, assumes that the default setting is a good one, which Chinese Medicine always does. That’s something I’ve always loved about this medicine. It has this wonderful, great faith in the body to work splendidly and maintain itself without further assistance, so long as it is reset to its natural state.
In a sense, acupuncture is a very simple therapy, because the goal is always the same: to restore homeostasis.
In these very UN-stable times which we are currently enduring here in 2021, it’s not surprising that homeostasis has become difficult for most of us. Perhaps this includes you, dear friend. Maybe your lung functioning has become a little compromised. Maybe your digestive system is feeling the effects of stress more than usual. Maybe you are feeling a little more reactive to perceived threats than usual (irritability? anxiety? allergies flaring up?)
Fortunately, acupuncture has a rather unique way of restoring homeostasis. How? Primarily, it does this by keeping energy (Qi) moving. Your body has an extensive system of energy pathways (popularly referred to as “meridians’), each one associated with a particular internal organ. These meridians connect to the organs, and to each other. If Qi is flowing through these meridians, and through the organs, unimpeded, the body self-regulates and homeostasis is maintained. When organs are subjected to trauma, stress, overwork, invasion by pathogenic factors, etc, disruptions in the associated meridians will occur. (And, worth noting, the opposite is also true. If a disruption in Qi flow in a meridian occurs, such as from a physical injury, a disruption in smooth functioning may occur in the associated organ.)
When a skilled acupuncturist inserts needles into the right places along those meridians, adjustments to the state of the organs can be made, obstructions in the meridians cleared, and homeostasis returned. It isn’t magic; it just feels like it.