Cultivating Energy, Conquering Pain
Conventional western medicine usually focuses on treating problems. In Chinese Medicine, we focus on restoring balance, often by reinforcing what our body is already doing well: pouring energy into what is right with you can help you achieve new levels of wellness.
We all yearn for a moment of peace and well-being that is outside of time. This is achievable but takes practice and concentration. The quiet moments spent needled in a Community Acupuncture room can help you achieve healthy balance in body and mind because it works with your own essence, “energy wealth” and resources. In Chinese Medicine the wealth of energy that provides this source is the Kidney. In the next series of Newsletters, we will explore the Five-Organ energies and their significance to your fitness and vigor.Western physiology and anatomy limits its description of the kidney to the actual organ itself, while Chinese Medicine (CM) assigns a more profound significance. In CM, balance is expressed in broad expressions of hot-cold, dry-wet, strong-weak, excess-deficient, chronic-acute, etc., these concepts are applied both to the method of diagnosis as well as to the classification of food, medicine and treatment. These concepts are all encompassed in the concept of yin and yang (a focal point for CM) and physiologically controlled by the Kidneys.
When there is abundant Kidney Qi (pronounced chee) or essence, there will be a strong physical constitution as well as a strong innate sense of purpose and will. Such strength of will is often associated with the necessary self discipline to be able to succeed in any endeavor.
Fear, paranoia and insecurity are the negative emotions of the Kidneys. One who inappropriately exhibits these tendencies is considered to have deficient Kidney Qi. Other physical signs of decreased Kidney Qi include: low back pain, knee weakness, hearing issues, decreased libido, hair loss/premature gray, bone disorders, or maturation issues.
The fundamental principle of health and healing in CM is the concept of balance within all organ energies. In basic balance (like homeostasis) we intake energy (breath, water, food) and expend energy (activity/movement, engaging others physically and emotionally). We are OUT-of-balance when taking-in too much, not enough, or spending too much energy (as with adrenal fatigue). Furthermore, toxic and obsessive thought patterns when not properly addressed deplete our precious ‘savings account’ of Kidney Qi with unrelieved stress, improper sleep and poor nutrition. Ultimately life span is shortened when Kidney Qi is not properly balanced and cultivated.
Unhealthy habits develop in life from attempts to escape an emotion or feeling that we are unable to confront directly. Hyper-arousal is common today in many forms, most notable with social media accessible 24 hours a day. Some who appear healthy may have Kidney depletion due to excessive exercise. The phenomena of expending energy in heavy exercise, known as ‘runner’s high’ corresponds to increased production of endorphins or natural opiates that dull our ability to feel pain which compromises one’s ability to monitor full-body balance.
Moderation and the application of wise personal limits offer better balance.
So does the practice of mindfulness.
When applied to pain-relief, mindfulness is the presence to investigate where you are stuck.
Pain has a story and emotion in which many people get stuck. CM works to disinhibit Qi (to unblock and allow free-flow) thus providing pain relief. In the experience of pain, you can completely describe your story, hurt, patterns and pain quality. This experience can be intense but ultimately you are clearing blockages and balancing your source. Stable Kidney Qi allows you to live with pain like no doctor could ever tell you how to do. What you can do for yourself is POWERFUL!
You can become pain-free or in the case of chronic disease, live more comfortably.
Learn to cultivate what is good in your body and life through the experience of acupuncture.
For much more information on Kidney Qi and balance, visit One Earth Acupuncture.