Here is a summary of the exciting range of topics provided by the Acupuncture Centre based in Bramcote, Nottingham this year. To receive a monthly digest of future topics, why not subscribe to our brief monthly email newsletter at http://eepurl.com/ybZKL
Winter is the most yin time of the year, when everything contracts. It is a time for renewal. Animals hibernate, plant growth slows, rivers freeze. According to an ancient medical text, the emperor Huang Di says that “during the winter months all things in nature wither, hide, return home, and enter a resting period…. Therefore, one should refrain from overusing the yang energy. Retire early and get up with the sunrise, which is later in winter.”
It is a time for introspection, reflection, staying indoors and keeping warm. It is a time for storytelling, recharging our batteries and counting our blessings. Why not get in touch with your more sensitive side, engage in hobbies and crafts or take up meditation.
If a patient abides by the Yellow Emperor’s proclamation that “winter is dominated by storage of energy,” by the time spring arrives, it may find him in his best health yet.
What will you be doing this Christmas?
[For this and more stories why not subscribe to our short punchy newsletter at http://eepurl.com/ybZKL]
Qi the essence of acupuncture. Pronounced ‘chee’, this is one of the most central yet most commonly misunderstood concepts within acupuncture and Chinese medicine.
Centuries of careful scholarship have given us a sophisticated understanding of the many personalities of Qi. It is often translated into English as ‘energy’ or ‘vital energy’ or life force’, though in truth there is no direct translation. The Chinese written character for Qi has two pictures, one of steam or vapour (can you see which is which) – which indicates its immaterial nature – and the other a grain of rice, which in China is the essence of life. So in effect it is something invisible yet present which derives from the food we eat.
So what is its purpose? It is a useful way of describing the familiar processes – the ebbs and flows of life. In the human body Qi ‘powers’ all movement, helps one thing to transform into another, holds things in their proper place, warms us and protects us from external pathogens. In effect it is synonymous with life, a description of the everyday and the amazing.
So by careful observation and by adjusting the flow of the body’s Qi with acupuncture needles, a skilled acupuncturist is able to for example counter sluggishness (both spiritually and physically), improve the body’s resistance to catching colds and improve poor circulation.
Acupuncturists are also interested in the direction of the flow of Qi. For example, the Qi of the stomach should flow downwards – we have all experienced times when this is not so!
Where would we be without Qi?
Here’s how to do it. Start off by removing your clothing above the waist so you can access the front of your body (including your lower abdomen) and allow a couple of minutes for your skin to reach a stable unclothed temperature. Now place your hand in turn on your chest, between your rib-cage and navel, and between your navel and pelvis. Take your time with each. Did you notice any clear differences in temperature between the three areas? This would indicate that some of your body functions are not working harmoniously together.
To give some examples, if your lower area is colder, you may be less able to nurture a pregnancy, your sperm may be sluggish with low motility or you may be experiencing slower bowel movements. If your middle area is too hot, you may be experiencing digestive disturbance (good digestion is necessary in order to provide essential nutrients to your eggs or sperm).
If you think you have a problem with your three temperatures, it would be helpful to have a chat with your local acupuncturist. Of course you don’t have to be trying for a baby to be out of balance.