What is Acupuncture?
In its simplest form, acupuncture is attempting to bring Yin & Yang into balance. If you are not in harmony you are in dis-harmony leading to problems in the energetic body and eventually leading to sickness in the physical body. Balancing of Yin & Yang, for example, could be the relationship between the organs using the Wu Xing model, or the balance between Qi and blood. According to the energy traditions of Daoism, we have three bodies: the consciousness body, the energetic and the physical. The energetic or Qi body sits between the physical and consciousness layers and acts as a bridge to effect change. These three aspects of a human being are one and the same, and acupuncture works on changing the information in the energetic layer which affects both the mind and physical body, a bit like changing the code that sits behind this website. Qi is an extension of the mind down into the body, and the movement of the mind and the emotions affect the Qi which eventually affects the organs. The Qi runs through twelve primary channels and eight deeper congenital channels. The whole system is called the Jing Luo. The congenital channels are the first to form as the ‘energetic cage’ whilst in the womb. In Nei Gong we work with all the system, but of particular interest is the Trusting channel. The three Dan Tian sit on this channel.
My personal study
I first encountered the idea of meridians and Qi when I was studying striking points in Karate to disrupt the flow of Qi. After studying the internal arts, Chinese medicine became a natural progression for me, not just for treating patients but also because the knowledge I gained was invaluable to aiding my understanding of Nei Gong.
When the timing was right, and the opportunity presented itself, I decided to study the subject and in 2019 I completed a three-year Diploma in Chinese Medicine, Acupuncture and Tui Na massage with Xian Tian College, which are accredited with the Acupuncture Society and the British Acupuncture Federation. In my opinion the main difference between how I was taught in Xian Tian and other acupuncture colleges is that we were expected to cultivate our Qi and mind through the internal arts at the same time. How well a practitioner can cultivate themselves makes a huge difference on how well the treatment works. We were also taught from the perspective of Classical Chinese Medicine, which preserves the ancient tradition rather than moving towards mixing western medicine into Chinese medicine which seems to be the trend today.
To my mind, everything seems to get watered down today and made easier. You see it in Taijiquan, Qi Gong, and Acupuncture. Acupuncture can of course just be for pain relief or be symptom based, but it’s so much deeper. Why simplify it?
To me, acupuncture is a combination of self-cultivation and service to others, and is a natural progression from martial arts or Qi Gong and has many cross-overs with other disciplines. When I first started studying it seriously it was very confusing, despite having a background in the internal arts. There were so many theories and ways to treat, it was overwhelming. Then slowly it began to make sense, especially when I stopped trying to apply Western thought to it.
After graduating I started off treating friends and family and some students, I had the intention of opening a small clinic, but then the pandemic hit! Unfortunately, at the present time I am unable to offer treatments due to other commitments. I hope in the future to have an opportunity to start treating again, especially for my students.