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Chinese Medicine is comprised of myriad modalities that may be used together or separately to restore balance to the body. Chinese Medicine seeks to understand the patient’s signs and symptoms in the context of his/her life, rather than viewing disease as an external reality separate from and imposed upon the body. This point of view is what gives Chinese Medicine the moniker “holistic medicine.” Acupuncture is one of the modalities of Chinese Medicine. It involves the use of fine needles at specific points on the body to stimulate the movement of Qi, Blood, and Body Fluids along the Meridians.

People often ask, “What is Qi?” This is a difficult question. Qi is not tangible or physical per se; however, its functions and manifestations are very real. Jeffrey Yuen says, “Qi is relationship,” confirming the transitory and changing nature of Qi. Life at its most basic is about relationship — our relationships — to self, to others, to a Higher Power, to nature. Qi, then, is the physical expression of the changing states both within and outside of our bodies — the act of being. We are, after all, human beings.

The Meridians are energetic pathways that consist of distinct points connecting the exterior of the body with the internal organs and environment. The idea of acupuncture, therefore, is that by working with specific points on the Meridians, the inner workings of the body can be deeply and profoundly affected.

A positive outlook is critical to healing: if the mind goes to a positive place, the energies of the body follow it there; if the mind is inclined to a negative outlook, the energies of the body will instead be tied up and invested in this perspective. In emphasizing the positive, acupuncture seeks to work with each patient’s strengths, thus building on the good that is intrinsic to him/her, in an effort to rebalance the body and promote self-healing. The body wants to heal and has the tools by which to do so; fortifying the body’s natural, instinctive healing responses encourages the body to heal itself. The Su Wen, one of the Chinese medical Classics, says: “So much of all illness begins in the mind, and the ability to persuade the patient to change the course of perception and feeling to aid in the healing process is a requirement of a good physician.”

Health depends upon the smooth flow of Qi. The absence of smooth flow engenders stagnation and disease in the Meridians and internal organs. The focus of Chinese Medicine in general and acupuncture in particular is maintaining the smooth flow of Qi in the body.

Having had the privilege to study Classical acupuncture under Jeffrey Yuen, Daoist priest and Classical Chinese Medicine master, we are able to tap into the rich tradition of Chinese acupuncture as performed at its zenith during the Han Dynasty. CCM sees the body as an interrelated whole, with reintegration being a requirement in healing disease, returning to wellness, and preventing future illness. We are also trained in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), the more commonly practiced style of acupuncture. While the emotional component is less emphasized in TCM, it is nonetheless a powerful style for dealing with many different conditions of a more physical nature. We practice both TCM and CCM in our offices, deciding which approach to take based on the individual’s presentation.

Classical Chinese Medicine is rooted in “the Classics,” or the foundational texts of the ancient medicine. CCM sees each patient as a unique whole: body, mind, and spirit. A significant component of Classical acupuncture treatment, therefore, focuses on acquiring a better understanding of how emotions influence physiology and pathology. Because emotions are held in the body — the emotional body — they are inextricably linked to both disease and balance. Through the use of the Sinew Channels, Luo Vessels, Divergent Meridians, and Extraordinary Vessels to name a few, CCM is able to address a vast array of conditions, ranging from superficial musculoskeletal and cutaneous injuries to emotional imbalances and deep-seated autoimmune and hereditary disorders.