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May the Force Be With You
a blog by Beth and Tami of Pulling Down the Moon
You’ve heard your acupuncturist refer to it a million times, but what exactly is “Qi” (pronounced CHEE)?
It’s frequently translated as “air” or “breath” as in “the breath of life” inherent in all things. But it’s not to be confused with “oxygen.” You can pump a lifeless body full of oxygen and it remains lifeless. If you pump a lifeless body full of Qi, it would come back to life (so the sages tell us).
In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), Qi is the energy or life force that runs through us. In Japan it is known as “Ki.” In India or to the yogi it is referred to as “Prana.” It’s called “Vitality” in the West. And “The Force” in Star Wars.
Traditional Chinese Medicine practitioners think that this life force travels throughout our bodies via pathways or super highways known as meridians. It is believed there are 14 main meridians and 365 points in the body. So when an acupuncturist places a needle in you; she is targeting a specific pathway or point to help stimulate the flow of Qi.
As Qi flows through the meridians, it regulates the body’s physical, mental, emotional and spiritual well-being. If Qi is out of balance, so are we.
Think of meridians as a type of garden hose. When there’s a kink in the hose, the water can’t flow through, right? The same principle applies for the flow of Qi. Acupuncture takes the kinks out of the hose, so to speak. It clears up the traffic jam of our internal super highway. According to TCM, illness, disease and even infertility occurs due to blockages or imbalances of Qi in the meridians. If you are needle-phobic, other holistic disciplines such as yoga, Qi Gong, reike and acupressure are also believed to enhance Qi/Prana.
Scientists have yet to prove or see the existence of Qi in the body, but science has begun to show that acupuncture seems to increase overall conception rates (when done before and after embryo transfer in conjunction with IVF). It has also been shown to regulate hormones, increase blood flow, create a state of relaxation, and potentially help with some male factor infertility.
When once asked to prove the existence of Qi, a Pulling Down the Moon acupuncturist poignantly stated, “We know love exists, but how do you prove it? Try putting love in a beaker or try explaining it scientifically. It’s a feeling state.”
Perhaps sometimes we just need to take a leap of faith in trusting the wisdom of the ancient sages who have used these techniques in bringing about balance and well-being for thousands of years.
Coffee or Qi? I’ll take my beaker of Qi straight up, thank you.
Be peaceful, be positive, be Qi-filled,