According to tradition Chinese medicine, optimal health is the free flow of the body. Acupuncture works by stimulating acupuncture points on the channels to unblock stagnation and promote healthy flow of Qi and blood.
One of the fundamental principle of acupuncture is "go through, no pain. No go through, pain." 通则不痛，痛则不通。This refers to the channels that run throughout the body. These channels are like highway and freeway system. When highway 405 is blocked up, there is stagnation. Stagnation creates heat, AKA road rage, or inflammation, or pain. Supplies cannot be transported in the city and trash can't get out. Sounds like a bad day. If you pay close enough attention, you will see that there are pockets of freeway that gets blocked more frequently and easily than others, such as merging of two freeways or near a narrow structure like a bridge. This phenomenon happens in our body's freeway network (channels) as well due to physical structures such as joints. In fact, you will notice that a lot of the "hot spots" in the body are near the joint spaces.
We can't see the acupuncture channels under a microscope. Do they exist?
Yes! These channels are like Wi-Fi, cellphone signals and blue tooth. Even though we can't see them with our naked eyes, they do exist and can transmit information. Similarly to Wi-Fi that connects the world, the channel network in the body is an intricate intercommunication web that connects interior and exterior, left and right, up and down, organs and orifices.
Try it on your own body! You don't have to be a genius or sage to feel your own channels! Blockages in the channels feel like a hangry baby who wants your love and attention. These blogs are designed to help you find blockages in the channels and unblock them with your own hands. It just takes 10 minutes of our time daily and we can really make a difference in our health. The key is consistency.
How do we unblock the stagnation in the channels?
Identify blockages. In areas of stagnation, you can feel localized soreness and discomfort that feels distinctively different than the areas around it. Next few blogs will show you the "hot spots" channel by channel.
Unblock them. We can use the knuckle of the pinky finger to gently knock on the point. We can use our thumb to press on the point. We can use our palm like kneading the dough. We can also use guasha tools.
Do it daily! As you are working on these areas of stagnation, you may notice redness, swelling, soreness and pain in the area. In fact, the stronger and healthier you are, the more intensity of soreness you will feel. Keep working through the discomfort. This is the key!
So why should we unblock the stagnations in the channels?
Blockages in the channels serve as signals to the body. Unblocking the stagnation can prevent serious illnesses from developing. The ancient sage emphasizes greatly the importance of illness prevention.
Hence, [when it is said] 'the sages did not treat those already ill, but treated those not yet ill, they did not put in order what was already in disorder, but put in order what was not yet in disorder.
Now, when drugs are employed for therapy only after a disease has become fully developed, when [attempts at] restoring order are initiated only after disorder has fully developed. This is as if a well were dug when one is thirsty, and as if weapons were cast when the fight is on. Would this not be too late, too?
- From Yellow Emperor's Inner Canon, Chapter 2. Translated by Paul Unschuld.
The best way to prevent illness is to learn about the channels in our body and work with them on a daily basis. Don't worry. I will teach you how to do it. It's easy to learn.
Let's get started!
The material of this blog is inspired by 敲开健康之门 written by 路新宇. Currently there is no English translation of the book.