You’ll hear us mention a term in the clinic called “qi”. But what is “qi” and what does it actually mean? Many proponents of Chinese Medicine may describe qi as the life force within any living being. This life force means there is the presence of qi and qi is necessary for life to continue. But, that answer doesn’t really allow us to fully comprehend the concept of qi, nor understand how and why we use the term around the clinic.
What does this mean?
To keep it simple, qi as an overarching label for all of the physiological processes happening in the body. From the action of the enzymes in our digestive tract, to hormones traveling through our blood stream to much more. Qi may also be compared to our breath. Breathing is the mechanism which helps assist in the exchange of oxygen at the capillary beds in our lungs, renewing and restoring chemical equilibrium. Qi is the energy, it’s the movement, it’s the descriptor of anything happening in our bodies.
When our qi is off balance it might cause us to feel pain, tiredness, hormonal imbalances, or various other symptoms. In acupuncture, the acupuncture needle can be thought of as a messenger that helps realign the qi and helps the body return to it’s equilibrium. Research shows that acupuncture increases blood flow and circulation, boosts endorphins, the immune system and reduces pain.
So can you feel qi?
While this answer varies in each individual, most people describe the feeling of acupuncture as having a deep tissue massage but more relaxing. The nervous system reacts to acupuncture needles in the body and increases feelings of relaxation. At Maryville Acupuncture we strive to offer safe, comfortable, and effective treatments. That way, each treatment becomes a collaboration between you and your acupuncturist to move and nourish your qi to support your healing and well-being.