by: Rebecca Rice, M.S, L.Ac.
Often patients come to the Center for treatment and say to me, “my qi is out of whack….” Or “Can you fix my qi?…” To me this relates to a whole slue of different diagnoses in Chinese Medicine, requiring different acupuncture point combinations and herbal recommendations. The cause of “blocked qi” is related to different symptoms, stemming from stress to shoulder pain, infertility to migraines. The commonality of all of these symptoms is the basic idea that qi is blocked: it is not flowing to areas where it ought to, or there is a buildup of qi.
Aside from acupuncture specifically, there are things to keep in mind that will help keep the flow of qi running smoothly. By following the guidelines of Chinese nutrition, eating foods that are known to create blockages should be avoided. These are foods that are too spicy, too greasy or fatty, and high in sugar. Also eating too much or too little food is not advised. We know that exercise is crucial for musculoskeletal strength and function as well as cardiovascular health; a body that moves regularly will keep qi moving as well.
The state of our qi and health is also related to the emotions. We will experience all emotions at certain points in our life, some more frequently than others. However if sadness, anger, concern, fear and even bliss become a more constant state, qi will become stagnant (blocked) as these ‘natural emotions’ turn into their unhealthy counterparts (depression, rage, anxiety, paranoia, and mania or bitterness).
A healthy state of qi is also influenced by thermodynamics, or the natural order of things. If we are to deny the next step based on need or destiny, then qi can also become blocked. For example, if at 11pm I ignore the fact that my body needs to sleep, staying up until 1 or 2am, then I will deplete my reserves leading to lassitude the following day. All in all, go with the flow! When the mind is clear the heart will flourish …