What is Qigong? It’s a Branch of Chinese Medicine

What is Qigong? It is perhaps not as well-known as some of the other modalities of Chinese Medicine in “the west”. This is a shame as it is a well-developed and powerful healing system. Qigong is pronounced “Chee Gung”. Here is my definition of Qigong:

Qigong is a set of exercises done to produce a specific effect on the function or energy of the body.

You see, over its thousands of years of history Chinese Medicine developed into a vast system of healing and nourishing the body and mind. In this way it is akin to how “Western Medicine” developed various specialties (dermatology, psychiatry, internal medicine, etc.) and modes of treatment (drugs, surgery, talk therapy, etc.) Here are just a few of the branches of Chinese Medicine:

  • Acupuncture
  • Herbal Medicine
  • Tuina (medical massage)
  • Dietary Therapy
  • Moxabustion (heat therapy)
  • Qigong

Do It Yourself Healthcare

What sets qigong apart from most of the other branches of Chinese Medicine is that it is (typically) not done to you- you do it to yourself!

This “do it yourself” characteristic makes qigong uniquely positioned. It is a way to directly participate in transforming our own health!

Supercharge Your Results

Another great aspect of qigong is that it is compatible with virtually any other form of treatment you may be utilizing. It won’t interact with western pharmaceuticals, because it’s not a drug. It complements and supercharges the effects of acupuncture by reinforcing the effects of the needles. It is compatible with chiropractic, massage, herbal medicine, surgery, you name it!

“What Can I Do To Heal Faster?”

Often my acupuncture patients ask me what they can do to help their healing process. I’m thrilled when I get asked that kind of question because when a patient is willing to take personal responsibility for their health the results really accelerate.

I do my very best to empower people who want to actively participate in their own healthcare. I may suggest and teach a qigong exercise specific to a particular person’s acupuncture diagnosis. If you are a patient of mine, ask me if there is any qigong we can add to your treatment routine.

Not an acupuncture patient of mine yet? I am offering free face-to-face consultations. Schedule one to see if a combination of acupuncture and qigong might help you find freedom from pain and illness.

If you’re interested in learning more about acupuncture, simply schedule an appointment at our location in Durham, NC. To schedule an appointment call 919-228-8448, or use our online scheduling system.

Ginseng for energy or acupuncture?Dump the Ginseng!

Non-medicinal products containing ginseng abound in America. You can find:

  • Sweet iced green tea with ginseng
  • Multivitamins with ginseng
  • B Vitamin complex with ginseng
  • Energy drinks with ginseng

Ginseng comes to America from its use in Chinese Medicine for thousands of years. In Chinese herbal formulas ginseng (红参 or “ren shen” in Chinese) is used as an energy booster. And it is a really powerful energy booster when used in these formulas.

The problem is that the inclusion of ginseng in all of these products is primarily for marketing purposes. Some brilliant marketing person probably figured out that their products would sell better if they were marketed as containing this amazing herb. So many of us are dragging ourselves through life with low-energy that the promise of a quick fix can be very appealing. The problem is this:

Ginseng is completely inappropriate for most of the people to whom it is being marketed!

Don’t self-medicate with ginseng. If you are not middle-aged or older with symptoms like low appetite and a cold body, ginseng is probably not for you. If you are experiencing low energy do your body a favor and skip the caffeine-loaded energy drinks, mega-size coffee or ginseng-containing products.

There are many different causes of low energy. A licensed acupuncturist can help you get to the source of your low energy. You shouldn’t need rocket fuel just to get through your day.

To see if acupuncture might be right for you, give us a call at our Durham location or you may call us at 919-228-8448. If you find it easier to make an appointment online, you can simply click here to use our online schedule to set up a free face-to-face consultation.

Is Man Experiencing Energy Medicine - AcupunctureAcupuncture Energy Medicine

More and more these days I’ve noticed people advertising or discussing various forms of “energy medicine”. It seems like every few weeks I learn of some “amazing” new form of energy healing that involves fancy devices, laying on of hands, crystals, sounds, colors, smells, elixirs and so forth. As many of us find ourselves frustrated with what is missing from modern “western medicine” new alternative therapies continue to appear to meet those needs. The latest and greatest energy medicine modality can sound very attractive.

Crystals and Incense and Auras… Oh My!

Sadly there are many charlatans out there willing to take advantage of the sick and desperate. I would go so far as to say that most of the “latest and greatest” energy medicine modalities out there amount nothing more than a simple placebo. It is a strange and amazing universe in which we live, of course. Simply being different, strange, unconventional, or difficult to explain does not rule out effectiveness or truth. Likewise, simply falling under the label “energy medicine” does not make a particular healing practice a sham.

Mainstream Energy Medicine

One could certainly call electronic defibrillation a form of energy medicine, for instance. This therapy works time and time again and is as central to conventional western medicine as it gets. Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), cancer radiotherapy, electrocardiograms (ECG), phototherapy, laser vision correction (LASIK), nerve conduction studies, deep brain stimulation (DBS), among many others are all very mainstream therapies yet could all rightly be labeled as energy medicine. Indeed most of these would be considered science fiction or fantasy just a few decades ago.

Acupuncture – Energy Medicine or not?

So where does acupuncture fall? Is it energy medicine or something else?

Acupuncture relies on needles and heat (moxibustion) to cause various therapeutic effects on the body and/or mind. The foundation of acupuncture (or at least the kind of acupuncture I do – Classical Chinese Medicine) is the homeostatic functional balance between the various organ systems of the body. Acupuncture points are locations on the body that over thousands of years of observations have been empirically shown to cause a certain effect on the body and/or mind when stimulated. The relationships observed between these points ultimately lead to the theory of channels of energy or information linking these points.

It is pretty clear to me that acupuncture, as it is most commonly practiced, is a form of energy medicine. The functional and energetic effects on the body/mind are considered when selecting acupuncture points. Furthermore, moxibustion is a form of energy medicine involving the application of infrared energy to stimulate acupuncture points.

However you label it, energy medicine or not, acupuncture is a form of healing that has truly stood the test of time.

To see if acupuncture might be right for you, give us a call at our Durham location or you may call us at 919-228-8448. If you find it easier to make an appointment online, you can simply click here to use our online schedule to set up a free face-to-face consultation.

Food for Energy

A neat blog I follow bodyhacker recently blogged about 7 Foods for an Energy Boost. Being married to Melissa, The Avocado Queen I am a huge fan of food, so I took particular interest in that post. I don’t always agree with what I read on bodyhacker (this article being no exception), but like many of their articles, it does provide “food for thought”, so to speak.

In this bodyhacker post, in particular, I take exception to the number of fruits on the list. Fruits have lots of simple sugars (fructose mostly- as in “high fructose corn syrup”), which can lead to an energy crash after eating them. It is true that most fruits compensate in the body through their high fiber content. Still, I wonder if there aren’t other sources of these energy boosting vitamins and minerals that don’t contain so much fructose and might be better candidates for this list.

For vitamin C sources I suggest bell peppers, broccoli, brussel sprouts, and cabbage. For potassium consider spinach and mushrooms. For dietary fiber, how about dark leafy greens, broccoli, and cabbage?

Details aside, it is easy to forget how much our food effects our health. From our energy to our skin to our mood to our stress levels to our sleep, we are deeply affected by our food.

Eat well, folks! Use food for energy.

To see if acupuncture might be right for you, give us a call at our Durham location or you may call us at 919-228-8448. If you find it easier to make an appointment online, you can simply click here to use our online schedule to set up a free face-to-face consultation.