What is Qi?

We often talk about Qi in traditional Chinese medicine language. So what is Qi? Qi is one of the essential elements of life. Along with blood, these two elements support all life activities. Running out of Qi or blood cause death, obviously. Also if Qi stops moving around body, many pathologic symptoms may appear. Along these symptoms, pain is the most troublesome one. So how does Qi move around body? Well, it goes through those so-call courses. There are twelve regular courses and eight irregular courses running up and down human body. They become the most important routes for Qi to circulate body. So once Qi stocks in certain spot along these courses, pain or disfunction of the surrounding areas will appear. So there is an important concept of acupuncture, which is inserting needles into these areas to promote Qi floating again instead of stocking just in one place. After Qi resumes normal movement, pain will reduce and dis function will diminish.

How many treatment sessions do I need?

Many patients come to me with this question. “How many treatment sessions do I need for my condition? “ or “ How often do I need treatment? “ I believe these are very common questions in each one of your mind. First of all, acupuncture treatment is one of the treatment options to control symptoms. Each treatment method takes varies length of time and duration to show treatment outcome. As a unique treatment method, acupuncture has literally no side effects. Some patients may experience tingling, numbness or other sensation in the treatment after first couple sessions. Those are very common body reaction to needle stimulation, which also indicate these individuals have good response to the treatments. In terms of the frequency of acupuncture treatment should each patient getting, It greatly depends on each individual. In the beginning of treatment course, getting 2-3 times treatment session per week is recommended, especially for acute symptoms. After symptoms are under control, treatment frequency may reduce to once a week or even once every other week.

Today’s questions

I was questioned today by one of my patients. How does acupuncture do to release my symptoms comparing to the prescription medicines? First, the prescription medicines work straightly to the target, meaning pain pills to reducing pain, water pills to decreasing amount of body fluid, blood pressure pills to lower blood pressure, etc. However, as an acupuncturist, I am more concern about where is the origin of the problem. For example, to treat a patient with cough, I would like to find out what is the reason of the cough. Therefore, this patient is catching cold recently or is coughing for long period of time. If the cough is newly onset, along with the the color of the patient tongue and pulse, I will decide the cough is “cold symptom” or “hot symptom”. If the cough lasts for a period of time, I will diagnosis the cough is caused by weakness of lung “qi”, or lung “yin”, or lung “heat”. According to Chinese medicine theory, cough may be also caused heart system, spleen system, or kidney system. I may have up to 15 different treatment plans to cough symptoms depending on the origin of the cough.