People think of “Qi” as an invisible mystery energy. I believe this was a mis-translation, as the symbol for qi means rice vapor, which can be thought of as oxygen. This is the physical aspect of Qi and relates to our levels of oxygen or energy in the body. On a mental aspect, we also have Qi, which is our thoughts, interests and mental beliefs.
How can we control stress, by protecting our mental Qi? For example, if someone illegally detained us in jail, we would shout out loud at the injustice. However if someone or something does this with our mental Qi, by absorbing our thoughts and inducing stress, we just try to bear it silently. Over time, studies show this is very harmful for our health.
Think about those things that you have no control over, try to let them go so that they do not absorb your mental Qi – they do not clutter your mind. This way you can use your mental energies for those things that you can control and hopefully live a more peaceful life. Remember, life is full of stress. You cannot control the stress, but you can control your reaction to it.
Kelly McConville, L.Ac. will be giving a series of lectures through Poway Adult School. These classes, to be held in January, 2018 and March, 2018, will discuss the growing interest in complementary styles of Medicine, including Traditional Chinese Medicine. If you’ve ever wondered how easy it is to take care of yourself naturally and simply, or why there is such a growing demand for these types of complementary healthcare, then you should attend this class. Contact Poway Adult School for more information. www.powayadultschool.com
Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (AOM) Day is observed annually on October 24. It is part of an effort designed to increase public awareness of the progress, promise and benefits of acupuncture and Oriental Medicine. Did you know that an estimated 36% of U.S. adults now use some form of complementary and alternative medicine? What can you do? Help spread the word if you can!
In my clinic, I normally see patients with conditions unresponsive to conventional treatment. If they get relief, I tell each of them “Tell your friends, your doctors and anyone else you know of about your experience.” Why do I do this? So that they can help others who may not know that acupuncture may help their condition that they may think otherwise untreatable. Acupuncture for them may be the missing link they need to heal. One of my teachers used to say – “Good health means you have choices”. When you have no choice, no backup plan, you are stuck. Give others a choice, help spread the message of acupuncture today! Thanks.
Working with the Veterans Administration and Triwest, we have been successful in providing acupuncture care to Veterans. There is no cost to the Veterans and all the Veteran needs is a referral from their VA physician. Our clinic has been able to adapt and incorporate the many changes to this Program which continues to evolve as the VA continues its efforts to provide timely healthcare to Veterans.
If you know of a Veteran who needs healthcare or wants to try an alternative approach for pain-relief that may even lessen any dependence upon pain medications, please let them know that we are approved and available to meet their needs.
A recent article in Smithsonian Magazine (May, 2017), by Robert Siegel, illustrates the questions regarding the placebo effect in medicine. For those of you not familiar with this, it simply implies that if you believe something will help you, it sometimes will. This belief commonly happens with drug studies, when those taking the “sham” medicine also report improvement. For acupuncture, some controlled studies have shown that the insertion of needles in the wrong areas, or incorrectly inserted, still elicit favorable relief from the patient.
Who knows how much this placebo effect can impacts a patient’s level of relief? I know in my clinic, those who do not think the acupuncture will work, usually do not get better no matter how appropriate the treatment. Also remember that acupuncture is used successfully on animals (usually dogs and horses) for a variety of ailments. There is no placebo effect in animals – they simply want to return to their natural state of activity, and they do so after receiving acupuncture.
The Smithsonian article eluded to the question that perhaps the placebo effect itself should be examined more closely. In drug testing, MRI studies are now showing that placebos, like real pharmaceuticals, actually trigger the release of neurochemicals such as endorphins. It is amazing that we are still learning new things about the body and finding new ways to maintain health in a progressively challenging world