Emotional and Physical Wellness
Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine have a holistic understanding of health, understanding the importance of both physical and emotional wellness. Emotions affect our physical health and our physical health can affect the emotions.
Acupuncture’s Holistic Approach
In diagnosis and treatment, Chinese medicine links specific emotions with specific functions in the body. Stress and worrying can affect the digestive system. Stress can also cause pain, because it stops the free flow of qi. Fear can impact urination. Anger causes heat and can lead to headaches or dizziness.
The connection of the physical body with emotions makes sense. We all know when we are nervous because we physically feel it. Your heart rate increases, you may get sweaty palms, or even blush. It is also widely known that stress and anxiety can have a negative impact on health. That’s why regular physical activity, stretching, yoga, and tai chi, makes us feel better emotionally and physically.
How does Chinese Medicine Address the Whole Person?
The metaphor of the root and branch symbolize Chinese medicine’s approach to treatment. The branch is the symptom, such as pain. The root is the main imbalance that causes the disease. A Chinese medicine physician’s goal is to treat the root of the problem, not just the branch. Correcting the root can lead to long-term improvement and recovery.
Acupuncture’s Holistic Effects
Contemporary research is beginning to show how acupuncture works in the brain to affect both physical and mental health. Using an fMRI scanner, a scan that tracks blood flow within the brain, scientists have shown that acupuncture affects a part of the brain called the limbic system. The limbic system is involved with emotional control. It is also involved with memory and behaviors such as addictions as well as hormonal regulation.
This remarkable study showed that acupuncture may calm the parts of the brain associated with the limbic system, therefore resulting in a calming effect on the person’s state of being. It is possible that acupuncture’s cumulative long-term capacity to improve health and well-being may have something to do with this ability to calm the limbic system.