Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Qi Is Not Voodoo - It’s Science

For us in the western world, qi (pronounced “chee”) is a foreign concept. By and large, we are only exposed to the allopathic model of medicine - i.e. doctors, prescription medications, surgeries, etc. So when we hear an acupuncturist talk about “meridians,” “qi” or “energy channels,” it’s enough to make us throw our hands in the air and declare it quackery. But eastern medicine has been around for many thousands of years, where allopathic medicine is scarcely over a century old. Furthermore, we now have the technology to effectively understand qi - and it’s definitely not voodoo.

Western scientists have long been confused by any medical model that discusses qi. They have attributed results of treatments based on qi to the placebo effect. Today however, modern technology is shedding some light on this ancient medical model. We now have the ability to measure and see qi, which has shed some light on what was previously thought to be mysterious and imaginary.

So what is qi? Qi can be described as “bioelectricity” or “body electricity.” It is a known fact that our bodies are electric. For instance, the same science base that created the well known EKG machine guides acupuncture, acupressure, chiropractic and applied kinesiology. The general idea is that where qi is unbalanced in the body, problems can arise. In an EKG for instance, physicians measure what parts of the heart are producing electricity and which parts are weak in their electrical outputs.

In addition, many natural health practitioners are utilizing muscle response testing (MRT), also known as applied kinesiology, to measure weaknesses within the body. These methods of testing use electrical flow through the body. They can also measure what the body needs that fills in that weakness to provide strength to the affected part of the body.

In a healthy person, qi channels will be open to promote balanced and open communication within the body. It’s all about where and how the electricity flows through the body. Proper and predictable electric flow through the body helps stabilize health. Chiropractic seeks to stabilize and balance qi through adjustments, so that the body can properly communicate with itself. Acupuncture stimulates meridians along various points of the body to encourage balance.

In eastern culture, qi is such a normal and accepted part of the culture that marketing companies market their products based on qi. Foods are advertised as “hot” or “cold” which correspond to “yin and yang” within the body. In the postpartum period, Chinese women eat only hot foods for 40 days so as to replace the lost yang from childbirth. Generally speaking, the oriental cultures enjoy better health than those of us who are immersed in the medical model.

Clearly we have a thing or two to learn from this ancient model of medicine. Don’t shut out a new idea simply because it’s unfamiliar. Science is proving the benefits of qi as a part of one’s health. It’s best to give it some attention as a part of your wellness plan!

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