ACUPUNCTURE AND YOGA – HOW DO THEY COMPLEMENT EACH OTHER FOR BETTER HEALTH?
There are quite a few similarities between the two practices when comparing yoga and acupuncture. Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) Practitioners (Acupuncturists) work to ensure the smooth flow of Qi within the body. Qi can be translated as ‘life force.’
In Ayurvedic medicine, yoga practitioners refer to ‘Qi’ as Prana. TCM and yoga activate the smooth flow of Qi/Prana differently, but both are based on Eastern Philosophy with similar ideas. Therefore, both Yoga and TCM create free-flowing energy, whether Qi or Prana.
In TCM, there are energetic pathways in the body. These pathways are called Meridians. When the energetic flow within the meridians becomes blocked, the result can show up as a variety of symptoms such as pain, emotional ups and downs, fatigue, overeating, and the list goes on and on. Acupuncturists strive to remove any blockages within these pathways to create free-flowing Qi within the meridians and reduce and eliminate the symptoms, thereby bringing the body back into balance.
The complementary nature of yoga and acupuncture is reflected in their shared goal of releasing energy stagnation in the meridian systems and their related organs or the blood. While yoga provides the format to remove the blockage, acupuncture and meridian theory offer a framework to understand which poses are best for a particular condition. Additionally, herbs can strengthen the flow of qi and unblock stagnated qi. Our overly fast lifestyles, combined with poor eating habits and a polluted environment, can create deficiencies that acupuncture and herbs can help correct. The Chinese pharmacopeia is the most significant, most advanced categorization of plants, animals, and minerals worldwide. It has withstood the test of time.
While yoga strengthens and stabilizes the flow of qi/prana, acupuncture and herbs dramatically enhance one’s healing and overall health goals. Acupuncture will also intensify and speed up the recovery of each yoga session, helping one to move forward in their health and mental state with clarity, focus, and increased sense of well-being.
Yoga practice and Traditional Chinese Medicine (Acupuncture and herbs) concurrently have time-tested treatments of 5,000 years. My acupuncture assessment derives treatment protocols that will dramatically enhance the healing process.
Three Examples of How Acupuncture and Yoga Clinically Help:
Warrior II focuses on the lymphatic system and the hips and knees. The emphasis on these joints is related to the gall bladder, spleen, and stomach meridians. These organs help the lymphatic system by increasing digestion and immune fluid. By stimulating specific acupuncture points on the Gallbladder, spleen, and stomach meridians, digestive juices increase, boosting the immune system via the gut.
Wheel and other backbends can effectively and sometimes very intensely stretch the stomach and spleen meridians. This pose can help prevent your body from acid reflux, heartburn, and other stomach issues. In addition, various combinations of spleen and stomach meridian points will discourage acid reflux while calming the mind of excessive worry. These points will also help one maintain focus and mental clarity without the distraction of “monkey mind” chatter.
Tree pose is a standard balancing pose that you can adapt based on your skill level. It focuses on the small intestine meridian and increases abdominal circulation. Tree pose can also calm and relax the mind and nervous system, bringing more self-awareness. Points stimulated on the “Du,” and small intestine meridians can anchor the QI and open the mind to the truth of who we are deep down.
Downward dog can always be the home base pose. It is a staple that can be used in almost every yoga practice.
This pose focuses on the arms and shoulder meridians, improving heart and lung function. Increased function of these organs can help fight against allergies, viruses, anxiety, and trouble sleeping. Downward dogs can also help digestion and allow for increased blood flow. By stimulating the heart and the lung meridians, we can calm the emotions to help relieve severe anxiety and sadness while improving breathing ability, thus oxygenating the brain! This pose focuses on the arms and shoulder meridians, improving heart and lung function. Increased function of these organs can help fight against allergies, viruses, anxiety, and trouble sleeping. Downward dogs can also help digestion and allow for increased blood flow.
Great article on the topic includes: Meridian Yoga
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