Acupuncture and Yoga Benefits
Traditional Chinese medicine believes the key to a healthy life lies in keeping a balanced circulation of energy. And with a surge in interest in yoga, acupuncture, meditation, and similar therapies, it seems like Western populations are adopting an Eastern view on how to manage themselves – body and mind – in today’s hectic world.
But there are a lot of people still not taking full advantage of these approaches. In the same way running a mile each day isn’t a path to complete fitness, doing a yoga class here and there will not put your body’s energy in complete harmony. In order to get the full effect of such exercises, your body needs a variety of support. It needs a full treatment from multiple sources – the general mediation of yoga combined with the specific therapy of acupuncture.
Acupuncture, Yoga, and Their Effects on Your Energy
The body’s energy, known as qi (pronounced “chi”), circulates through the body via pathways called meridians. These pathways connect vital organs and areas linked with life functions and emotions. By keeping these meridians clear and functioning properly the body is able to maintain a balanced energy and function. But the stress of daily life can cause strain on the body – physically, mentally, and emotionally – blocking meridians and qi’s flow. These blocks can lead to sickness and pain in the corresponding areas, along with emotional and mental imbalances.
So, along with other solutions, a series of exercises were developed to promote proper energy flow. In China, it’s called qigong; in India, it’s yoga. And Western populations are have been adopting these exercises over the years as an alternative way to keep their health balanced. The goal is to exercise high-stress areas that may lead to blocked energy, while focusing on your own energy flow and areas lacking balanced support. You learn to listen to your body and what it needs, while also learning how to control your energy and send it where it’s needed.
But while yoga has been helping people promote balance for centuries, it’s only one part of the equation for harmony. These stretches and meditations are essentially day-to-day preventative measures. A swell in stress or an injury may call for more help than you’re able to give through yoga alone.
Acupuncture goes much deeper with it’s therapy, picking up where yoga can leave off. Focusing on specific points – acupuncture points – along the body’s meridians, acupuncture uses small needles to stimulate blocked areas, encouraging circulation and a restoring the harmony of a balanced qi.
For example, a busy work week may leave you feeling tired, tense, and unmotivated. You decide to schedule a longer yoga class to help you unwind, and it does a decent job. You leave feeling a bit more calm and limber, but something is still a little off. Maybe your mind hasn’t completely calmed down, or your shoulders are still feeling the effects of 40 hours of being tensed. Your yoga has helped you slow down and focus on your body, and now you realize it’s in more discord than you had thought.
An acupuncturist will work with you to identify your problem areas and how to direct therapy specifically to them. Maybe a week of stress has left your neck strained and its muscles need help releasing their tension. By addressing several isolated areas, the body as a whole is able to return to normal.
Whether you find yourself in agreement with TCM and qi or not, it’s hard to argue that listening to your body doesn’t have positive results.
- Regain control of your body
- Understand your stress and its effects on your body
- Learn how to manage stress and navigate through it
So why not delve deeper into your meditation and search for relaxation? Chances are you already have a better understanding of your body than you realize. And chances are you’ve experienced times when you could have used some extra help balancing yourself. Acupuncture could be the perfect addition to your routine.
Supplementing your regular workouts and diet with occasional acupuncture sessions can provide extra help with stress relief and circulation. Because the effectiveness of these approaches lies in coupling them with others, you may find yourself more relaxed after yoga, more satisfied with your diet and lifestyle, and generally more comfortable and satisfied.
Your regular routine is already strengthening your body’s ability to deal with the many forms of daily stress. When you combine this general strengthening with acupuncture’s detailed rejuvenation, you give your body the attention necessary to regain and sustain the harmony it’s meant to have. Whether you’re already feeling good and want to keep it that way, or you’re looking for way to jump start your life of wellness, acupuncture could be the perfect addition to your alternative approaches to a healthier life.