Like most professions acupuncture has its own set of vocabulary.
Unfortunately, it comes from a very different culture than our own and is sometimes hard for us to understand, especially when there isn't a good translation for some of the words. Take qi (pronounced: chee) for example: There are many ways to describe what qi is and you really don't get a true idea of what qi is unless you look at all the definitions. It also helps to understand what it does and how it works.
I believe the most important part of my job with a patient is education. What I do within a treatment session is only as good as how well the patient is taking care of themselves when they leave the office. Their education includes reminders of being active, taking time for stress relief, getting enough rest, and food recommendations for their condition. Those are the easy things to talk about, but I think it is also important for the patient to understand what my treatment principle for them is, or rather, what I am doing with the needles and how they can continue the treatment when they leave. This is where professional language rears its ugly head and turns people off from acupuncture. Over the next couple of blog posts we will wade through the odd words and weird concepts together and you will see how it can make sense and eventually get you on the qi train! ALL ABOARD! (Check back next week to see what the heck Qi is!)
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Barbara Wasson, DAc, is a Licensed and Board Certified Acupuncturist in Hudson, WI