Dear OM magazine,
I have been practising yoga for about a year now and have started to take a very keen interest in complementary and alternative healthcare and medicines, as well as many other things surrounding the world of yoga. One thing in particular that has always intrigued me is acupuncture. I do not have any specific ailments to speak of but I have always tended to suffer from a lack of energy (although my yoga is helping with this!). Do you think that acupuncture could benefit me at all?
Lisa C, Dorking, Surrey
It’s a great question, and one that we are often asked. These days, lack of energy is a silent epidemic – millions of people experience it, and often think of it as a normal condition given how busy, stressful or full people’s lives are.
The truth is, the body loves to be healthy and actually craves balance. If our energy, or chi, feels depleted, it’s amazing how quickly we can restore this balance with a little support where needed.
To understand this better, think of your energy as flowing through pathways that feed every cell of your body. When that flow becomes blocked or impeded from sickness or stress, our energy stagnates, and we can begin to feel sluggish, foggy-headed and even depressed.
In Five Element acupuncture, one of our roles is to find out where these blocks are and why they are occurring, then clear them using needles so that the chi can flow unobstructed. The result can be increased energy, clarity of mind, lightness of spirit, and simply feeling better all around.
Yoga does something very similar; most likely, you’ve felt an ease and lightness after a great asana practice. One of the key differences, though, is that acupuncture is more specific with what it treats, and can go directly to the source of the problem.
In my experience, acupuncture and yoga are beautifully complimentary practices; when coupled together, they can be highly potent and work to even greater benefit in any healing process. I suggest you give acupuncture a try, and let us know how it works for you!
Aaron Deemer LicAc MBAcC