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  • Northeast Wisconsin
  • February 2018
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The power of a body in balance

February is the month for love and valentines; the time of the year we shower our friends and family with chocolate hearts and flowers to profess our love and gratitude. It’s also Heart Health Month and we are reminded of the importance of maintaining a healthy lifestyle. We all know what to do. Unfortunately life happens, we get stressed and our best intentions are put on the back burner.

Everyone can recognize the effects of stress on the body; a pounding heart, which you can feel in your chest, ears and/or in your head. You may have heartburn, a stomachache or high blood pressure. For some it shows as headaches, insomnia, anxiety or depression. People are looking for that magic pill that will make the stress go away or the best way to deal with or learn to cope with it.

Maybe the answer isn’t as much in learning to cope with stress but rather living a life that is able to face the “stressful” events and be neutral to it. Maybe the answer is to have a body that is in balance so no matter what event comes your way, you are able to experience your life in a calm and productive and fulfilling way. Maybe, there is another way, one that’s been around for 5,000 years. A way that has been tried and tested and has withstood the test of time.

The way is traditional Chinese medicine. The theories and philosophies are simple. First, everything is made of qi (pronounced chee). Qi makes the yin (female energy) and yang (male energy) in our body and this energy wants to maintain a balance. So, naturally anything we do to our body including the foods we eat, the exercise or lack of, the social interactions, the amount of sleep we get each night, etc., all factor in maintaining a balance.

Chinese medicine believes that to have a healthy body, a person must work at maintaining a balance of qi in their body and that the qi of their body should be in balance with the qi in nature. Meaning, not only does your body need to be in balance, it needs to be in balance with the space it occupies. To accomplish this, there are eight branches within Chinese medicine that you can incorporate into your life. They are acupuncture and moxibustion, exercise, massage, nutrition, astrology, geomancy (feng shui), meditation and herbology.

For the person who is already experiencing the stressors in life, has the tension headaches, sore shoulders, sleepless nights; asking them to incorporate eight new habits may add a bit more anxiety to the mix. The goal is to reduce the stress and begin to feel better. The quickest and easiest way is to make an appointment with your local Oriental Medicine Practitioner/acupuncturist. The two of you can discuss what is happening in your body and in your life. The practitioner will determine where the imbalances are in the body and assess the channels (pathways of energy in the body) that are out of balance. She will most likely suggest an acupuncture treatment as it is a very effective way to address the imbalances. People report after an acupuncture session, they feel very relaxed, calm, at peace and their pain is beginning to subside.

A typical course of treatment is 10 sessions; some people need fewer sessions while others require more. It depends on your level of imbalance in the body as to how many sessions will be needed. Factors to take into consideration are: how long you have been dealing with this condition, your overall, general health and your willingness to resolve the imbalances.

Keep in mind that Chinese medicine incorporates the eight branches and requires that you, your body and your environment, be in balance. It is through the daily practice of these eight branches that you begin to achieve the balance. As you are going through your sessions, your acupuncturist will share ways to incorporate the eight branches into your life so it promotes a balance of the qi. For example, not only is a pear one of your fruit servings per day, a pear will help to cool your body, it will bring moisture to your lungs and skin and it’s a great food to eat as we enter into the fall and winter seasons.

The Taoists observed over 5,000 years ago that disease in the body was greatly reduced and/or healed by the practice of specific body movements. These movements are known as qi gong. When you perform qi gong, the movement follows the path and direction of the channels in your body. As you are practicing your qi gong, you are encouraging the movement of qi in that channel. Essentially, you are giving yourself a mini acupuncture treatment.

Chinese Medicine is about embracing all the parts of our life and understanding that every single part is connected to all the other parts. What we do in one area of our life affects all the other areas. As you begin to incorporate the eight branches into your life, you will begin to see a peace and calm return. With that peace, comes improved health. It’s not just you who experiences these changes, it’s all those who you come in contact with. As you are in balance with your surroundings, your surroundings are in balance with you. What a great way to show your family and friends how much you love them. Happy Valentine’s Day! 

Article submitted on behalf of 9th St. Wellness. For more information, visit

Teri Postell

Teri Postell is a licensed Acupuncturist with a Master of Science in Oriental Medicine and a Bachelor of Science in Chinese Nutrition. She is also a Reiki Master and licensed Massage Therapist. Her offices are in Green Bay at the 9th Street Wellness Center (920-490-9699) and in Wrightstown (920-619-4574).


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