Do you perform some type of back therapy with your acupuncture?
Whether it’s massage, Tuina, chiropractic, or some other discipline, I’ll bet you find you get better results when you help physically move the Chi.
Of course, Chi can become blocked anywhere in the body, but there’s one special area that deserves careful attention: the Spine.
No other body area has so many traditional, physiological, metaphysical, and even scriptural connections to the life-force energy we call Chi.
It’s worth taking a minute to consider some of the major schools of thought and reasons the spine is so important.
Physiology: As we all know, from the physiological perspective, the spinal cord is part of the central nervous system (CNS)–and the CNS is so important that it is almost completely encased in bone from top to bottom, to prevent injury.
If the CNS is injured, it has no ability to heal or regenerate, and injury to the CNS generally results in permanent loss of function.
This is an important system.
The spine connects all the peripheral nerves to the central nervous system, and is also home to major parts of the autonomic nervous system. From that perspective, the spine and its associated structures affect every other system and organ of the body.
TCM: The Associated (back-shu) points are located on either side of the spine, along the Bladder channel. These points provide connections that affect every other channel, and consequently, every other system in the body.
If you only treated the Associated points, you would still have profound effects throughout the body. Dr. Akabane, pioneer of the Jing-well Akabane technique did just that; he treated the Associated points to treat the whole body.
Chiropractic: The foundation of chiropractic care is the concept of subluxation, generally considered as misalignment or lack of proper segmental movement in the spine.
Subluxations prevent the proper communication of life-force energy to the rest of the body, resulting in dis-ease. Correction of these subluxations with manual correction techniques restore proper motion and alignment, which in turn restore energetic flow to improve health.
Tantric and Yogic traditions of Hinduism and Buddhism specify the Chakra energy centers are located along the spine, front and back. These Chakras represent energy vortexes or whirlpools in the subtle body where Prana life force energy moves.
Each of the Chakras affects certain systems and aspects of the patient. Each has an associated color, frequency, sound, emotion, and body area.
Though you may be familiar with these ideas, you may not know just how far they reach.
Indeed, are you familiar with the following symbol?
I bet you’ve seen it many times and just assumed it meant “medical.”
Known as the Caduceus, it is a very common, modern symbol of healthcare practitioners and organizations. It shows two intertwined snakes wrapped around a staff, with wings at the head.
The Caduceus is actually a very ancient symbol that perhaps became established in modern medicine as a more symmetrical substitute for the Rod of Asclepius, which features only one snake and is the true ancient symbol of healing.
We still see it today as well:
So why a snake wrapped around a staff?
The answer has been lost to antiquity, but at least one interpretation is that the staff represents the spine, or “staff of life” and the snake represents the life-force energy infusing and wrapping around it.
The crossing points of the snake and the staff show the chakras, and the whole illustration is symbolic of the centrality of the spine to the movement and balance of Chi in the body. It’s a beautiful concept and it rings true to me.
Symbolism aside, it’s clear that from the physical and energetic perspectives of both ancient and modern systems.
How do we know what parts of the spine need attention?
I’ll cover that in Part II: The Spinal connection to Acupuncture – my next post.
Until then, keep the Chi flowing and review this Special Report: Back Pain Treatment.
It’s free – Just click here and tell us where to send it.