by Sam Pierceall
Ever heard someone try to play a guitar that’s out of tune? No matter what chord the musician plays, it simply sounds off. The harmony that exists in precisely tuned instruments comes from the balance within each string; too loose and the string will not resonate, too tight and it will snap. But if each string is tuned exactly to where it needs to be, in that happy medium of too tight and too slack, the resulting sound is rich and harmonious.
With excessive use and a lack of maintenance, the guitar will slowly shift out of tune. Even when left alone the result is the same, and balance is eventually lost.
Our bodies are much like guitars in this instance, and, interestingly enough, one of the most commonly used diagnostic tools for acupuncturists is feeling the pulses, checking to see if they feel tight, loose, empty, full, and so on. According to Chinese medicine, feeling the pulse at different positions along the right and left wrists gives the practitioner a glimpse of what is going on in the body. When the acupuncturist is feeling your pulses, he/she is searching for subtle variations – imbalances – between these different positions and their corresponding organ systems.
Combined with the intake and assessing other diagnostic clues, the goal of acupuncture is to help the body heal itself by bringing it back into balance. If you have received acupuncture before, you may have noticed the acupuncturist check your pulses during or after your treatment – this is the practitioner checking to see how you are responding to the treatment, and to see if any adjustments should be made.
With proper self care, balance is possible, even in this day and age; it’s simply a matter of finding what works best for you. Should you decide to make acupuncture a part of your personal wellness practice, we would be more than happy to see you.
Sam Pierceall believes that genuine health is defined by more than an absence of disease. True health care accounts for the whole person: body, mind, and spirit. By incorporating practices such as acupuncture, yoga, massage, and other modalities, we encourage the body to be healthy at all levels on a regular basis. Sam has studied permaculture and organic farming in Mexico and Belize, herbal medicine at Sacred Plant Traditions, and is currently studying to be an acupuncturist, so that he can share the benefits of this ancient practice with those in his community.