Q. Energy has been a problem for most of my 69 years. I read that acupuncture may help. My GP only uses acupuncture on muscles, & cannot help. My Question is: Does an acupuncturist attend extra training to learn about energy? Are you aware of those who qualify in this acupuncture speciality? Many thanks.
A. We have to be a little careful with our terms here. Traditional Chinese Medicine has a clear understanding of the body, mind and spirit as different forms of 'qi', a word which is very difficult to translate, but which if often described as 'energy', or 'vital life force'. This is seen as the base material of everything, and through its different forms and their inter-relationships, described by using terms such as yin and yang, a complex understanding of the person on all levels is derived. Similar terms such as 'prana' and 'ki' are found in Inidan and Japanese thought. Acupuncture treatment is aimed at improving the flow of qi, removing blockages and sorting out relatuve excesses and deficiencies.
However, this is not quite the same as the 'energy' which people talk about when they say that they 'have no energy'. It's very true that feeling an utter lack of energy can be understood as a a problem with the qi, but that doesn't necessarily mean that it is something which a Chinese medicine practitioner can automatically sort out. What it does often mean, however, is that the paradigm of Chinese medicine is sometimes able to make sense of someone's symptoms and lifestyle in a way which is wholly unlike the way that western medicine views the person. The sense of feeling depleted and lacking the energy to do things is described in several of the syndromes and patterns recognised in Chinese medicine. Your best course of action is to seek out a BAcC member local to you and ask their advice on whether your specific and particular patterns are amenable to treatment.