Health checkup: Balance and joy

Chad Johnson; photo courtesy of Johnson

Editor’s note: The following Q&A is one of several featured in this week’s Wellness, Part 2 issue.

Chad Johnson, the founder of Chad Johnson Acupuncture, talks about bringing the body into balance, misconceptions about acupuncture and cultivating joy.

What role do acupuncture and other non-Western therapies have to play in wellness?

Acupuncture and traditional East Asian medicine play a crucial role in wellness as we work with symptoms to navigate to the root cause. When we treat the root cause, we bring the body back into balance and symptoms resolve.

Many of the diagnostics used in treatment would be considered subclinical in a traditional Western clinic. For example, a subtle tenderness on the arch of the foot might go unnoticed on bloodwork. This mild form of kidney disharmony, left untreated, can become high blood pressure, adrenal fatigue, urinary problems, etc.

Diet and lifestyle can be fine-tuned to support health rather than hinder vitality and contribute to injury. (Think standard American diet and overtraining injuries.) In the colder months, a cold green smoothie in the morning may hinder digestion and muscle function, whereas warm oatmeal would have a more nourishing effect.

What are some misconceptions about what acupuncture can and can’t do for your health?

There is sometimes a misconception that you must believe in acupuncture for it to work. Acupuncture works by removing blockages in the body which are found by palpation. Both the patient and practitioner can feel the positive changes at the same time. Whether the patient believes or not doesn’t change the outcome. This wins over skeptics every time.

A big misconception is that acupuncture is mysterious and esoteric. Acupuncture is an ancient medicine (3,000-plus years old) that is rooted in deep observation of the human body and nature. It works directly with the organs and the myriad of other systems in the body. It is holistic medicine working simultaneously on the body, the mind and spirit. It is a practical medicine, it is a poetic medicine. It can be both. The results are tangible and can be easily felt by both patient and practitioner. The shared goal is to restore harmony and access greater vitality.

What does wellness mean to you, and how do you pursue it?

To be well is to have a balance of mind, body and spirit. To create balance, I start with the diet. I rest more. And I try to play more.

Most people think of resting as lying on the couch and watching TV. Mental rest and spiritual rest are what is needed by most of us during these times. We can do this by unplugging from electronics and connecting to ourselves and to nature. We can walk in the woods, draw, read or write poetry, spend time with animals, garden, even simply staring out the window with a cup of tea will work. Additionally, we would do well to practice breathing daily, hydrate well, get enough sleep, be gentle with ourselves and cultivate joy.



Thanks for reading through to the end…

We share your inclination to get the whole story. For the past 25 years, Xpress has been committed to in-depth, balanced reporting about the greater Asheville area. We want everyone to have access to our stories. That’s a big part of why we've never charged for the paper or put up a paywall.

We’re pretty sure that you know journalism faces big challenges these days. Advertising no longer pays the whole cost. Media outlets around the country are asking their readers to chip in. Xpress needs help, too. We hope you’ll consider signing up to be a member of Xpress. For as little as $5 a month — the cost of a craft beer or kombucha — you can help keep local journalism strong. It only takes a moment.

Before you comment

The comments section is here to provide a platform for civil dialogue on the issues we face together as a local community. Xpress is committed to offering this platform for all voices, but when the tone of the discussion gets nasty or strays off topic, we believe many people choose not to participate. Xpress editors are determined to moderate comments to ensure a constructive interchange is maintained. All comments judged not to be in keeping with the spirit of civil discourse will be removed and repeat violators will be banned. See here for our terms of service. Thank you for being part of this effort to promote respectful discussion.

Leave a Reply

To leave a reply you may Login with your Mountain Xpress account, connect socially or enter your name and e-mail. Your e-mail address will not be published. All fields are required.