is a traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) technique based on the
same ideas as acupuncture. Acupressure involves placing physical
pressure by hand, elbow, or with the aid of various devices
on different acupuncture points on the surface of the body.
Traditional Chinese Medicine does not usually operate within
a scientific paradigm but some practitioners make efforts to
bring practices into an evidence-based medicine framework. There
is no scientific consensus over whether or not evidence supports
the efficacy of acupressure beyond a placebo. Reviews of existing
clinical trials have been conducted by the Cochrane Collaboration
and Bandolier according to the protocols of evidence-based medicine;
for most conditions they have concluded a lack of effectiveness
or lack of well-conducted clinical trials. There is no physically
verifiable anatomical or histological basis for the existence
Medical Qi Gong
is an aspect of Chinese medicine involving the coordination of
different breathing patterns with various physical postures and
motions of the body. Qigong is mostly taught for health maintenance
purposes, but there are also some who teach it as a therapeutic
intervention. Various forms of traditional qigong are also widely
taught in conjunction with Chinese martial arts, and are especially
prevalent in the advanced training of what are known as the Neijia
(Chinese: ??; pinyin: nèi jia; Wade-Giles: nei4 chia1),
or internal martial arts where the object is the full mobilization
and proper coordination and direction of the energies of the body
as they are applied to some target.
are currently more than 3,300 different styles and schools of
qigong. Qigong relies on the traditional Chinese
belief that the body has something that might be described as
an "energy field" generated and maintained by the natural
respiration of the body, known as qi (this is analogous to Prana
and Pranayama in Yoga). Qi means breath or gas in Chinese, and,
by extension, the energy produced by breathing that keeps us alive;
gong means work applied to a discipline or the resultant level
of technique. Qigong is then "breath work" or the art
of managing one's breathing in order to achieve and maintain good
health, and (especially in the martial arts) to enhance the energy
mobilization and stamina of the body in coordination with the
physical process of respiration.
Tai Chi and Qi Gong Classes
Chi Chuan, T'ai Chi Ch'üan or Taijiquan commonly known as
Tai Chi, T'ai Chi, or Taiji, is an internal Chinese martial art.
There are different styles of T'ai Chi Ch'uan, but most modern
schools can trace their development to the system originally taught
by the Chen family to the Yang family starting in 1820. It is
often promoted and practiced as a martial arts therapy for the
purposes of health and longevity. (Some recent medical studies
support its effectiveness.) T'ai Chi Ch'uan is considered a soft
style martial art, an art applied with as much deep relaxation
or "softness" in the musculature as possible, to distinguish
its theory and application from that of the hard martial art styles
which use a degree of tension in the muscles.
of T'ai Chi Ch'uan's basic training forms are well known as the
slow motion routines that groups of people practice every morning
in parks across China and other parts of the world. Traditional
T'ai Chi training is intended to teach awareness of one's own
balance and what affects it, awareness of the same in others,
an appreciation of the practical value in one's ability to moderate
extremes of behavior and attitude at both mental and physical
levels, and how this applies to effective self-defense principles.
Na (Chinese Medical Therapy)
na is a form of Chinese manipulative therapy often used in conjunction
with acupuncture, moxibustion, fire cupping, Chinese herbalism,
tai chi and qigong.
na is a hands-on-body treatment using acupressure that is a modality
of Chinese medicine whose purpose is to bring the body into balance.
The principles being balanced are the eight principles of Traditional
Chinese Medicine (qv because TCM was
codified by the PRC out of many ancient traditions.) The practitioner
may brush, knead, roll/press and rub the areas between each of
the joints (known as the eight gates) to open the body's defensive
(wei) chi and get the energy moving in both the meridians and
the muscles. The practitioner can then use range of motion,traction,
massage, with the stimulation of acupressure points and to treat
both acute and chronic musculoskeletal conditions, as well as
many non-musculoskeletal conditions. Tui na is an integral part
of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) and is taught in TCM schools
as part of formal training in Oriental medicine. Many East Asian
martial arts schools also teach tui na to their advanced students
for the treatment and management of injury and pain due to training.
As with many other traditional Chinese medical practices, there
are several different schools with greater or lesser differences
in their approach to the discipline. It is related also to Chinese
na has fewer side effects than modern drug-based and chemical-based
treatments. It has been used to treat or complement the treatment
of many conditions; musculo-skeletal disorders and chronic stress-related
disorders of the digestive, respiratory, and reproductive systems.
Chinese Herbal Medicine
is the Chinese art of combining medicinal herbs. Herbology
is traditionally one of the more important modalities utilized
in traditional Chinese medicine (TCM). Each herbal medicine prescription
is a cocktail of many herbs tailored to the individual patient.
One batch of herbs is typically decocted twice over the course
of one hour. The practitioner usually designs a remedy using one
or two main ingredients that target the illness. Then the practitioner
adds many other ingredients to adjust the formula to the patient's
yin/yang conditions. Sometimes, ingredients are needed to cancel
out toxicity or side-effects of the main ingredients. Some herbs
require the use of other ingredients as catalyst or else the brew
is ineffective. The latter steps require great experience and
knowledge, and make the difference between a good Chinese herbal
doctor and an amateur. Unlike western medications, the balance
and interaction of all the ingredients are considered more important
than the effect of individual ingredients. A key to success in
TCM is the treatment of each patient as an individual. See also:
herbology often incorporates ingredients from all parts of plants,
the leaf, stem, flower, root, and also ingredients from animals
and minerals. The use of parts of endangered species (such as
seahorses, rhinoceros horns, and tiger bones) has created controversy
and resulted in a black market of poachers who hunt restricted
animals. Many herbal manufacturers have discontinued the use of
any parts from endangered animals.
cupping is a method of applying acupressure by creating a vacuum
next to the patient's skin. In traditional Chinese medicine (TCM)
it involves placing glass, plastic, or bamboo cups on the skin
with a vacuum. The therapy is used to relieve what is called "stagnation"
in TCM terms, and is used in the treatment of respiratory diseases
such as the common cold, pneumonia, and bronchitis. Cupping is
also used to treat back, neck, shoulder, and other musculoskeletal
pain. Its advocates claim it has other applications as well. This
technique, in varying forms, has also been found in the folk medicine
of Vietnam, the Balkans, modern Greece, and Russia, among other
is an oriental medicine therapy utilizing moxa, or mugwort herb.
It plays an important role in the traditional medical systems
of China, Japan, Korea, Vietnam, Tibet, and Mongolia. Suppliers
usually age the mugwort and grind it up to a fluff; practitioners
burn the fluff or process it further into a stick that resembles
a (non-smokable) cigar. They can use it indirectly, with acupuncture
needles, or sometimes burn it on a patient's skin.
Sha is an East Asian medicine technique used to remove blood stagnation
that blocks the surface tissues impeding organ and immune function.
therapy is one of the most important components of traditional
Chinese acupuncture. It is a specialized form where the auricle
(ear) is used to stimulate various organs and meridians in the
body. The ear represents a fetus in the womb but in an inverted
position. It is a microcosm of the macrocosm: the ear represents
the entire body.
Hot Rock Therapy
Rock Therapies involve the application of water-heated basalt
stones of varying sizes to key points on the body, giving a deep
massage and creating sensations of comfort and warmth. The direct
heat relaxes muscles, allowing manipulation of a greater intensity
than with regular massage.
skeletal-muscular injury and inflammation, frozen, cooling marble
stones are used. This creates a type of thermotherapeutic 'vascular
gymnastics' in the circulatory system to help the body detoxify
and heal. Cold stones are often used for sports injuries and in
applications of esthetic natures. The warmer rocks expand the
blood vessels, pushing blood and unwanted waste materials through
the body. Heat has a sedative effect on the nervous system.
or zone therapy, is the practice of stimulating keturah points
on the feet, hands and ears, in order to encourage a beneficial
effect on some other parts of the body, or to try to improve general
health. Reflexology is most commonly performed on the feet, moving
on to the hands and/or ears where physical restraints, such as
veruccas or fractures, apply.
believe the foot to be divided into a number of reflex zones corresponding
to all zones of the energy of the body, and that applying pressure
in the form of massage to "tight" or "gritty"
areas of a person's foot will stimulate the corresponding part
of the energy body and assist the self-healing process. Contrary
to some beliefs, reflexology does not seek to diagnose or cure
medical conditions - merely imbalances in the energy of the body.