How does Chinese Medicine work?
Chinese Medicine is based on the very ancient philosophical understandings of Daoism. Many westerners are familiar with the idea of Yin and Yang and the symbol which it represents - the two parts of the whole.
The universe and everything within it including function and form are either predominantly yin or yang in nature. Yin transforms into yang and vice versa just as day becomes night and night returns to day. On a smaller scale, the human body and spirit/soul is both yin and yang in nature and function also.
Qi(vital energy) is a widely understood Asian cultural concept. Qi can be described as a primordial impulse which stands at the origin of the universe.
Xue (blood) has considerable similarities in nature and function as the red blood we know & which flows in our veins and circulates around the body. Qi and Xue are the Yin and Yang expressions of the same thing - they co-exist with each other and can not be separated. At extremes Yin may become Yang and vice versa. Yin and Yang exist in everything innature and everything can be classified as yin or yang.
Eg. YIN YANG
Xue (Blood) Qi (Vital Energy)
Lower part Upper Part
The body is a smaller ecosystem within the universe and reflects the Wu Xing or 5 Elements - the flow of qi through the body follows the flow of energy in the wider environment. The quilt (above) is based on an ancient diagramatic representation of the 5 elements described in Chinese Medicine, with the centre representing the Earth (Late Summer / Spleen / Yellow). The other four elements - Water (Winter / Kidney / Black), Wood (Spring / Liver / Green), Metal (Autumn / Lung / White) and Fire (Summer / Heart / Red) surround the centre.
A current diagrammatic representation of the Wu Xing and the correspondences follows :
Pathological factors which occur in the general environmental setting as described as pathogens within the "bodily environment" as within TCM, such as Wind, Dampness, Dryness, Heat and Cold. This is because TCM theory arose and developed 2000 plus years ago. Pathogens such as viruses, bacteria, fungi, genetic and autoimmune conditions were unknown at that time. TCM Practitioners recognise the knowledge base Western Medicine provides today and have understandings of health and illness in both Western and Chinese Medical models.
Illness or disease occurs when the flow of qi does not occur smoothly or in the direction it should flow naturally. Problems occur if an element becomes too deficient or too strong and the elements before or following it are unable to control or promote it (remain in balance). Problems can become evident if the vital energy (Qi) or the blood (Xue) becomes deficient, depleted or stagnant and does not flow. Current concepts of DNA and genetic/hereditary are encapsulated within the vital substance Jing, which the Chinese have always recognised and philosophically nurtured by cultural practises prior to, during and after pregnancy.
What are the Meridians or Channels?
If you imagine the body in a similar way to an onion. Each layer you peel back reveals a new system of networks called channels or Jing Mai. These various layers of Channels nourish and sustain all areas of the body. The deeper you penetrate toward the interior of the body, the more "sacred and powerful" the channels and reservoirs of Qi become until we reach the internal organs or ZANG and FU.
There are 12 main channels which traverse the body and along which points are located. Over a 24 hour period, the flow of qi is at it’s maximum in each of the 12 main channels for a two hour period.
Eg. The Liver channel has it’s maximum flow of qi during the hours of 0100 – 0300 hours. Treatments may be timed during these periods or 12 hours preceding this time to strengthen or diminish the qi in a particular channel even more effectively.
There are 8 Extra-Ordinary Channels which may be used in treatment. These channels are unique in that they are linked to the prebirth Qi and Jing which is finite and not to be used recklessly. These channels can be “opened” and used as a reservoir in times of need when depleted or to overflow into when an excess pattern occurs.
What are Tai Chi & Qi Gong?
Tai Chi improves our ability to relax and increases our personal awareness. People often talk about learning more about themselves, as they let go of tension and negative emotions that can cause stagnancy in life. Learning to flow with life and not against it brings many benefits on a number of levels.
Qigong is a modality of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) used to work on the 'Qi' within the body. Qi is considered the subtle life force and fundamental material of absolutely everything.
Combining the use of body movements and different postures, Qi Gong is used to facilitate positive health transformations within the physical body, mind, and ones overall state of being. Practicing Qigong helps to clear blockages that prevent optimum health as well as support growth, healing and restoration.
The benefits of the core Qigong exercises taught are mainly accomplished by working at progressively more sophisticated levels with biomechanics, breath, energy and spirituality. Emphasis is placed on feeling how your movements impact such functions as:
- The expansion and contraction of your tissues.
- The circulation of the fluids (Blood, lymph, synovial, water) in your body.
- The flow of your energy and nerve impulses.
- The pressurisation and massaging of your internal organs.
Qigong increases your conscious awareness of your internal body functions and enables you to change and improve them through regular daily practise.
For more information on Local West Auckland Practitioner Teachers of Tai Chi and Qi Gong :
What will my Treatment Session involve?
TCM Diagnosis is made following assessment of the individual client's :
Treatment will depend on a variety of factors such as whether the pattern is excessive or deficient, whether the client has had acupuncture before, the age and wellness of the client, whether pregnant or immediately post-birth, how chronic the condition has been and whether the particular person is very sensitive to the needling.
Acupuncture as a treatment for women prior to, during and following pregnancy and childbirth is a safe and very attractive option.
Your treatment may involve the use of acupuncture with needles; moxibustion; cupping; massage; acupressure or a combination of any of these treatments.
Auricular Acupuncture & Acupressure
Your treatment may include the use of needles using the auricular micro system.
Your Acupuncturist may recommend the use of press seeds in the ear - these can remain in place for several days and can enhance your treatment once you leave the clinic. I find this to be a particularly useful treatment technique in the very young, in those with a needle phobia or in the ongoing treatment of pain, smoking cessation, anxiety, insomnia or whilst inducting of labour.
Moxa (Artemesia Vulgaris - commonly known as Mugwort)
Can be used instead of needle by client
Tonifies Qi, Blood and Yin deficiency.
Increases WBC count.
Mona is a very cost-effective relaxing treatment technique which can easily be used in the needle phobic client; or in those
who are particularly depleted in energy or chronically ill, post childbirth to restore qi and blood levels. Suitable for use at home by clients, following
instruction by an Acupuncturist.