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Traditional Chinese Medicine
Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) is the collective term for the combined therapies of Acupuncture, (Moxibustion , Cupping , Gua Sha,) Tui Na, Qi Gong, Chinese Herbal Medicine, Dietary Therapy and other healing modalities. TCM theory achieves good health by balancing energies in the body using these various methods.
The theory has evolved over thousands of years and is safe and highly effective. TCM uses a "holistic" approach, meaning it treats any individual problem by treating the whole body at the same time. A patient can expect TCM to provide benefits for virtually any illness, and many people choose a TCM practitioner as their primary healthcare provider.
The TCM practitioner decides which points to treat and what modalities to use by observing and questioning the patient in order to make a diagnosis according to the tradition which he or she utilizes.
In TCM, there are four diagnostic methods: inspection, auscultation and olfaction, inquiring, and palpation.
Inspection focuses on the face and particularly on the tongue, including analysis of the tongue size, shape, tension, color and coating, and the absence or presence of teeth marks around the edge.
Auscultation and olfaction refer, respectively, to listening for particular sounds (such as wheezing) and attending to body odor. Inquiring focuses on the 'seven inquiries', which are: chills and fever; perspiration; appetite, thirst and taste; defecation and urination; pain; sleep; and menses and leukorrhea. Palpation includes feeling the body for tender 'ashi' points, and palpation of the left and right radial pulses at two levels of pressure (superficial and deep) and three positions Cun, Guan, Chi(immediately proximal to the wrist crease, and one and two fingers breadth proximally, usually palpated with the index, middle and ring fingers). Other forms of acupuncture employ additional diagnosic techniques. In many forms of classical Chinese acupuncture, as well as Japanese acupuncture, palpation of the muscles and the hara (abdomen) are central to diagnosis.
Moxibustion is the application of heat to acupuncture points or areas of the body using moxa to treat and prevent health conditions. Chapter 73 of Miraculous Pivot, a famous chinese medical book stated, "a disease that may not be treated by acupuncture may be treated by moxibustion".
The main material is moxa or moxa wool from Artemisia Vulgaris (ai ye, or mugwort), a type of Chrysanthemum. The best). Its leaves are thick with lots of wool. Moxa leaf is bitter and acrid, gives up warmth in small amounts and strong heat used in large amounts.
Moxa is used for diseases that are not well-treated by acupuncture and chinese herbs or combined with the above to increase the effects of treatment. For conditions that do not respond to herbs and needles, use moxa. It applies to many diseases, deficiency, excess and heat syndrome & acute conditions.
Moxibustion adds new energy to the body while needles only manipulate pre-existing energy. Moxibustion is faster, easier & less expensive than chinese herbal formulas because it manipulates energy more directly. However, it cannot always replace herbal treatment.
There are several different methods of moxabustion, Moxa cone, (direct or indirect), ginger moxibustion, garlic moxibustion, salt moxibustion ,moxa sticks or cigars, and warm needling.
Cupping is another type of treatment. This is a method of stimulating acupuncture points by applying suction through a metal, wood or glass jar, in which a partial vacuum has been created. This technique produces blood congestion at the site, and therefore stimulates it resulting in marks or bruises which will remain for up to 10 days after treatment. Cupping is used for low backache, sprains, soft tissue injuries, and helping relieve fluid from the lungs in chronic bronchitis.
Gua ShaIs an East Asian healing technique. Gua means to scrape or rub. Sha is a 'reddish, elevated, millet-like skin rash' (aka petechiae). Sha is the term used to describe Blood stasis in the subcutaneous tissue before and after it is raised as petechiae. Gua Sha is one technique that intentionally raises Sha rash or petechiae.
The area to be Gua Sha-ed is lubricated with oil. The skin is then rubbed with a round-edged instrument in downward strokes. One area is stroked until the petechiae that surface are completely raised. If there is no Blood stasis the petechiae will not form and the skin will only turn pink.
A soupspoon, coin, or slice of water buffalo horn can be used.
Qigong is the Mandarin Chinese term used to describe various Chinese system of physical and mental training for health, martial art and self-enlightenment There are many forms of qigong originating from different segments within Chinese society. [The traditional Chinese Medical community uses qigong for preventive and curative functions.The Chinese martial arts community considered qigong training an important component in enhancing martial abilities. [The religious community including both Taoist and Buddhist traditions uses qigong as part of their meditative practice. Confucian scholars practice qigong to improve their moral character.
The practices of Qigong are differentiated by four types of training: dynamic, static, meditative and activities requiring external aids. Dynamic training involves special movement and applies to exercise such as Tai Ji Quan. Static training requires the practitioner to hold the body in a particular posture. Meditative training involves visualization or focus on specific ideas, sounds, images, concepts or breathing patterns. There are also training methods that involve an external agent such as the ingestion of herbs, massages, physical manipulation or interactions with other living organisms. A qigong system can be composed one or more types of training.
Tui na]), is a form of Chinese manipulative therapy often used in conjunction with acupuncture, moxibustion, fire cupping, Chinese herbalism, tai chi, and qigong.
Tui na is a hands-on body treatment that uses Chinese taoist and martial art principles to bring the body to 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).
Chinese Dietary therapy
Chinese Dietary therapy is a practice of healing using natural foods instead of medications.
Chinese food therapy is a modality of traditional Chinese medicine, also known as Chinese Nutrition therapy. It is particularly popular among Cantonese people who enjoy slow-cooked soups. One of the most commonly known is a rice soup that goes by many names including congee and jook. This is a traditional breakfast of Asian people all over the world. Congee recipes vary infinitely, depending upon the desired health benefits as well as taste.
Chinese food therapy dates back as early as 2000 BC. However, proper documentation was only found around 500 BC. The Yellow Emperor's Classic of Internal Medicine also known as the Niejing, which was written around 300 BC, was most important in forming the basis of Chinese food therapy. It classified food by four food groups, five tastes and by their natures and characteristics.
The ideas of yin and yang are used in the sphere of food and cooking. Yang foods are believed to increase the body's heat (e.g. raise the metabolism), while Yin foods are believed to decrease the body's heat (e.g. lower the metabolism). As a generalization, Yang foods tend to be dense in food energy, especially energy from fat, while Yin foods tend to have high water content. The Chinese ideal is to eat both types of food to keep the body in balance. A person eating too much Yang food might suffer from acne and bad breath while a person eating too much Yin food might be lethargic or anemic.
The yin yang type of each individual determines how susceptible the person is to these effects of food. A neutral person is generally healthy and will have strong reactions to these effects only after overconsumption of certain kind of food. A yang type person usually can eat all yin type food with no ill effect, but may easily get a nose bleed with small amount of yang type food. A yin type person is usually very unhealthy and is reactive to either yin or yang food. Boosting or nourishing type of food is needed to bring a yin person back to health.
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