Traditional Chinese Medicine
Traditional medicines evolved through careful observation of nature and human physiology. A fundamental theme of Chinese medicine is the mirroring of the universe on macroscopic and microscopic scales. The human body is a microcosm of the universe and functions within familiar natural principles.
Traditional medicines balance the landscape of the body. With aging, the body is affected by environment, injuries, climate, lifestyle and genetics. Especially if natural immunity and function are weakened, small imbalances eventually become chronic dysfunction and disease.
Acupuncture is physical medicine. It stimulates and helps regulate the natural resources and metabolism of the body. By directly stimulating various layers of connective tissue, acupuncture triggers a cascade of local and holistic intelligent, self-healing and regulating mechanisms. Over time, improved function of the immune system, glands, organs and tissues create long-term benefits.
To maintain good heath and longevity, there are Four Pillars of traditional Chinese medicine:
- Diet & Herbs
- Acupuncture & Moxa
- Physical manipulation (massage, bodywork, chiropractic)
- Breathing (Exercise)
Chinese medicine has many poetic theories, Root-Branch being one example. The organ is the root, the meridian is the branch, and the sense organ at the body surface is the flower. The health of the flower and branch give insight into the health of the root (organ).
Classical Chinese medical theory states:
The Lung governs the skin and body hair, and opens to the nose.
The Heart rules the blood vessels and complexion, and sprouts in the tongue.
The Spleen governs the flesh (muscles) and opens to the mouth/lips.
The Liver governs the sinews (tendons), manifests in the nails and opens to the eyes.
The Kidney governs the marrow (bones and teeth), and opens to the ears.
Theories suggest ways to look at the body, to capture clues about internal mechanisms. Due to mapped connections, expressions of health or pathology can be observed in different areas of the body.
Nothing is read simplistically or out of context. Every sign and symptom is in relationship with the body. A symptom is evaluated on local and holistic levels. The body is understood as a complex, ever-changing system of natural substances and forces.
Color and appearance of skin are assessed. By palpating (pressing gently along the body), we assess the health of the meridians, which travel in the superficial muscular layers before they delve deeper towards the organs.
The radial pulse is felt at each wrist, to gain information about the blood. Essentially, blood is a fluid, and the blood vessel is a tube, subject to the laws of hydrodynamics. When feeling the pulse with the fingertips, we sense information about the volume and viscosity of blood, the tensegrity of the blood vessels, the force of cardiac tensive pressure, regularity, depth, quality, rate, rhythm, shape, strength, volume. Each fingertip position reflects an organ’s energy and its influence on blood and energy of the body.
The tongue is looked at briefly. Because the tongue is viewed as ‘half-interior, half-exterior‘, it is a good representation of the interior. All the meridians flow to the tongue in some way, which in turn connect to the main organs. We look at color, size, coating, moisture, cracks, waviness, general shape and spirit. Redness indicates heat or inflammation, pallor may indicate lack of blood and energy… every tongue is individual and a legitimate expression of health. Furthermore, tongues can change as health improves! The tongue reflects the conditions of the organs, blood and energy.
Once diagnostic parameters are observed and noted, acupuncture therapy is then customized to treat a particular body part, the meridians and the organs expressing pathology. Acupuncture heightens energy flow in various meridians, encouraging the body to intelligently re-balance and repair itself, musculoskeletally, chemically and hormonally.