July 30, 2012

A Quick Guide to Chinese Medicine.

Photo: jimmiehomeschoolmom

China has made significant contributions in the field of medicine.

There are many remedies that originated in China and have proved to be of great help in healing people across the world.

According to the people of China, there’s a universal life force or energy called “chi” or “qi” that pervades the entire human body. The “chi” flows via unseen energy channels known as meridians. As long as the flow of chi is smooth and unobstructed, the individual remains fit and healthy. But the moment there are irregularities in the circulation of chi, a person’s health quickly receives a setback. So in order to remain healthy, a person’s chi must be able to maintain a state of balance and harmony.

Over the centuries, Chinese medical philosophers devised a whole medical system in order to help people maintain a stable flow of chi.

Here are three of the most common techniques used in Chinese Medicine.

1. Acupuncture. The flow of chi can be systematized by inserting small needles in the human body at specific points. This treatment or technique is known as acupuncture. The basic principle behind acupuncture is to open the blockages to have a constant flow of energy throughout the body.

The needles are meant to puncture or open the points along the meridians. This treatment primarily affects the nervous system of the individual. It helps in secreting some crucial hormones and other chemicals that are not adequately produced but are required by the body.

Many diseases like asthma, problems in vision, paralysis, alopecia etc. find acupuncture to be a very effective treatment. The diseases might not be completely eliminated but they can be controlled through a regular treatment plan. The best part is that acupuncture has no side-effects. It’s safe, natural, and effective. Since it’s harmless, you might as well go for it!

2. Chinese traditional herbal remedies are meant more for internal issues. Hypertension and other cardiac problems are just a small example of what herbals can treat. In the case of hypertension, a mixture of hawthorn, linden blossom, yarrow and valerian may be given. The yarrow here is a diuretic while the rest act as relaxing agents. Hypertension with headache may be treated with an additional wood betony while stress involves the usage of Siberian ginseng and skullcap.

People suffering from arthritis and other forms of inflammation also find Chinese herbs to be very effective. Medicines like shosaikoto, sinomenium acutum and scutellaria baicalensis are found to be tremendously useful in this area.

Herbs even have something to offer in cases of the common cold, flu, and fever. Astragalus belongs to the pea family and is found to stabilize the immune system. Schisandra vine functions in multiple ways like in preventing diarrhea, cough, and stress, while also aiding in the production of body fluids. Echinacea is well known for helping to prevent cold and flu symptoms. It’s a purple colored coneflower that stimulates the production of infection resistant white blood cells in the body.

Chinese herbs are most often given in formulas that are made up of a combination of numerous herbs. Unlike Western herbs, seldom will a single herb be given. Formulas consist of a main herb that is combined with others herbs that assist the main herbs primary actions. Formulas can be customized to the individual depending on the person’s present symptoms.

3. Physical fitness is another main component of Chinese medicine. Chinese doctors have always emphasized the importance of exercise. They even worked out a special method or style of exercising. This method was named “qigong.” Qigong movements are meant to circulate energy and remove blockages within the meridians.

There are numerous types of qigong, each with a specific purpose. Qigong can be used to promote relaxation, increase physical fitness, or as a springboard for martial arts. Most people today are aware of tai chi. Tai chi is the martial form of qigong. Like yoga, qigong combines movement with specific breathing exercises to enhance a person’s overall well-being. A specific set of qigong exercises may be prescribed for a specific condition and has often acted as the perfect medicine for many people.

Each of these techniques is a healing modality in and of itself.

However, many practitioners may use a combination of techniques in order to provide the individual with the best care possible. Chinese medicine has a record breaking significance in human life. In fact, acupuncture, herbs, and qigong have contributed to the maintenance of perfect health for the last 5,000 years.

So don’t wait. You deserve a happy and healthy life full of energy and vibrancy. Talk to your local acupuncturists today to see what Chinese medicine can do for you!

Editor: Lynn Hasselberger

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