Borne out of a medical tradition that has accumulated over 4,000 years’ worth of empirical knowledge, Chinese Medicine is becoming a globally recognised and valued form of healthcare today that is capable of effectively treating a wide range of conditions. It consists of several pillars of skill:
Underpinning diagnosis in Chinese Medicine is the understanding that the human organism operates as a whole and must therefore be treated as a whole. Its view is that we are comprised of interdependent energetic and physical systems that in health are self-balancing and self-regulating.
Illness and disease arise when, for a plethora of reasons, this exquisite balance is lost. The art and skill of the practitioner is to discern just how to restore this finely interwoven balance. This perception of wholism is a fundamental feature of Chinese Medicine and enables the practitioner to make perfect sense of a seemingly unconnected assembly of symptoms and complaints.
Chinese Medicine offers a comprehensive healthcare option for treating a wide spectrum of organ-related illness (such as respiratory, digestive, gynaecological and urinary conditions) nervous system conditions, autoimmune disease, musculoskeletal issues as well as benefiting psycho-emotional dimensions of health. It can be used alone or as an adjunct therapy to conventional biomedicine either to help reinforce biomedical treatment or to help counter its side effects.
Acupuncture involves the insertion of very fine needles into acupoints as the means of influencing and directing therapeutic change. Acupoints are specific locations along the course of meridians that run the length and breadth of the body. Meridians can loosely be described as the energetic pathways that link the surface of the body to the internal organs and physiology within. Qi (pronounced Chi) is a form of energetic information and a skilled acupuncturist is facilitating healthy re-calibration of homeostasis and balance within the patient on a Qi level. This initiates a ripple effect that therapeutically affects both the physical and the psycho-emotional dimensions of the patient. As such, Qi is the level of mediation within the Mind-Body dynamic.
Each acupoint has specific actions on the Qi, offering an energetic portal through which a practitioner can access and influence a patient’s health. There are 359 standard acupoints with numerous additional ones giving a total repertoire of almost 2,000 acupoints, all regarded as having very specific actions for which they will be chosen according to the diagnosis and treatment strategy. Used in concert together, treatment will typically involve activation of approximately 4 – 10 acupoints with the hair-breadth needles left in place for 20 – 30 mins.
Acupuncture has received official recognition and endorsement for a range of healthcare conditions through the release of official reports by international health committees such as:
- The National Institute of Health (NIH) in 1997
- The World Health Organisation (WHO) in 2002
- The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) in 2012
Chinese Herbal Medicine
Chinese Herbal Medicine (CHM) represents a vast body of knowledge gathered over several thousand years to offer a detailed repertoire of medicinal substances that are combined in countless ways create “formulas” of medicine.
While pharmaceutical medicine often extracts isolated compounds or active ingredients from natural medicinals or synthetically recreates them to produce marketable products, a formula of CHM will contain a complex synergy of natural medicinals that together in concert form a multi-tasking medicine.
In this way, complex conditions can be treated with a medicine that orchestrates a powerful range of treatment strategies to address the many facets of a person’s pathology in an intelligent and balanced way.
CHM Prescriptions: The strength and art of Chinese Herbal Medicine is in its capacity to created highly individualised medicine that is tailored to meet a patient’s own unique complexity of needs and their specific constellation of signs and symptoms. As such, traditional formulas are modified and changed in composition and dosage to reflect the patient’s current needs and which can then be regularly modified to map their treatment progress and to reflect their changing presentation of signs and symptoms. These are referred to as prescriptions and must be dispensed individually according to the practitioner’s instructions.
Tui Na Medical Massage
Treatment of sports related injuries with Chinese Medicine grew parallel to the centuries of martial arts lineages inherent in China’s history. As such, it has much to offer for treating a wide range of acute and chronic muskulo-skeletal and soft tissue related injuries and pain.
The sports community world-wide is increasingly turning to Tui Na and Chinese Medicine as an adjunct for body-conditioning treatments as well as a leading modality for the effective treatment and rehabilitation of sport’s injuries. Many sport’s team from diverse disciplines now recruit a Tui Na and Chinese Medicine practitioners as part of the team support staff.
Tui Na focusses on the use of a variety of skilful massage techniques as well as Cupping, Moxibustion, Acupuncture and Chinese Herbal topical infusions to work with the meridians and acupoints to relieve pain, regulate the flow of Qi and blood, restore functional anatomy and improve internal physiology.
Tui Na methods offer a deep acting and effective tool to tonify, disperse, activate, harmonise and warm Qi and blood to therapeutically benefit a wide range of sports injuries and musculo-skeletal conditions.