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Chinese Medicine A 2 Z

Chinese medicine is an ancient, alternative medicine practice that was developed in China thousands of years ago and it widely practiced today throughout the world. Chinese medicine is a multi-faceted form of medicine that is considered to be a holistic treatment. It looks at the health and vitality of the body as a whole and doesn't focus on one area exclusively. The main aim is to encourage a healthy flow of "chi" or energy in the body.

Traditional Chinese medicine involves the practice of acupuncture, cupping, herbs, moxibustion, shiatsu massage and tuina. There are also the aspects of diet and therapeutic systems such as the practice of tai chi and qigong, which help to relieve stress and harmonize the body.

The main concept of Chinese medicine is to provide the body needs with a healthy balance of yin and yang on all levels and not just through one channel. When observing a patient, specific diagnostics are done using the senses (touch, hear, smell) and also asking the patient about his or her background.

Practitioners commonly take their patient's pulse rate in six different positions. They also observe his or her face, eyes, ears, tongue, voice and even posture during a session. Analyzing all these aspects helps them to identify the blocked chi and provide ways to release it. The treatment is done either through the prescription of herbs, changes in the diet, exercise or by offering some of the more traditional methods which include acupuncture, cupping, moxibustion and tuina.


Acupuncture involves piercing the body with very thin, flexible needles. This type of treatment is believed to stimulate the skin and balances out the body's energy. It is also commonly used to unblock energy or release tight or aching muscles and pains in the body. Although this may sound rather painful, the sensations experienced in an acupuncture session do not last long, and can be considered more of a dull pain than a painful experience.


This technique is generally used to help patients who are suffering with colds and flu. It is also used to improve circulation and can also treat headaches, migraines, dizziness and asthma. The practice involves heating jars with alcohol, placing them upside down on the patient's body and releasing them. This provides a gentle vacuum and releases the blockage.


Chinese medicine is well known for its use of herbs to treat disease or conditions. Herbs are generally recommended rather than traditional medicine, because they are believed to be better absorbed by the body than the synthetic medicine and vitamins of the western world.


This process involves placing burned leaves of the mugwort plant over body parts that are blocking the flow of energy. These leaves are believed to warm the energy, thereby releasing and encouraging a healthy flow. This type of treatment is generally done for patients who suffer with arthritis, asthma or stress. It can also help aid with digestion and irritable bowel syndrome.

Tai Chi

Tai chi is an ancient form of Chinese martial arts; however, it is a non-contact practice, and there is no physical attacking involved. It has been practiced for thousands of years and its aim is to foster the circulation of 'chi' within the body, the belief being that by doing so the health and vitality of the person are enhanced.


This practice involves massaging the body and may also include slight and gentle manipulation of the vertebrae to release blocked energy.


Much like tai chi, qigong, also known as "chi kung", combines exercise with the intention of strengthening the mind and body connection to provide a healthy flow of energy. Practicing this form of exercise can improve spiritual awareness and, like tai chi, unblock negative energy.

Shiatsu massage

Shiatsu massage is a form of massage that involves using finger pressure. It is much like acupressure, however, very different from acupuncture. Therapists apply pressure with their fingers, thumbs and also their palms. It involves pushing and rubbing techniques.

As with all Chinese medicine practices, shiatsu massage also aims to unblock chi and increase the flow of healthy energy within the body. Shiatsu is often done on patients to reduce blood pressure, release toxins and stresses in the body, increase flexibility, and ease anxiety.

Author: Dimi Ingle.
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