Chinese medicine and acupuncture
Traditional Chinese Medicine
The basic pillars of Chinese medicine are the Yin and Yang Theory and the Five Element Theory. The principles and premises of Chinese medicine are drawn directly from the traditional Taoist philosophy, China’s oldest and most unique school of thought. The major premise of Chinese medical theory is that every form of life in the universe is animated by a vital energy called “Qi.”
The Qi, the fundamental substance of the organism and the universe, permeates and penetrates the whole of the cosmos. In digestion, for example, our body extracts “Qi” from food and drinks, transforms and transports it throughout the body; also in the breath “Qi” is extracted from the air of the lungs. When these two forms of “Qi” meet in the blood, the “Qi” circulates as vital energy through the meridians or energy channels.
Chinese medicine uses as main treatment techniques as acupuncture, massage tuina and phytotherapy, which are applied according to the pathology of the patient. Other techniques are cupping, moxibustion, and auriculotherapy. One of the main characteristics of these treatments, apart from their effectiveness, is the lack of side effects, so frequent in the drugs.
It consists of heating the inside of a glass suction cup with fire for 2 seconds, drawing fire quickly and attaching the suction cup to the patient’s body in specific areas for a short period of time.
The suction cups firmly adhere to the body because the heat causes a vacuum, this causes the body to release cold and moisture, the Qi heats up and the swellings decrease.
It is the most well known chinese therapeutic technique, it is realised by means of the painless application of fine needles in specific points (xue) pertaining to numerous meridians (energetic channels), that cross the surface and are distribute throughout the body forming an infinite network that connects all the parts of the organism. This puncture produces stimuli that have as an aim, to influence positively the flows of energy and to contribute to the restitution of the organic functional balance and the energetic harmony, synonymous of the health.
We have 361 points within the 14 meridians, calls Jing Xue; also points outside of the meridians, calls Qi Xue; and finally the painful points or Ashi Xue. The needles that are used are stainless steel, thin, flexible and single-use. They are nailed perpendicular or inclined and at different speeds; The depth is adapted to the area to be treated but also to the condition of the patient.
In 1979, the World Health Organization developed guidelines on the safety of acupuncture and its effectiveness. This year the WHO published a document with the diseases recommended to be treated with acupuncture. As a list of more than 100 diseases or symptoms based on reports collected from clinical trials performed, we highlight here some of the most important:
All kinds of headaches, in the cervical area, shoulders, elbows, lower back, knees and ankles. Allergies, digestive diseases, hypertension, bronchitis, anxiety, depression, insomnia and a long etc. Also noteworthy is the effectiveness of acupuncture in the treatment of weight loss, smoking and alcohol cessation.
Consists of burning Artemis vulgaris (moxa). The doctors used to pick up the plant, dry it and prepare it themselves, but now it can be prepared in specialized stores. Moxa is especially effective when the patient suffers from cold or damp, because it is believed that the nature of the sagebrush is yang in its purest form and, therefore, it is suitable for heating. One of the modes of application is to light a moxa stick and move it near the skin along the path of the meridian or keep it on acupuncture points so that the heat penetrates the body through them.
Another form of application is to light small moxa cones placed on the handle of the nailed needle, allowing the heat and healing effect of the lighted sagebrush to reach the body through the needle.