Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) is based on a concept of balanced qi (pronounced “chee”), or vital energy, that is believed to flow throughout the body. Qi is proposed to regulate a person’s spiritual, emotional, mental, and physical balance and to be influenced by the opposing forces of yin (negative energy) and yang (positive energy). The direct meanings of yin and yang in Chinese are bright and dark sides of an object. Similar to the theory of yin-yang, the theory of five elements – wood, fire, earth, metal and water is used to interpret the relationship between the physiology and pathology of the human body and the natural environment.
Qi travels throughout the body by Meridians. There are 12 main meridians, working like energy channels ‘transporting’ Qi. There are also an additional eight meridians, called ‘Extraordinary Meridians’, which are deeper energy conductors.
Disease is proposed to result from the flow of qi being disrupted and yin and yang becoming imbalanced.
Among the components of TCM are acupuncture, herbal medicine, moxibustion, nutritional therapy, meditation, breathing exercises, movement and massage.
Acupuncture is the practice of inserting very fine needles into the skin to stimulate specific anatomic points for therapeutic purposes. There are as many as 2,000 acupuncture points on the human body, connected by 20 meridians pathways (12 main, 8 secondary).The points are stimulated to balance the movement of energy (qi) in the body to regulate or correct the flow of qi to restore health. Along with the usual method of puncturing the skin with the fine needles, the practitioners of acupuncture also use heat, pressure, friction, suction, or impulses of electromagnetic energy to stimulate the points.
Chinese herbalism is one of the major components of traditional Chinese medicine. In TCM, herbs are often used in conjunction with other techniques, such as acupuncture or massage. Chinese herbal medicine has been in use for about 5000 years, with written literature as far back as 3000 years.
TCM herbs are assessed by a variety on indicators: taste (bitter, salty, sour, spicy, etc…), its temperature and the organs of origin. And therefore, Chinese herbal formulas are given to restore energetic balance, synergistic between herbs, and to treat specific conditions and symptoms.
A change in the dose of a single herb, or a replacement or addition of another in the formula allows us to adapt and change the treatment while in motion, allowing a great deal of flexibility in handling and adjustment of the formula to fit each individual.
The biggest advantage of herbalism is the test of time; surviving the test of time treating billions of people over the years with great success.
In China, Modern Chinese medicine is taught alongside conventional Western pharmacology. A physician working in his office will have one side a cupboard with herbs and medicine cabinet on the other side.
These herbal remedies are more gentle and natural than conventional medicines. In addition, they have fewer unpleasant side effects.
HOLISTIC HEALTH CARE
Chinese medicine takes a holistic approach to understanding disease processes and focuses as much on the prevention of illness as on the treatment.
Most diseases or illnesses present with a core set of recognizable signs and symptoms, but the actual presentation of a particular disease or illness will vary from person to person. For this reason, people with similar health conditions may be provided with quite different procedures.
I am able to decide on the appropriate treatment that specifically matches and treats the individual health problem. As the condition changes and improves, the treatment is also adjusted and modified until the desired health outcome is achieved. The Treatment is dynamic and its purpose is to remind the body and soul of its original function and balanced.
Shiatsu is a Japanese form of physiotherapy. The method was developed in Japan based on Chinese approach and philosophy combined with touch technique that existed in Japan at that time. This massage combines rocking, pressing and stretching with the fingers, hands, elbows, knees and feet. The specific manipulation on the body activates the acupuncture points and different meridians improving flow of qi restoring harmony, releasing mental and physical tension, improving blood flow, encouraging flexibility in ligaments, tendons, joints and muscles, the transfer of the nervous system from sympathetic (emergency) parasympathetic (relaxation and rest) and release of Endorphins, hormones that alleviated pain and induce a sense of relaxation.
TREATING BABIES AND TODDLERS
Although Western Medicine is exceptional when it comes to life threatening acute conditions and treatments which require immediate care, such as broken bones, severe infections or anything that may require surgery, its focus is often on the presenting symptoms of the illness rather than on the whole child.
In contrast the holistic approach used by TCM to restoring health in a babies and toddlers, focuses on treating the underlying cause known as the root imbalance. Treatment is then customized to each child’s individual needs. It looks at the whole child (body, mind, and spirit), as well as their environment. Treatment including using a variety of techniques such as acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine which aim to correct these imbalances by stimulating the body’s own natural healing ability.