What is Chinese Medicine?
Chinese Medicine dates back thousands of years and is a system of primary health care that includes acupuncture, Chinese herbal medicine and massage (e.g. Shiatsu).
Chinese medicine focuses on the underlying condition as well as the treatment of the symptoms. Treatments work on the basis of individualised formulae for each patient.
The origins of acupuncture can be traced back over 2,000 years, making it one of the oldest health care systems in the world. Today, acupuncture supports the treatment of a wide number of conditions.
How does acupuncture work?
Acupuncture treatment involves the insertion of fine, sterile, single use, disposable needles into specific sites (acupuncture points) along the body’s energy pathways (meridians) to clear energy blockages and encourage the normal flow of energy, or Qi (pronounced ‘chee’), throughout the body.
Depending on the presenting condition, the practitioner may also stimulate the acupuncture points using other methods such as moxibustion, cupping, gua sha (scraping), electro-stimulation and massage.
What are the benefits of acupuncture?
- It focuses on drug-free pain relief
- It can be effective in the treatment of acute and chronic ailments, as highlighted in research studies collated by the Acupuncture Evidence Project.
- It takes an holistic approach by addressing the underlying cause of the condition, as well as the symptoms. The approach links body, mind and emotions.
- It assists in the prevention against disease and the maintenance of general well-being
Is there any evidence that acupuncture works?
According to the Acupuncture Evidence Project (published in 2017), https://www.acupuncture.org.au/resources/publications/the-acupuncture-evidence-project-a-comparative-literature-review-2017/), acupuncture has shown to be effective for the following conditions:
- allergic rhinitis
- knee osteoarthritis
- chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting
- chronic low back pain
- postoperative nausea & vomiting
- postoperative pain
- acute low back pain
- acute stroke
- neck pain
- peri-menopausal and postmenopausal insomnia
- asthma in adults
- post-traumatic stress disorder
- irritable bowel syndrome
- menopausal hot flushes
Chinese Herbal Medicine
The origins of Chinese herbal medicine can be traced back at least 5,000 years. Its focus is on the prevention of illness as well as the treatment of it.
Most illnesses present with a core set of recognisable signs and symptoms, but the actual presentation of a particular disease may vary from person to person. For this reason, Chinese herbal formulae are specifically formulated for your each person’s own condition.
The formula may be adjusted and modified during the recovery period until the desired health outcome is achieved.
What substances are used in Chinese herbal medicine?
There are more than 450 substances commonly used in Chinese herbal medicine, some of which include ginger, cinnamon, chrysanthemum, and goji berries. Most herbs are of plant origin, though some animal and mineral substances may also be used. However, endangered species are certainly not used.
Shiatsu is a deeply relaxing and extremely effective form of bodywork based on the classical theories of Chinese Medicine. It works in the same way as acupuncture, but uses nurturing touch instead of needles to move and support energy in the body. It can assist with physical and emotional conditions, such as back pain and digestive issues.
Shiatsu involves applying pressure to the body using a practitioner’s thumbs, palms, elbows, knees and feet.
The person receiving shiatsu remains clothed, or is covered by a sheet and treatment usually takes place on a futon on the floor.
Modern science is beginning to understand the effectiveness of this treatment, by exhibiting how, for example, rapid intercommunication occurs through the bodies connective tissues (Link: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9862013).
What are the benefits of Shiatsu?
Shiatsu is excellent for general health maintenance and as a preventative therapy for all ages. It can also:
- stimulate circulation
- strengthen the body
- promote relaxation
- alleviate pain and discomfort
- support the body back to its natural balance
Conditions that can respond well to shiatsu treatment include:
- back, neck and shoulder pain
- digestive problems
- headaches and migraine
- menstrual issues
- sports injuries