Chinese Herbal Medicine
Acupuncture originated in China over 5,000 years ago. It is based on the belief that health is determined by a balanced flow of Qi, the vital life energy present in all living organisms. According to acupuncture theory, Qi is circulated in the body along fourteen energy pathways, called meridians, each linked to specific internal organs and organ systems. There are over one thousand acupoints within the meridian system that can be stimulated to enhance the flow of Qi. When special needles are inserted into these acupoints (just under the skin), they help correct and rebalance the flow of energy and consequently restore health.
Perhaps no other alternative therapy has received more attention in this country or gained more acceptance more quickly than acupuncture. Most Americans had never heard of it until 1971, when New York Times foreign correspondent James Teston wrote a startling first article about acupuncture following his emergency appendectomy in China. Today, acupuncture in America is in full swing. Last year alone, Americans made some 9-12 million visits to acupuncturists for ailments as diverse as arthritis, bladder infections, back pain, and morning sickness.
The World Health Organization of the United Nations (WHO) has cited 104 different conditions that acupuncture can treat; including, migraines, sinusitis, the common cold, tonsillitis, asthma, eye inflammation, addictions, myopia, duodenal ulcer (and other gastrointestinal disorders), trigeminal neuralgia, Meniere's disease, tennis elbow, paralysis from stroke, speech aphasia, sciatica, and osteoarthritis. Acupuncture has also been found to be effective in the treatment of a variety of rheumatoid conditions, and brings relief in 80% of those who suffer from arthritis. There is also evidence to suggest that acupuncture is valuable in treating enviromentally-induced illness due to radiation, pesticide poisoning, enviromentally toxic compounds, and air pollution.
In addition, acupuncture has been popularly used for weight control, to quit smoking, substance abuse, stress, depression, anxiety relief, cosmetic care, women's health, and even immune support.
Acupressure / Shiatsu Massage
Acupressure is an ancient healing art that uses the fingers to press key points on the surface of the skin to stimulate the body's natural self-curative abilities. When these points are pressed, they release muscular tension and promote the circulation of blood and the body's life force energy to aid healing. Acupuncture and acupressure use the same points, but acupuncture employs needles, while acupressure uses gentle but firm pressure.
Have you ever had a Shiatsu massage? Acupressure and Shiatsu are almost identical. They are both meridian therapies, which means they both work with the bodys own energy pathways, the pathways which are the foundation of Chinese medicine. Acupressure works on the acu-points and meridians, similar but not exactly like, Acupuncture without needles!
In an Acupressure treatment, pressure is applied along the meridians to improve the circulation of energy and harmonize the functions of the internal organs. Pressure is applied with the hands, arms, elbows, and occasionally the feet of the practitioner. In addition to the application of pressure to the meridians, acupressure will involve the application of pressure to other muscles and ligaments throughout the body. This component of acupressure is similar to the technique of Swedish massage. Acupressure also involves placing the hand on a part of the body, passively, without any significant pressure exerted, to facilitate energy flow.
The combination of acupressure with muscle massage will act on the whole body to facilitate deep relaxation, relieve discomfort and pain, and increase the regenerative capacity of the body by unblocking the flow of energy.
Reiki practitioners channel energy in a particular pattern to heal and harmonize. Unlike other healing therapies based on the premise of a human energy field, reiki seeks to restore order to the body whose vital energy has become unbalanced.
Reiki energy has several basic effects: it brings about deep relaxation, destroys energy blockages, detoxifies the system, provides new vitality in the form of healing universal life energy, and increases the vibrational frequency of the body.
The laying of hands is used in Reiki therapy also as in spiritual healing. There is a difference though. In spiritual healing, a person with a strong energy field places his or her hands above a particular part of the recipient's body in order to release energy into it. So, here the healer is the one who is sending out the energy. In Reiki, however, the healer places the hands above the recipient; however, it is the recipient that draws the energy as needed. Thus, in this case, the individual being healed takes an active part in the healing process as opposed to having a passive part in spiritual healing. The individual takes responsibility for his or her healing. The recipient identifies the needs and cater to them by drawing energy as needed.
Although there are a few positions in which the practitioner is in contact with the patient (such as cradling the head), most reiki treatments do not involve actual touching. The practitioner holds his or her hands a few inches or farther away from the patient's body and manipulates the energy field from there.
The body has the ability to heal itself. Following illness, stress, injury or disease, it is in a state of "imbalance", and vital energy pathways are blocked, preventing the body from functioning effectively. Reflexology can be used to restore and maintain the body's natural equilibrium and encourage healing.
A reflexologist uses hands only to apply gentle pressure to the feet. For each person the application and the effect of the therapy is unique. Sensitive, trained hands can detect tiny deposits and imbalances in the feet, and by working on these points the reflexologist can release blockages and restore the free flow of energy to the whole body. Tensions are eased, and circulation and elimination is improved. This gentle therapy encourages the body to heal itself at its own pace, often counteracting a lifetime of misuse.
Since reflexology treats the whole person, not the symptoms of disease, most people benefit from treatment. The therapy brings relief to a wide range of acute and chronic conditions, and is suitable for all ages. Once your body is in-tune, it is wise to have regular treatments in order to help maintain health and well-being. An increasing number of people are using this safe, natural therapy as a way of relaxing, balancing and harmonising the body.
Herbs, as in herbal medicine (also known as botanical medicine), s defined as a plant or plant part that is used to make medicine, aromatic oils for soaps or fragrances, or flavor foods (spices). And herb can be a leaf, bark, or any other part of the plant used for its medicinal, food flavoring, or aromatic properties. Herbs have provided humankind with medicine from the earliest beginnings of civilization. Throughout history, various cultures have handed down their accumulated knowledge of the medicinal use of herbs to successive generations. This vast body of knowledge serves as the basis for much of traditional medicine today.
The practice of Chinese herbal medicine stretches back more than 5,000 years, embracing all the domains of nature - earth and sea, seasons and weather, plants and animals, and all the elements that constitute the universe. Contemporary Chinese medicine represents the cumulative clinical experience and time-tested theories of five millennia of continuous practice by traditional Chinese physicians. It remains the world's oldes, safest, and most comprehensive system of medical care, developing as dynamically today as it has throughout it long history.
The World Health Organization of the United Nations (WHO) notes that of 119 plant-derived pharmaceutical medicines, about 74% are used in modern medicine in ways that correlate directly with their traditional uses as plant medicine by native cultures. Herbal medicine is the most ancient form of health care known to mankind. Herbs have been used in all cultures throughout history. Extensive scientific documentation now exists concerning their use for health conditions, including premenstrual syndrome, indigestion, insomnia, heart disease, liver disease, cancer, and HIV.