Chinese medicine is thousands of years old and has stood the test of time with minimal variation. It serves as an excellent complement to Western allopathic treatment. It is a reliable method of healing the body through bringing it back into homeostasis. As a holistic treatment paradigm, Chinese medicine works toward rectifying energetic imbalance – one that takes hold within the body due to the disrupted flow of the vital force of life, which is traditionally known as “qi.” It also focuses on harmonizing and integrating the internal aspects of one’s being with the natural forces contained within the macrocosm of heaven and earth. This relates to the over-arching concept of “heaven, humanity & earth,” whereby human beings derive energetic nutrition as an intermediary between them.
The main focus of treatment is to re-establish harmony between the complementary forces of yin and yang and between the five elements of fire, earth, metal, water and wood. This is accomplished through the insertion of needles into the meridian pathways of the body, which directly impact the structure and function of the body’s energetic organ systems. Other Chinese medicine treatments include Chinese herbal medicine, dietary therapy, right living habits, therapeutic massage and the ancient exercises of tai chi and qigong. A person can engage themselves in one or all during the course of their life as ways to retrieve and maintain their health status.
Additional modalities include moxibustion which is the burning of mugwort near the body to warm and open and strengthen the flow of qi and blood. Cupping is another possibility that involves creating a vacuum within a cup and applying it onto the skin to resolve physical pain through resolving stagnant qi and blood and increasing circulation. Mainstream awareness of the technique “spread like wild fire” after the 2016 Summer Olympics when viewers saw dark purple cupping marks on Michael Phelps’ shoulders. Chinese medicine also offers a technique known as gua sha which gently scrapes the skin after the application of oil. It too leads to discoloration of the skin and helps relieve pain through releasing energetic congestion and promoting renewed blood flow within areas treated.
Chinese medicine is a complete healing system that provides ways for betterment of life through treatments and recommendations received from a qualified Chinese medicine practitioner. It is a holistic healing approach, whereby treatment is tailored to the individual needs of a recipient. Moreover, specific attention is directed to the physical, emotional, psychological, energetic and spiritual aspects of their being. And it offers the possibility for self-empowerment through practice of gently flowing meditative and breathing exercises.
In addition to restoration of health, recipients of Chinese medicine describe experiencing an overwhelming sense of calmness and the ability to better deal with stress. This stems from creating a deeper connection between the physical and energetic bodies. And through activation of the parasympathetic nervous system, thereby counteracting the “fight or flight” adrenaline producing stress response. At the same time, Chinese medicine jump-starts capacity to heal oneself, especially when energetic reserves are deficient. It delivers the power of healing – one used by countless people throughout the centuries to retrieve well-being and restore their hope for long-term health and vitality. Quite simply, it prods the innate wisdom of the body to come into a place of balanced wholeness. What better way is there to bring in 2021 and welcome the robust energy of the Year of the Ox!
Shoshanna Katzman, L.Ac., M.S. is an acupuncturist, Chinese herbalist and director of Red Bank Acupuncture & Wellness Center in Shrewsbury, NJ for over thirty years. She is author of Qigong for Staying Young: A Simple 20-Minute Workout to Cultivate Your Vital Energy (visit www.qigong4.us) and co-author of Feeling Light: The Holistic Solution to Permanent Weight Loss and Wellness. Shoshanna has taught tai chi and qigong for over 45 years and is a 6th generationlineage holder of the Guang Ping Yang Style Tai Chi Form. She is offering qigong and tai chi instruction via Zoom and outdoors weather permitting.
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