Oriental Medicine: The Basic Concept, Acupressure

An Ancient Art, a New Beginning!

Happy Spring, everyone!  As winter fades into the horizon, and Spring begins to transform the dark of long days into the warmth of extended evenings, we move ahead, after months of darkness, the light is being shown to us, and to all of our benefits we should be doing as much as we can in that warm, bright light, even during our busy schedules, pack your sneaks and walk, have lunch with friends, walk the dog, ride your bike, anything that gets us moving from the couch, chair, or whatever we have made ourselves a potato shelf of a being.  During my studies to be a Naturologist, I have had to study my way through many, many, many hours of health and healing.  One of my favorite which really applies to the change in seasons for me, as we use more muscles, and begin new outdoor programs, we feel old, unused tendons and tissue that has slept all winter, telling us to…moderate, or meet the past.  If you we push to hard to soon, we will watch summer fly by with an injury.

My method to aid my family in easing muscles as they begin to shape and mold  without soreness is acupressure.  Understanding why acupressure works requires an appreciation of the Chinese System of diagnosis and treatment, where the fundamental approach to medicine bears little resemblance to that in the West.

Oriental medicine and Western medicine are able to treat the same conditions, but practitioners from East and West diagnose an ailment in completely different ways.  Western doctors try to isolate an agent such as a virus, seen as the direct cause of an ailment, and then aim to eradicate it.  Where the cause is not so simple or clear, as with the degenerative diseases, for example, Western medicine will tackle only the symptoms.  Oriental practitioners, by contrast, look for a complete picture of their patient.  This is known as the “pattern of disharmony”.  This is found by observation of the patient’s complexion, general demeanor, color of urine, voice quality, and so on.  (See pg 21, Acupuncture for all Ailments, by Chris Jarmey and John Tindall.)

It takes many years to master the to master the art of diagnosis, but you can offer helpful treatment by looking up a symptom, such as a headache, asthma, or indigestion, and following the suggested treatment plan.

The most fundamental concept of Oriental medicine is that your body, mind, and spirit are all interdependent.  They affect one another at all levels: an ailment of the mind will be reflected in the body; similarly, any physical symptoms must affect the emotions and the psyche.  The Oriental doctor does not see a physical ailment in isolation, but as a refection of disharmony within your whole being.  They would then consider recommending that you consider the way your live, and evaluate your own weaknesses that are disrupting your body’s equilibrium.  Thus acupressure treatment helps to restore the harmony of body, mind, and spirit.  For more information on this topic…keep coming back.  This is a chapter from my book from the college where I received my PH.D.  Remember If you do purchase this book, use it wisely.  Do not try to take over a doctor’s role–help where you can and seek medical advise where you cannot.

This was one of my favorite chapters of the book on Acupressure, “The Causes Of Disease”,  For you to get most out of this book, it will help if you understand how traditional Oriental medicine views of the causes of disease.  Oriental practitioners do not treat the symptoms of a disease, they look for the underlying causes of it.  Which are always expressed as disruption of Qi, Yin, and Yang in various parts of the body.

According to Oriental medicine the causes of disease fall into three categories: internal (the emotions); external (the weather), and other causes such as germs, or poisons, trauma, diet, and the effects of drugs.  Recognizing the cause of a symptom will enable you to offer positive advice to support your treatment.  Acupressure will help to bring the Yin and Yang elements back into harmony, and restore the circulation of Qi, (pronounced as Chee’.).

Emotions can be powerful and damaging to our organs when out of harmony.  It’s natural to feel sadness, anger, or joy when occasional circumstances warrant them.  But it is harmful if an emotion such as anger is harbored for years.  Since fighting these disturbances creates even more conflict, the Oriental way is to observe them with awareness and allow them to be.  Through meditation they will naturally quieten and abate.

Joy: This emotion is fundamentally strong for the body & mind.  However, excessive excitement can lead to over stimulation of the Heart, causing  mental restlessness, palpitations, insomnia, and mouth or tongue ulcers.

Fear: can mean anything from terror to a lack of self-confidence, diminishing energy to the kidneys, especially the cooling of Yin aspect, which may give rise to palpitations, night sweating, and dry mouth and throat; plus bed wetting in children.  Anger: emotions from/resentment to animosity affect Liver Energy.  Excessive or long term anger causes Qi to rise, giving dizziness, or vomiting, but mostly headaches. It can interrupt liver energy thus interfering with the Spleen, causing digestive upsets.  Repressed anger, resentment may lead to chronic depression.

Sadness/Grief: These cause deficiency of Lung Energy, impairing its ability to take in and distribute Qi through the body and mind.  They deplete it to the extent of damaging the heart.  It can lead to fatigue, breathlessness, and crying.  In women, menstruation can cease, because blood becomes deficient die to the effect on the heart.

Overthinking and worry;  To much mental work or study depletes Spleen Energy, thus interfering with digestion, causing  fatigue, watery stools, and loss of appetite.  Worry can also result in lack of Lung function, resulting in breathlessness, anxiety, and stiffness of neck and shoulders.

Mental shock; It depletes heart Qi suddenly, often leading to palpitations, fainting, and shortness of breath.  Shock can also harm the way of the Mind, which is linked with the Heart, causing insomnia.  It depletes Energy of the Kidney, especially the cooling Yin aspect,, and can lead to night sweats and tinnitus.

This book was one of my favorites, and again I must adhere to the advice given, practice what you can, and leave any resounding questions to a medical professional.    I wish you all a Happy Easter, and a wonderful Spring!

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