Tag Archives: Traditional Chinese Medicine

Examples of Five Element Relationships in Traditional Chinese Medicine

Five Element Relationships in Traditional Chinese Medicine

In each example, the circled grey element is the Kyo and is therefore seen as the cause of the illness rather than the symptom.

Mother failing to nourish son.

In this case, treatment would be to: –

Five Element Relationships - Mother failing to nourish son

  1. Providing that the mother is not excessive, tonify the son then the mother.
  2. If the mother is excessive, sedate the mother and tonify the son.
  3. Alternatively, tonify the son and then tonify the controller of the mother.

 

Son taking too much from mother.

In this case, treatment would be: –Five Element Relationships - Son taking too much from mother

  1.  Sedate the excess (the son).
  2.  Tonify the mother.
  3. Tonify the controller of the son.

 

 

Controller exerting too much control.

In this case, treatment would be: –Five Element Relationships - Controller exerting too much control

  1. Sedate the excess element.
  2. Tonify the Controlled element.
  3. Tonify the Controller of the excess element.

 

Controlled element rebels against/insults the Controller.

In this case, treatment would be: –Five Element Relationships - Controlled element insults the Controller

  1. Sedate the Insulter.
  2. Tonify the Insulted.
  3. Tonify the Insulted’s parent

 

When using the Five Element theory it must be understood that the Kyo/Jitsu methodology of working is still valid – as Kyo/Jitsu are in an energetic relationship, you can find area of Kyo within an excessive (Jitsu) meridian, and areas of Kyo within a deficient (Kyo) meridian.  To confirm the relationship use palpation, treating and listening, and find the connection.

  • When treating a deficiency problem, look at the Sheng cycle to create/boost energy.  On the Sheng cycle, deficiencies occur when the parent is not feeding the child, or when the child is taking too much from the parent.
  • When treating excess, look at the Ko cycle

Diagnosis and Treatment

  1. Symptoms and observation.
  2. Diagnosis from Hara etc., using kyo and jitsu.
  3. Recognise the relationships between (a) and (b).
  4. Make up a composite diagnosis.
  5. Use Five Element theory to decide what meridians should be treated.
  6. Prepare treatment plan.
  7. Treat.
  8. Conclusions.

Example 1.

LI kyo – Inability to release.treatment plan 1

HT jitsu – Emotional problems.

Causes: –

Internalisation causing emotional problems, with an inability to let go.

Treatment:-

Tonify BL (Ko for HT).

Working down the body, tonify ST (Sheng for LI) and LI.

 

Example 2.

LV kyo – Control, planning, decision making.treatment plan 2

HG jitsu – Emotional protection.

Causes: –

Lack or over control, with an inability to make decisions, leading to emotional problems.

Treatment: –

Sedation of HG.

Tonify Water, KD (Sheng for LV) and BL (Ko for HG).

 

 

EU herb directive keeps consumers in the dark

EU herb directive keeps consumers in the dark

Consumers are kept in the dark as EU Directive looks set to ban the majority of High Street herbal remedies – Indian and Chinese herbs hardest hit

Consumers across Europe will be denied the right to use the majority of herbal remedies currently available in health food stores and on the Internet when a new European law is fully implemented on 1st May 2011, according to data published today by the Alliance for Natural Health International (ANH-Intl).
ANH-Intl has collated and released a list of the 79 herbal products registered for use in the UK by its medicines regulator, the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA).  The list, which is based on data taken from the MHRA’s website, shows that only 34 plant species are included out of a total of more than 1000 that are commonly used as medicinal herbs. The ban applies to any herbal product that is not registered by 1st May, and is a result of the full implementation of the EU Traditional Herbal Medicinal Products Directive (THMPD).
Non-European herbal products will be hardest hit: so far, not a single herbal remedy used in the two biggest traditions, Ayurveda (from India) and traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), has been approved.
Nutritional supplements that include any non-approved medicinal herbs will also be banned.
Robert Verkerk PhD, Executive and Scientific Director of ANH-Intl, said, “We believe consumers have the right to see which products have so far been registered, what they have in them, what their intended uses are and who has registered them. We have therefore collated the data into a single list while also releasing other lists that show the extensive range of Indian, Chinese, Tibetan and even western herbs that will be subject to the ban.”
The new legislation claims to put consumer safety first making it mandatory to indicate possible side effects and interactions with other drugs on the labelling of approved herbal products.  But health-conscious consumers are likely to be surprised to find a wide complement (over 100) of additive ‘nasties’ in most (but not all) of the registered products.  These include the detergent sodium lauryl sulphate, the controversial sweeteners aspartame and sodium cyclamate, artificial preservatives, such as E215, E217 and E219, and various polymers, such as butylated methacrylate copolymer, polyvinylpyrrolidone and polyvinyl alcohol (PVA). The latter is recognised by government authorities to cause cancer in laboratory animals.
Other key findings are:

  • Twenty-seven of the 79 registrations are for just two herbs, Valerian (15) and Echinacea (12).
  • Around one-third of UK registrations are from pharmaceutical companies whose core interests lie with conventional drugs rather than herbal products.
  • The 79 registered herbal products are licensed to just 26 companies, mainly of UK, German or Swiss origin.
  • Not one of the licensees is a supplier of Chinese or Indian (Ayurvedic) herbal products, these being the two most well-established herbal traditions in the world.
  • Eighty percent of registrations are for products containing single herbs, rather than herbal combinations, which are common to the non-European herbal traditions.
  • Only eight of the registrations (10%) are for products containing whole plant material; the majority of the remainder are alcoholic extracts stabilised in a chemical base, including various combinations of over 100 excipients.
  • Smaller traditional herbal providers are notable by their absence.

Herbs that are popular with consumers that are among the thousands to be banned in May, unless registrations are granted within the coming 75 days, include:
Western herb examples

  • Herbal combinations for premenstrual tension using Red Clover and Chasteberry.
  • Hawthorn for cardiovascular health.
  • Meadowsweet for arthritic inflammation.

Ayurvedic herb examples

  • Bibitaki one of the three key ingredients in Triphala, among Ayurveda’s most widely used herbal products (for digestive health).
  • Ashwagandha (sometimes referred to as Indian Ginseng) that is an ‘adaptogen’ used to balance the body.
  • Arjuna for heart and circulatory health.

Chinese herb examples

  • Baikal skullcap used as an anti-inflammatory.
  • Chinese foxglove (Rehmannia) as an immunosuppressant for those with autoimmune diseases.
  • Chinese goldthread (Coptis) used for detoxification.

Amazonian herb examples

  • Cat’s claw as an anti-inflammatory.
  • Pau d’Arco to help strengthen the immune system.
  • Graviola used as an anti-inflammatory, especially with cancer patients.

One possible explanation given by ANH-Intl for the lack of licences granted to smaller traditional herbal companies on the THMP list is the “obstacle course” that they face in what is a very expensive, complicated and time-consuming registration process not suited to complex herbal combinations. Estimates for the registration range from £80,000 to well over £150,000 per product. Many in the natural products industry believe the costs are prohibitive and effectively result in selective discrimination.
Verkerk says: “We are planning to initiate judicial review proceedings of the EU Directive, starting in the High Court in London. We hope then to get a reference to the European Court of Justice.  We are challenging on the grounds that the law is disproportionate, non-transparent and discriminatory, especially to the non-European traditions.  We have already raised about £60,000 of our £90,000 target to fund legal fees for this initial phase.

“A major flaw in the legalisation is that, unlike pharmaceuticals, herbal products are made from biological sources, and as such do not react in the same way that conventional pharmaceuticals do in a laboratory environment. Trying to push these ancient traditions into a European straitjacket based around synthetic drug manufacture is like to trying to push a square peg into a round hole.”
ENDS
For further information please contact:
Adam Smith, science & communications officer, or Sophie Middleton, campaign administrator, European office of ANH-Intl, tel: +44 (0)1306 646 600, email: info@anh-europe.org
Notes to the Editor
Download UK list of registered herbal products.
Link to current ANH feature on EU herb crisis.
List of endangered Chinese, Indian and Western herbs that may be subject to ban from 1st May 2011 assuming registrations are not forthcoming in the next 75 days
Link to Frequently Asked Questions.
About the Alliance for Natural Health International (ANH-Intl)
Alliance for Natural Health International is an internationally active non-governmental organisation working towards protecting and promoting safe and natural approaches to healthcare. ANH-Intl campaigns across a wide range of fields, including for freedom of choice and the use of micronutrients and herbal products in healthcare. It also operates campaigns that aim to restrict mass fluoridation of water supplies and the use of genetically modified foods.
Through its work particularly in Europe and the USA, the ANH works to accomplish its mission through its unique application of ‘good science’ and ‘good law’. The organisation was founded in 2002 by Dr Robert Verkerk, an internationally acclaimed expert in sustainability, who continues his leadership.
The ANH brought a case against the European directive on food supplements in 2003, which was successfully referred to the European Court of Justice in early 2004. The ruling in 2005 provided significant clarification to areas of EU law affecting food supplements that were previously non-transparent.
About the Traditional Herbal Medicinal Products Directive (THMPD)
For further information about the EU directive on traditional herbal medicines (THMPD) and concerns over its implementation, please download the ANH briefing paper.
Further information on the herbal challenge.   

Consumers across Europe will be denied the right to use the majority of herbal remedies currently available in health food stores and on the Internet when a new European law is fully implemented on 1st May 2011, according to data published today by the Alliance for Natural Health International (ANH-Intl).
ANH-Intl has collated and released a list of the 79 herbal products registered for use in the UK by its medicines regulator, the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA).  The list, which is based on data taken from the MHRA’s website, shows that only 34 plant species are included out of a total of more than 1000 that are commonly used as medicinal herbs. The ban applies to any herbal product that is not registered by 1st May, and is a result of the full implementation of the EU Traditional Herbal Medicinal Products Directive (THMPD).
Non-European herbal products will be hardest hit: so far, not a single herbal remedy used in the two biggest traditions, Ayurveda (from India) and traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), has been approved.
Nutritional supplements that include any non-approved medicinal herbs will also be banned.
Robert Verkerk PhD, Executive and Scientific Director of ANH-Intl, said, “We believe consumers have the right to see which products have so far been registered, what they have in them, what their intended uses are and who has registered them. We have therefore collated the data into a single list while also releasing other lists that show the extensive range of Indian, Chinese, Tibetan and even western herbs that will be subject to the ban.”
The new legislation claims to put consumer safety first making it mandatory to indicate possible side effects and interactions with other drugs on the labelling of approved herbal products.  But health-conscious consumers are likely to be surprised to find a wide complement (over 100) of additive ‘nasties’ in most (but not all) of the registered products.  These include the detergent sodium lauryl sulphate, the controversial sweeteners aspartame and sodium cyclamate, artificial preservatives, such as E215, E217 and E219, and various polymers, such as butylated methacrylate copolymer, polyvinylpyrrolidone and polyvinyl alcohol (PVA). The latter is recognised by government authorities to cause cancer in laboratory animals.
Other key findings are:

  • Twenty-seven of the 79 registrations are for just two herbs, Valerian (15) and Echinacea (12).
  • Around one-third of UK registrations are from pharmaceutical companies whose core interests lie with conventional drugs rather than herbal products.
  • The 79 registered herbal products are licensed to just 26 companies, mainly of UK, German or Swiss origin.
  • Not one of the licensees is a supplier of Chinese or Indian (Ayurvedic) herbal products, these being the two most well-established herbal traditions in the world.
  • Eighty percent of registrations are for products containing single herbs, rather than herbal combinations, which are common to the non-European herbal traditions.
  • Only eight of the registrations (10%) are for products containing whole plant material; the majority of the remainder are alcoholic extracts stabilised in a chemical base, including various combinations of over 100 excipients.
  • Smaller traditional herbal providers are notable by their absence.

Herbs that are popular with consumers that are among the thousands to be banned in May, unless registrations are granted within the coming 75 days, include:
Western herb examples

  • Herbal combinations for premenstrual tension using Red Clover and Chasteberry.
  • Hawthorn for cardiovascular health.
  • Meadowsweet for arthritic inflammation.

Ayurvedic herb examples

  • Bibitaki one of the three key ingredients in Triphala, among Ayurveda’s most widely used herbal products (for digestive health).
  • Ashwagandha (sometimes referred to as Indian Ginseng) that is an ‘adaptogen’ used to balance the body.
  • Arjuna for heart and circulatory health.

Chinese herb examples

  • Baikal skullcap used as an anti-inflammatory.
  • Chinese foxglove (Rehmannia) as an immunosuppressant for those with autoimmune diseases.
  • Chinese goldthread (Coptis) used for detoxification.

Amazonian herb examples

  • Cat’s claw as an anti-inflammatory.
  • Pau d’Arco to help strengthen the immune system.
  • Graviola used as an anti-inflammatory, especially with cancer patients.

One possible explanation given by ANH-Intl for the lack of licences granted to smaller traditional herbal companies on the THMP list is the “obstacle course” that they face in what is a very expensive, complicated and time-consuming registration process not suited to complex herbal combinations. Estimates for the registration range from £80,000 to well over £150,000 per product. Many in the natural products industry believe the costs are prohibitive and effectively result in selective discrimination.
Verkerk says: “We are planning to initiate judicial review proceedings of the EU Directive, starting in the High Court in London. We hope then to get a reference to the European Court of Justice.  We are challenging on the grounds that the law is disproportionate, non-transparent and discriminatory, especially to the non-European traditions.  We have already raised about £60,000 of our £90,000 target to fund legal fees for this initial phase.

“A major flaw in the legalisation is that, unlike pharmaceuticals, herbal products are made from biological sources, and as such do not react in the same way that conventional pharmaceuticals do in a laboratory environment. Trying to push these ancient traditions into a European straitjacket based around synthetic drug manufacture is like to trying to push a square peg into a round hole.”
ENDS
For further information please contact:
Adam Smith, science & communications officer, or Sophie Middleton, campaign administrator, European office of ANH-Intl, tel: +44 (0)1306 646 600, email:
info@anh-europe.org
Notes to the Editor
Download UK list of registered herbal products.
Link to current ANH feature on EU herb crisis.
List of endangered Chinese, Indian and Western herbs that may be subject to ban from 1st May 2011 assuming registrations are not forthcoming in the next 75 days
Link to Frequently Asked Questions.
About the Alliance for Natural Health International (ANH-Intl)
Alliance for Natural Health International is an internationally active non-governmental organisation working towards protecting and promoting safe and natural approaches to healthcare. ANH-Intl campaigns across a wide range of fields, including for freedom of choice and the use of micronutrients and herbal products in healthcare. It also operates campaigns that aim to restrict mass fluoridation of water supplies and the use of genetically modified foods.
Through its work particularly in
Europe and the USA, the ANH works to accomplish its mission through its unique application of ‘good science’ and ‘good law’. The organisation was founded in 2002 by Dr Robert Verkerk, an internationally acclaimed expert in sustainability, who continues his leadership.
The ANH brought a case against the European directive on food supplements in 2003, which was successfully referred to the European Court of Justice in early 2004. The ruling in 2005 provided significant clarification to areas of EU law affecting food supplements that were previously non-transparent.
About the Traditional Herbal Medicinal Products Directive (THMPD)
For further information about the EU directive on traditional herbal medicines (THMPD) and concerns over its implementation, please download the
ANH briefing paper.
Further information on the herbal challenge.  

Shiatsu for health and wellbeing

Shiatsu for health and wellbeing

Shiatsu (pronounced shee-at-soo) is a Japanese word meaning finger pressure and is the name created early in the 20th century for this gentle, efficient, healing technique. The Japanese Government recognised Shiatsu as a valuable part of their health system over 60 years ago.  Here, in the West, we have only recently started to appreciate Shiatsu and it has now been recognised by the European Parliament and included in the European Register of Non-Conventional Medical Disciplines.

Shiatsu has some of its origins in Traditional Chinese Medicine and it is a blend of Chinese acupuncture and the Japanese system of Anma (massage).  It is sometimes referred to as “Acupressure” but this is an inaccurate description as Shiatsu has so much more to offer. The practitioner may use fingers, thumbs, elbows and even knees to apply pressure on the tsubos (acupuncture points) as well as incorporating gentle stretches and manipulations.

These stretches, combined with the use of the tsubos, has the effect of stimulating the circulatory system and the lymphatic system, it works on both divisions of the autonomic nervous system, helps to release tension in the muscles, and can also stimulate the hormonal system. Shiatsu usually leaves a feeling of well-being and calmness, of being more in touch with one’s body and self.
Findings from the European Shiatsu Federation research study carried out by Professor Andrew Long at the University of Leeds.

 

The Experience and Effects of Shiatsu: A Cross-European Study.

  • 89% of Shiatsu receivers felt calmer and more relaxed.
  • Up to 60% of regular shiatsu receivers slept better.
  • Receivers rated their symptoms as significantly reduced throughout the 6 month study.
  • 86% said that shiatsu was effective in treating stress and tension, structural and postural problems, low energy and fatigue.
  • Overall, Shiatsu receivers adopted a more relaxed, healthier and balanced approach to life.
  • Reduced use of conventional medicine.

Shiatsu Therapy – Natural and holistic

Shiatsu Therapy

Shiatsu has a good reputation for reducing stress and relieving nausea and vomiting. Shiatsu is also believed to improve circulation and boost the immune system. Some people use it to treat diarrhoea, indigestion, constipation, and other disorders of the gastrointestinal tract. For menstrual and menopausal problems, chronic pain, migraine, arthritis, and; toothache. Shiatsu can be used to relieve muscular pain or tension, especially neck and back pain. It also appears to have sedative effects and may alleviate insomnia. In a broader sense, shiatsu is believed to enhance physical vitality and emotional well being.

Shiatsu is a Complementary form of therapy that was developed in Japan from a blend of Traditional Chinese Medicine and the Japanese massage system of Amna.  Shiatsu can also be used as a form of a self-treatment.  However, the best benefits are received when treatment is carried out by a fully qualified and experienced practitioner.

It, possibly through its ability to assist the receiver to relax, has the reputation of being able to improve circulation and boost the immune system.  Many people now use Shiatsu to help treat Irritable Bowel Syndrome, constipation, diarrhoea, indigestion, and other gastrointestinal tract disorders.  It is also used to treat  chronic pain, arthritis, migraine, tension, anxiety and depression.  Sports injuries also react well to Shiatsu treatment and it is excellent when dealing with muscular pain or tension, especially neck and back pain.  Shiatsu enhances physical vitality and emotional well being.

Shiatsu is usually given, at floor level, on a flat mat called a futon.  It is applied by massaging certain points (acupuncture points), that may be associated with the symptoms or cause of the underlying ailment, using pressure that is applied by the fingers, elbows, or even the knees.  The literal translation of Shiatsu is “finger pressure“.  Through this stimulation, the flow of energy (ki) is restored and balanced.

Yin Yang and the Five Element Theory

Yin Yang and the Five Element Theory

The theories of Yin -Yang and the Five Elements were the discovered and developed by the ancient Chinese sages through empirical means by their prolonged observations of nature’s cycles and changes. The theory states that wood, fire, earth, metal, and water were the basic substances of the material world. These five basic substances were recognised as being an indispensable part of daily life. They also realised that the material world is in a constant state of flux due to the dynamic movement and mutual conflict of Yin and Yang.
The ancient Chinese sages applied these two theories in the medical field (as well as to the arts of war, poetry, etc.) to explain the physiological activities and pathological changes of the human body, and to serve as a guide to the clinical treatment.

It is important, before going into the theories of Yin/Yang or the Five Elements, to view Chinese cosmology and how those theories and beliefs that developed through the millennia compare with those now held by the great scientific minds of the West.

“The Tao begets the one,
The one begets the two,
The two beget the three and
The three beget the ten thousand things.
All things are backed by the shade,
Faced by the light
And harmonised by the immaterial breath.”

Lao Tzu: Tao Te Ching.

The source of all things is the Tao, which some interpret as God or Godhead. From this, the quotation from Lao Tzu may be interpreted as:

In the beginning there was God and when God became self-aware, this act of self-awareness created matter.
Matter was then sub divided into two main qualities, matter and energy (Yin and Yang).
These two qualities are held together in balance by a subtle energy (Qi).
The combination of matter and energy created what we perceive as the universe.
The second quotation explains that all nature is either Yin or Yang and that it is Qi, “the immaterial breath” that balances the two.

Yin / Yang

This is the Chinese concept of two complimentary yet opposing qualities of Qi and therefore everything in the universe can be described in terms of Yin or Yang. The literal translation of Yin is “The shaded side of the valley” and Yang is “The sunny side of the valley”.
Yin/Yang is both a way of thinking and a description of the way in which Qi works. For each there is an opposite: Hot/cold, up/down, hard/soft, material/spiritual, etc. The continuous flux of Yin and Yang give impetus to the development of everything, “Yin and Yang are the law of Heaven and Earth, the outline of everything, the parents of change, the origin of birth and destruction….”

Yin and Yang cannot exist independently as they are mutually dependent. There can be no extreme, within Yin there is Yang and within Yang there is Yin. Each can be further sub-divide as within Yin there is also Yin; they are used to provide a reference point for description of phenomena- low, lower, and lowest. Yin within Yin within Yin. When one reaches an extreme it becomes the other.
The now world famous Taiji symbol shows the two aspects of Yin and Yang as though they were two fish swimming round in a tight circle, chasing each other. This shows the relationship between the two – balancing each other, opposing each other, and becoming each other. If observed closely it can be seen that the white fish has a black eye and vice versa, showing that each contains a seed of the other. However if the eye of the fish were magnified it would become another Taiji symbol ad infinitum.
A martial arts instructor who I hold in the highest regard gave the best description I have come across of the inter-dependency of Yin, Yang and Qi. He posed his students many questions, one of which was “How many sides does a coin have?” The usual answer he received was “Two”. He would then send his student away to ponder on the deeper meaning. After a while he would laugh and explain that the coin has three sides, the Yin and Yang were the two faces, and the Qi, which holds both together, was the edge. Yin and Yang are but perceptions of the quality of the Qi.
Yin and Yang represent the two opposite aspects of everything and the implicit conflict and interdependence of these aspects. Generally, anything that is moving, ascending, bright, hot, hyperactive, including functional disease of the body, relate to Yang. The characteristics of stillness, descending, darkness, degeneration, hypoactivity, including organic disease, are related to Yin.

Qi, Chi or Ki

When Qi is used to describe the energy flowing through the meridians it is defined as “life force”, “life energy”, the driving force which makes us “alive”. When that particular quality if Qi has gone, our physical body is deemed to be dead. Qi is the Chinese word used to describe the energy known world-wide as Prana by the Indians, Pneuma by the ancient Greeks, Psychic energy, etc. Qi also refers to energy in the largest sense, it is the stuff of creation, it is both matter and energy and that which holds both together. Qi transcends and is not bounded by time or space it; it is time and space it is the WHOLE.

How does this relate to modern scientific thought?

Max Planck developed quantum physics at the beginning of the twentieth century when he discovered that radiant heat was not emitted continuously, but in small defined units, which he named quanta. This discovery was elaborated on by Albert Einstein when he theorised that this quantum effect applied to all electromagnetic radiation. When Einstein was producing his Special Theory of Relativity, he came to realise that matter and energy were one and the same, that matter is energy at a lower frequency. He further surmised that our cosmos is not three-dimensional, that time was inseparable from space, and from this he produced the space-time Continuum – Qi is both matter and energy!
According to Bell’s Theorem, which was formulated in 1964, he postulates the existence of sub-atomic particles, which are connected in such a way that anything, which affects one of these particles simultaneously, affects them all. As these particles permeate the entire universe it can therefore be seen that Einstein was mistaken when he theorised that nothing could travel faster than the speed of light. Bell’s mathematical proof has since been proved experimentally, proving that superluminal speed is possible and concurring with the experience of the Chinese sages, Indian yogis, and modern day psychics in their claims that the universe is totally accessible.
Until this century scientists view the universe in a Newtonian manner where existence /nature consisted of basic building blocks and operated in a rather mechanical way. As the present day scientists push back the boundaries of knowledge they are rediscovering the knowledge of our forebears. The ancient Chinese concept of the universe (the Tao) is a holistic/holographic one. Everything within the universe is made of the same thing (Qi) and therefore each part is a holograph of every other part. It is therefore impossible to fragment the universe into individual segments.

It is extremely difficult to explain the holographic nature of the universe as it cannot truly be described only experienced. Tibetan Buddhist teachings state that when we observe what we perceive to be a solid object we are actually seeing a stream of constantly changing images because the item under observation is constantly moving (atomic and sub-atomic structure), we ourselves are constantly changing/vibrating, and both the observer and the observed interact with each other. It is our senses, which make this constantly changing universe appear solid.
This is YOUR universe, you are its centre, and you are the screen upon which events unfold. You influence it, change it. If we accept our universe as holographic, that all is made of the same stuff, then we come to realise that everything is interconnected and interdependent.

Our concept of the world around us is dualistic; it is the easiest way of describing things. Even the ancient Chinese Taoists who recognised the holistic nature of the Tao chose to explain it in a dualistic manner through the symbolic concept of Yin/Yang reflecting the paradox of matter and energy. However we must not lose sight of the most important factor of their cosmology “In the beginning there was the Tao”, the one holistic/holographic. The rest of the cosmology goes on to describe how our limited senses perceive the ONE, the TAO. “The tao which can be described is not the true Tao”.

Types of Qi

The character Qi denotes a dynamic essence characterised by both substance and function. For example, substantial Qi relates to; clean Qi, turbid Qi, and the Qi transformed from the essence of food. Functional Qi relates to the Qi of the heart, liver, spleen, kidney, stomach, and the Qi of the channels and collaterals.
The various classifications of Qi in the human body are dependent on distribution, origin, and function.
Original Qi – also known as Pre-natal Qi, Primary Qi, or Ancestral Qi. This is the Qi that is inherited from our parents – genetic make-up. Original Qi is nourished and replenished by food (Grain Qi) after birth, however it is ever diminishing and although it can be replenished it can never reach its original levels. Original Qi is also known as the Qi of the kidney and is stored at the centre of the Hara in the “Gate of Vitality”. It is distributed to the whole body through the function of the Triple Heater and it arouses and promotes the activities of the zang-fu organs and tissues. Original Qi moulds our Constitution.
Air Qi – derived through respiration.
Grain Qi – also known as Food Qi, it is derived from food.
Gathering Qi – also known as Chest Qi or Aggregate Qi. This is the combination of Air Qi through the lung and Food Qi from food digested and absorbed by the stomach and spleen. It is a finer form of Qi than Food Qi and is therefor more readily utilised by the body. Gathering Qi is accumulated in the chest and has the function of nourishing the lung and the heart, thus promoting respiration and blood circulation. Being a combination of Air Qi and Grain Qi, Gathering Qi moulds our Condition. It is housed in the “Upper Sea of Qi” at CV17.
Nutritive Qi – originating from the essential substance of food transformed by the spleen and stomach and is a component part of blood. “Nutrient Qi is actually the essential Qi transformed from food and water. Nutritive Qi is secreted by the body fluid, circulates in the blood vessels, and is transformed into blood to nourish the four extremities, the five zang and six fu organs”
Protective Qi – the barrier against external pathogens, or external pernicious influences. It is mainly derived from the essential substances of food and water, which form a part of the human body’s Yang Qi. It circulates outside the meridians and collaterals mainly spreading through the muscles and skin. Its physiological functions are (1) defending the body surface against the invasion of external pernicious influences, (2) warming and nourishing the organs and tissues, and (3) adjusting the opening and closing of the pores.

The Three Treasures (San Bao)

The Three Treasures are three qualities or forms of energy – Qi, Jing and Shen – with Jing being seen as Yin, Qi seen as neutral, and Shen seen as Yang. Jing (Willpower) has an earthy quality that is closely associated with the sexual act, while Shen (Consciousness) has the quality of spirit and is recognised as our connection with the divine.

Jing

Jing is the most refined form of Qi; it is life essence, sexual essence. It is Yin in relation to other forms of energy and has a tendency to flow downward towards the genitalia and is related closely with the fluids associated with reproduction (sperm, semen, vaginal excretions, menstrual blood, etc.). Even though Jing is recognised as being Yin in relation to the other forms of Qi, like all else it has both Yin and Yang aspects – the Yin being the reproductive fluids and the Yang being the saliva.
Jing has the qualities of growth and development that gradually increase during childhood, reaching its zenith between the ages of 20 and 25, and then decreasing. This gradual loss of Jing is associated with the ageing process, particularly with osteoporosis, reduced immune system, grey hair, loss of libido, and memory loss.
Although the Jing cannot be raised above its original level practising Qigong and living a balanced and healthy lifestyle can augment it, slowing down its decrease.
In Chinese Medicine it is said that the Jing creates the marrow, this includes the grey matter of the brain “the sea of marrow”
There are three external sources of Jing: It is inherited from our parents (genetic strength or weakness); it is extracted from the refined qualities of food (Grain Qi); and it can be absorbed from one’s sexual partner when practising Taoist sexual yoga.
The Jing is stored in the kidneys, the Lower Dan Tien, and the Exceptional Vessels.

Shen

Shen is the least tangible, yet most spiritual of the three Vital Treasures, it is a very subtle energy. Yang in nature, it flows upward with a fire-like quality. As with its partners in the San Bao, Shen can be cultivated, this time through meditation and the tranquil forms of Qigong. It is associated with the Liver and the Heart, and when the Qi from these two sources combines (providing that they are healthy) they produce Shen. When these organs are out of balance the Shen becomes unsettled, leading to restlessness and agitation of the Mind.
It is said that the Shen is the sparkle in the eye of the wise, the substance of sentience, intuition and wisdom.
As already stated, the Shen is increased through meditation in any form of introspective exercise. However, it is lost when we spend too much time and energy looking outside to the materialistic world – the ego destroys the Shen. All mental health illnesses are seen as diseases or imbalances of the Shen.
The Shen is stored in the Upper Dan Tien (Yin Tang), flows through the Exceptional Vessels, and unless stopped through meditation and introspection it is lost through the eyes.

Qi Jing Shen
Energy Life Sexual Spirit
Organ Spleen Kidney & Lungs Liver & Heart
Element Air Water Fire
Form Breath Sexual fluids & saliva Light & Spirit
Movement Down, up Down Up
Aspect Yin, Yang, neutral Yin Yang
Reservoir Middle Dan Tien Lower Dan Tien Upper Dan Tien
Circulatory System Meridians Bones Exceptional Vessels
Associated System Respiratory Reproductive & Endocrine Nervous
Gate Nose & mouth Genitals Eyes
Cultivated through Qigong Sexual Meditation

Qigong as a Healing Art

Qigong as a Healing Art

Qigong  (pronounced chee gung) is the art or science of using, working with and cultivating Qi (Chi) “life energy” to enrich ones life by controlling and strengthening the flow of qi throughout the body.

This information is written from the point of view of Traditional Chinese Medicine.  Please do not be put off by the terminology of Water/Metal imbalances, as these are only ways of describing the illness from a TCM perspective.

Qigong is an art, which is steeped in history, legend and myth, has its roots in ancient China, growing as a healing art over thousands of years. It is the forerunner of, and is therefore based on the same principles as, Acupuncture, Acupressure, Tuina, and Shiatsu.  At present it is still being developed and researched as a cure, and preventative of illness by Qigong masters and by medical establishments and universities in China, America, Russia and Japan. In China, Qigong is often used in conjunction with Traditional Chinese and Allopathic Medicine to increase the healing power/rate – This wonderful system can also be utilised to enhance any of the Complimentary Healing systems as well as being used as a self-development and self-healing system.

Often after giving a treatment we ask ourselves if we could have done more.  We often see people who need frequent/regular treatment but who cannot afford the cost.  One way we can deal with this dilemma is to recommend some form of self-help such as diet, exercise etc.  However one of the most powerful self-help systems is often overlooked, primarily because of lack of experience – Qigong.

It is my intention to outline two Qigong exercises which can be used to treat imbalances in Metal, but which also treat other chronic ailments.  My intention is to show the basic exercise listing pathogenic factors it may be used to treat, then show a modification to the exercise that will enhance it, making it more potent in treating Metal disorders/imbalances.  The beauty of these exercises lies in their simplicity and strength.

Qigong promotes the smooth flow of Qi within the meridian system, bringing harmony and balance to the Whole (Body/Mind/Spirit).  Each exercise has both a tonifying and sedating quality (i.e. It can either increase or decrease the amount of qi within the meridian) and can be prescribed using Five Element Theory or Kyo/Jitsu, as would be done in Shiatsu, etc.

The stances for both exercises are the same; feet are shoulder width apart with the weight evenly distributed, the knees are slightly bent, the coccyx is tucked in slightly, and the head is held upright as though suspended from above.

The breathing should be natural and it is important that the movement follows the breathing and not vice versa.  Breathing should be through the nose and concentrated on the Tan Tien (a point 2 – 3 inches below the navel).  Throughout the exercise, the tongue should touch the palate just behind the front teeth.

BROADENING THE CHEST:

a)      Inhalation – Turn the palms to face each other as though holding a balloon, raise them to chest height while simultaneously raising the stance, then move them laterally/horizontally as though the balloon was expanding.

b)      Exhalation – Move the arms medially/horizontally to the original distance apart, lower the stance/arms while turning the palms obliquely downward.

N.B.  Make sure that the shoulders are relaxed and that the elbows are pointed down so that the arms are not “locked”. There should be a harmonious co-ordination between the raising and lowering of the arms/stance and the breathing.  Repeat six times.

This is good for dealing with insomnia, hypertension, relieving mental fatigue, and when used in conjunction with “Commencement” it can be used to treat asthma.

The exercise can be enhanced to focus more on Metal by adopting the alternative hand position shown, and turning the palms outward as the arms are moved laterally/horizontally.

PRESSING PALMS IN CALMNESS:

Following on from the last exhalation:

a)      Inhalation – Turn the palms upward with the fingers pointing at each other, and lift the hands to eye level.

b)      Exhalation – Turn the palms down, again with the fingers pointing at each other, and press down until the hands are level with the hips. Repeat six times.

This is good for regulating the breathing and balancing the blood pressure.  It strengthens the function of the Kidney, calms the nerves, can alleviate tinnitus and dizziness, and also has an effect on arthritis of the knee.

The basic exercise is primarily used to treat Water imbalances, however by forming a triangle between the index fingers and thumbs as you press down; it then becomes more potent for treating Water.

As stated, each exercise should be repeated six times and should be carried out twice a day – morning and early evening.

Excellent results are achievable but are entirely dependent on the client practising diligently.  One example of how potent Qigong is, is that of a 13-year-old boy with severe asthma.  When he first came for treatment (Shiatsu) he was dependent on daily medication involving three different inhalers.  His treatment consisted of three Shiatsu sessions, which started to stabilise his condition, and he was then prescribed two qigong exercises.  Eight months later, his mother telephoned me with the news that he had been off medication completely for the previous five months and that he had only had one asthmatic attack in this time.  He had remained calm during this incident and used qigong to overcome it in a controlled manner.

His mother had viewed this as almost miraculous, but the real miracle was that her son had the discipline to practice his qigong each and every day – he had been empowered with the ability to heal himself.

Treatment for Tinnitus

Treatment for Tinnitus – Complementary Treatment Options

There are a number of natural and holistic methods used in the treatment for tinnitus.

Shiatsu

Shiatsu is a Complementary form of therapy that was developed in Japan from a blend of Traditional Chinese Medicine and the Japanese massage system of Amna.  Shiatsu can also be used as a form of a self-treatment.  However, the best benefits are received when treatment is carried out by a fully qualified and experienced practitioner.

It is applied by lightly massaging certain points (acupuncture points), that may be associated with the symptoms or cause of the underlying ailment, using pressure that is applied by the fingers, elbows, or even the knees.  The literal translation of Shiatsu is “finger pressure“.  Through this stimulation, the flow of energy (ki) is restored and balanced.

Shiatsu can also, through its ability to help the receiver to relax, produce positive effects in tinnitus related ailments such as:

• Vulnerability to stress
• Improvement of sleep patterns and alleviation of sleep disorders
• Alleviation of any accompanying symptoms

see also:

Allopathic Treatment Options

Any underlying disorder is treated, if possible.  Many sufferers make use of
radio, television, headphones, etc to block out the noise in their ears. The use of headphones to play white noise (a random mixture of sounds) is often found to be effective.

Acupuncture

Acupuncture

Acupuncture has been empirically proven effective in the treatment of specific ailments for more than 4,000 years, Acupuncture is a Chinese medical technique. Over the past few decades, Acupuncture has been scrutinised by the medical establishment and has been shown to work in a number of medical trials. It is used primarily for the relief of pain but also for curing disease and improving general health. Recent research – which included testing the thickness of the epidermis over the acupuncture points – has confirmed the location of these points.
Acupuncture consists of stimulating the Qi (intrinsic energy) by inserting hair-thin needles through the acupuncture points. These points generally lie on pathways called meridians although there are many non-meridian acupuncture points. The needles are typically inserted 1/10 to 4/10 inch (0.3 centimetre to 1 centimetre) deep, but some procedures require the needles to be inserted as deep as 10 inches (25 centimetres). The acupuncture points are then stimulated using various techniques. Traditional techniques such as by gentle twirling, or by applying heat. Or using more recently developed techniques such as stimulation with a weak electrical current. Acupuncture points also can be stimulated by pressure (acupressure, Tuina, or Shiatsu), and ultrasound. Recent developments have led to stimulation by the use of certain wavelengths of light.

According to the World Health Organization, diseases, symptoms or conditions for which acupuncture has been proved, through controlled trials, to be an effective treatment:

  • Adverse reactions to radiotherapy and/or chemotherapy
  • Allergic rhinitis (including hay fever)
  • Biliary colic
  • Depression (including depressive neurosis and depression following stroke)
  • Dysentery, acute bacillary
  • Dysmenorrhoea, primary
  • Epigastralgia, acute (in peptic ulcer, acute and chronic gastritis, and gastrospasm)
  • Facial pain (including craniomandibular disorders)
  • Headache
  • Hypertension, essential
  • Hypotension, primary
  • Induction of labour
  • Leukopenia
  • Low back pain
  • Malposition of fetus, correction of
  • Morning sickness
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Neck pain
  • Pain in dentistry (including dental pain and temporomandibular dysfunction)
  • Periarthritis of shoulder
  • Postoperative pain
  • Renal colic
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Sciatica
  • Sprain
  • Stroke
  • Tennis elbow

The depth of insertion of the needles is dependent upon the nature of the problem, the underlying anatomy of the points selected, the patient’s size, age, and constitution. Needles should always be of the sterilised, disposable variety thus absolutely assuring that there is no transmission of communicable disease from patient to patient due to contaminated needles.

Although acupuncture is the insertion of needles, there are other techniques and methods used by acupuncture therapists. The most commonly of these are moxibustion, which is the burning of the herb mugwort over the affected area to heat it, cupping, and electronic stimulation. Shiatsu, Acupressure, and Tuina Chinese remedial massage are also used.

Normally associated with Traditional Chinese Medicine, Acupuncture utilised the ancient Chinese theory of the Five Elements and the flow of Qi, (pronounced Chi, and meaning intrinsic energy) through discrete channels or meridians. The Qi in each meridian has a particular quality: Fire, Earth, Metal, Water, Wood. Illness is said to be the result of an imbalance or blockage in the flow of Qi through the meridians and Acupuncture is used to regulate the flow of Qi, increasing it in areas of deficiency and decreasing it in areas of excess –bringing balance to the whole body and inducing a harmonious flow of Qi.