Cupping Therapy For The Treatment Of Ailments And Pain

In the medical field over the last few decades, there was a gradual awakening in which people began to turn to natural and alternative treatments over allopathic medicine and invasive procedures. This was due to the realization that a lot of these natural therapies are just as effective and come with no unpleasant side effects compared to the conventional forms of treatment.

Cupping therapy is one such treatment that has grabbed the attention of people in Western societies. While it is relatively still a novel form of treatment in the United States, cupping therapy has been used for thousands of years and was widely practiced in the Middle East, Egypt, and China and for hundreds of years in some Eastern European societies.

What is Cupping Therapy?

Cupping therapy is a mode of treatment in which the practitioner or therapist uses certain types of cups, heats them and applies them to specific treatment sites on the body, usually muscular regions like the legs, arms, abdomen, and back. The cups are made of silicone, plastic, or glass.

Cupping therapy can be administered in various ways. One approach is called fire cupping or dry cupping. In this method, the practitioner/therapist soaks a cotton ball in alcohol or some other inflammable substances. The cotton ball is then lit with fire and used to heat the cups. Sometimes, the cups are heated by immersing them in hot oil or water.

Once they reach the desired heat, the cups are immediately placed on the skin of the patient. This causes the skin to rise into the cup completely sealing the cup off. The heat generates a suctioning effect that causes the muscles and skin to develop a small puff. The cups are left on the skin in this position for some minutes before they are carefully removed.

In the moving cupping method, the cups are not held in a single position but instead are moved carefully across the site of treatment. First, before the cups are applied, the practitioner/therapist applies cream or oil on the skin. The areas that are treated become red. This is caused by the suction and the subsequent dilation of the blood vessels.

In another cupping method known as the wet cupping method, the practitioner/therapist creates tiny incisions on the skin of the patient before applying the cups on the skin. The suction effect of the cups is designed to extract small amounts of blood from the body. A third method that combines acupuncture treatment along with cupping is probably the most potent of all the different types of cupping methods. It entails the sticking of tiny needles into the skin before the cup is applied on the skin.

As a way to heal the body, cupping therapy works at the deep tissue level. It is used to:

• Enhance performance by stimulating the flow of qi or vital energy all throughout the body
• Strengthen the function of the immune system helping the body fight allergies, colds, and the flu
• Boost the flow of blood and thus encourages healing
• Relieve inflammation
• Relax the body by alleviating knotted and tensed muscles
• Eliminate toxins that have built up in the tissues

Reducing Pain through Cupping Therapy

Cupping therapy is used for treatment of various types of conditions. However, it is most effective when used to relieve pain. Because of this, several athletes use it to help them heal quickly and get fast relief.

It is used for the following ailments:

1. Toothaches – You should know that cupping can significantly relieve severe toothaches.
2. Menstrual Cramping – This is good news for women who have to cope with severe menstrual cramps during their period. Cupping therapy can be a safer and more effective alternative treatment than pain killers.
3. Pain associated with respiratory conditions
4. Pain due to arthritis and rheumatism – People suffering from arthritis-induced pain or rheumatism can use cupping therapy as a long-term remedy.
5. Muscle and joint pain – Cupping lessens the severity of muscle and joint pains; hence, you can find relief from muscle stiffness, neck pain, back aches, and injuries.
6. Tension headaches and migraines

As a type of alternative remedy cupping therapy can do so much for the health of your body. It can help you lose weight, boost your blood circulation, combats stress and anxiety, relieves stiffness and pain and promotes digestion. The process only becomes more effective when it’s combined with acupuncture.

Massage Acupressure Therapy Can Cleanse The Various Systems Of Your Body

With a massage acupressure therapy, you can manage to clean out the various systems of your body. Based on the ancient Chinese healing art of acupuncture, acupressure massage is a very ancient form of treatment that unlike acupuncture facilitates healing without the needles. Acupressure involves the administration of moderate pressure on specific trigger points all over the body. It is a form of massage treatment that stimulates the energy of the body to raise the functionality of the immune system and bring back balance in the body. Technology has now given us the power to stimulate and locate the acupressure points of the body through modern massage chair brands that are sold today.

The massage techniques used in acupressure help free obstructed energy centers in the body. Using electrical techniques, science has been able to confirm the existence. Chinese medicine practitioners are aware that these meridian channels deliver energy all across the body. They have observed that some centers or junctures can become blocked or inhibited causing imbalance in the body. Through the application of pressure on specific pressure points in the body, the circulation of energy can be restored.

Massage acupressure therapy is done using vibration, tapping, and kneading massage procedures. These procedures are utilized all over the body combined with the stimulation of the acupressure points. Acupressure massage therapy is done by making quick circular motions using moderate pressure on specific trigger points. The trigger points are then activated along with body massage to free up obstructed energy. Circulation of energy is then restored and the body goes back to normal balance.

There are many positive benefits to massage acupressure therapy. It is able to relieve pain, aches, muscle tension, and stress. It helps control the healing powers of the body. The stimulations of acupressure can help disperse the accumulation of toxins in the body. As toxins in the body gradually accumulate, it causes the muscles to stiffen. This stiffness adds unwanted pressure on the lymphatic and circulatory systems and places unequal pressure on the body putting it in disharmony and throwing it out of balance.

Technology has given use massage chairs that can accurately find the trigger points in our body. A map of the trigger points are made available by the software programs built in to these chairs. The acupressure massage is specifically designed for each user. In the back alone, there are about a hundred or so trigger points. Massage chairs are incredibly efficient in stimulating the acupressure points and in administering massage procedures such as vibration, percussion, and kneading to the user. These treatments are quite effective in alleviating pains, aches, and soreness in the neck, shoulder, and back.

Several manufacturers have designed air compression systems for the lower body. These compression systems integrate uniquely designed airbags with special nodes to stimulate trigger points in the lower areas of the body. When it is activated, the air compression system causes the airbag to inflate and the node to gently push into the trigger point. The trigger points are typically located in the bottom of the feet and the back of the calves. When they are stimulated, they help release built up tension and bring about overall body relaxation.

Recent research in massage acupressure shows that it can be used to relieve constipation, digestive problems, dizziness, insomnia, headaches, and even motion sickness. Science is just starting to realize the power of acupressure, which for hundreds of years has already been known in China. The use of modern technology in creating the best massage chair recliners has led to an efficient way of treating bodily ailments thorough massage acupressure treatments. But if you want a really effective massage acupressure, you need to get it on a daily basis. It is important to know that stress builds up in your body everyday and so it must be released periodically. The most convenient and cost effective way of experiencing the benefits of massage acupressure is through these massage chairs.

Studies Indicate Auricular Acupuncture’s Effectiveness In Treating Common Health Problems

Ear or auricular acupuncture is a form of acupuncture that entails the insertion of needles into certain points on the outer ear or auricle. When these points are stimulated, it leads to the healing of other parts of the body.

Auricular acupuncture, also called auricular therapy is usually integrated into conventional acupuncture treatments. Although this type of acupuncture is mainly based on the theories of traditional Chinese medicine (a form of alternative medicine that came from China), it was mainly developed and refined by French doctor, Paul Nogier in the mid twentieth century.

Applications of Auricular Acupuncture

Auricular acupuncture is utilized to boost vital energy (called qi or chi) in the body and to restore or promote balance between two opposing but complementary energies known as yin and yang in the internal organs. These two functions of auricular acupuncture are deemed indispensible in the attainment of health and treatment of disease in traditional Chinese medicine.

Auricular acupuncture is a form of alternative treatment that’s often used for the following health conditions:

• Migraine
• Low back pain
• Irritable bowel syndrome
• Insomnia
• Headache
• Fibromyalgia
• Depression
• Constipation
• Chronic pain
• Arthritis
• Anxiety
• Allergies

Besides these, auricular acupuncture is occasionally used to support weight loss, alleviate stress, promote adequate quality sleep, relieve pain, help in the cessation of smoking, and the improvement of mood.

Auricular Acupuncture – Its Benefits

Despite the lack of large-scale clinical trials on auricular acupuncture, several studies indicate that this type of treatment may help in the resolution of a number of health problems.

The following is a list of several findings on auricular acupuncture and the health benefits it can potentially provide:


Studies dealing with the efficacy of auricular acupuncture in the cessation of smoking have so far produced mixed results. For example, the Swiss Journal of Research in Complementary and Natural Classical Medicine published a study in 2004 that surveyed 126 people who have been treated with auricular acupuncture to help them stop smoking. The study found that the therapy had a 41.1 percent rate of success that lasted a whole year.

Based on this finding, the authors of the study concluded that this success rate makes auricular acupuncture “a viable alternative to conventional medicine withdrawal techniques.”

However, the Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine published a clinical trial study indicating that auricular acupuncture treatment of 125 people was no more effective than a placebo treatment in the improvement of the likelihood of smoking cessation.

The study involved treatments done once a week for five consecutive weeks.


With regard to the treatment of insomnia, several studies suggest that auricular acupuncture can be helpful in the curing of this condition. Some of those studies were published in the Complementary Therapies in Medicine in 2003. These studies observed the impacts of a type of auricular acupuncture that entails the use of magnetic pearls to activate acupuncture points.

In one of those studies, auricular acupuncture was administered to 15 elderly people suffering from insomnia for three weeks. Outcomes showed that the subjects had a notable rise in both quantity and quality of their sleep that last for half a year after the end of the study.


A medical review published in 2010 in the JACM (Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine) indicates that auricular acupuncture may help in the treatment of constipation. Researchers reviewed 29 studies on the application of this type of acupuncture in the management of constipation.

Despite the reports showing the effectiveness of auricular acupuncture in the treatment of constipation in all of the studies, the reviewers concluded that more studies are required to validate these findings because of major flaws found in the reviewed studies.

Post-Surgery Pain

In 2010, the JACM published a report in which researchers reviewed 17 studies on the effects of auricular acupuncture in the management of pain. It was concluded by the authors of the report that this therapy can work in relieving postsurgical pain and a variety of bodily pain.


According to a study published in 2012 in the Acupuncture and Electro-Therapeutics Research, auricular acupuncture works in the treatment of migraines. The results on 35 patients with migraine were analyzed and according to the authors of the study, auricular acupuncture treatments once a week for two months resulted in major improvements in mood and pain.

Using Auricular Acupuncture to Enhance Health

You need to consult with your doctor or healthcare provider first if you’re thinking of trying auricular acupuncture. Delaying or avoiding conventional care or treating yourself can lead to serious health consequences.

Anyone Can Experience The Various Benefits of Tai Chi

Each morning as you drive or walk to work, you may have a chance to pass a group of people standing in one place and moving their bodies in slow movement. Since nothing vigorous is happening, how can this be considered an exercise? But that is exactly what Tai Chi is, exercise.

What is Tai Chi?

Tai Chi is a combination of meditation and a moving form of yoga. It has roots in the martial arts despite the fact that most of its movements, known as sets or forms, are done slowly, gracefully, and gently. Though there are many versions as to how Tai Chi originated, this exercise is believed to have been founded and developed by Chang San-Feng in the 12th century.

According to historians, the practice and theory of Tai Chi evolved through the integration of the principles of Chinese philosophy that included both Confucianism and Taoism.

In 1947, Grandmaster Chen Man Ching stated “Stay relax. You must stay relaxed at all times when practicing Tai Chi. You will discover in time that relaxation will become part of your mental and physical state.”

To understand the concept behind Tai Chi, no amount of rushed attempts to understand its technique will allow that. Lots of practice as well as great patience are required to enable Tai Chi to search for your inner chi and empower your body. Only when your inner chi has been found can you then start experiencing a harmony of soul, mind, and body.

The Benefits of Tai Chi

There are several benefits that can be gained in performing Tai Chi. People in China believe that this exercise can treat depression, arthritis, high blood pressure, and heart disease; strengthen muscles; and increase longevity. Some adherents who regularly perform the exercise also believe it boosts stamina. Jo Li, a Tai Chi devotee for two years recently realized that he can run for a longer period of time without becoming tired easily. Research has revealed that Tai Chi does have aerobic benefits and provides benefits in endurance and oxygen uptake.

Most people mistakenly think, thanks to Hollywood, that Tai Chi is just for people who don’t want to do strenuous exercises or for old people. This exercise is now being endorsed as another fitness option for pregnant women due to its slow and gentle movements. For pregnant women who have never before done any type of exercise, Tai Chi can be also quite beneficial as it lessens the risk of these women injuring themselves. Yoga and other exercises often entail a certain amount of movement that could be difficult for pregnant women in advanced trimesters.

For pregnant women, coping with changes in work, lifestyle and body size can be very stressful. This is where Tai Chi’s meditation aspect comes into the fore. Helping the mind to concentrate on the repetitive slow motions of the breathing and the deep breathing exercises can help bring relief to these external changes. Patience is also cultivated in Tai Chi. This virtuous quality is especially valuable when the baby is born. What can a woman be more concerned about than having a stable mind and body during her pregnancy? In 1996, the Emory University conducted a research that proved Tai Chi exercise does help lessen the chances of falling by about 50 percent.

Besides pregnant women, Tai Chi can also benefit children. In Wiltshire, England, an English teacher introduced Tai Chi exercises to her class before starting lessons. She noticed that after the exercises, the children become calmer in class, were better prepared for their studies, and performed better in class. A series of studies listed by the American Journal of Medicine and Sports showed that tai chi can boost performance, focus, and concentration.

The popularity of Tai Chi among the ever growing number of people practicing it shows these people’s respect, confidence, and belief in it. Tai Chi’s popularity has spread to all corners of the world. The UN World Health Organization has in fact, officially recognized an event called Tai Chi Day (which began in 1999) that is celebrated every year on the last Saturday of April. During this day, free classes are offered in various clinics and mass Tai Chi workouts are held in participating cities.

The Rise In Popularity Of Cupping Therapy

Cupping is the suctioning of a person’s skin through the use of a vacuum seal, rupturing capillaries and pulling blood to the skin surface. This produces the characteristic round and large red and purple spots on the shoulder and back. It’s a very old healing therapy.

Coastal therapists in the ancient Mediterranean would lower patients into water cages to be ravaged by the suctions in the tentacles of octopuses. It wasn’t exactly modern science, but it was nonetheless, effective. At the end of the 19th century, city plumbers often moonlighted as medicine healers, using their plungers to pull unhealthy blood up to the skin surface. Around the 1950s, vacuum salesmen implemented deep suction to treat housewives of their obsession. At the start of the 1990’s angst-filled youths looking for kicks amidst the release of Nirvana CDs used suction hoses in swimming pools to improve skateboarding prowess and feel alive.

Does Cupping Really Have Any Benefits?

Cupping’s one incontrovertible benefit is that it gives a middle finger to the medical establishment that considers any type of ancient healing therapies as quackery or placebo therapy. Celebrities such as Gwyneth Paltrow and especially Olympians such as Michael Phelps promoted this “pseudoscience” and have made this technique a bona fide healing therapy in the eyes millions of adoring young fans. Through their purplish red cupping marks, they had created an army of future Traditional Chinese Medicine healers.

Actually, members of the US swim team who were treated with cupping therapy weren’t much interested in the metaphysical aspects of the technique. According to their trainer, cupping had nothing to do with “life force” or “chi,”“meridians,” or “yin and yang.” For these athletes, it’s just another means to eliminate knots and adhesions in the fascial tissue supporting and wrapping the musculature of the athletes. Cupping aims to pull stuck fascia out of the muscle through decompression rather than attempting to take apart adhered tissues through compression.

Moreover, the athletes who have received treatment aren’t just lying there. As the cupping is administered, they are moving the problematic tissues using their full range of movement. This helps them regain tissue health and improve their movement patterns. According to the trainer, another huge benefit of cupping is that it works immediately. What may take weeks utilizing traditional types of myofascial release and physical therapy just takes less than 10 minutes with cupping.

Driven athletes would try anything that would give them an edge over their competitor. Of course, they ask for advice from reliable sources before they commit themselves to a certain technique. Sometimes, it works, sometimes, it does not. Cupping therapy, however, has millions of adherents that are willing to witness to its wonderful benefits. There are also clinical studies that attest to the effectiveness of this therapy.

For example, dry cupping has been proven in clinical studies to relieve chronic neck pain, as well as pain, stiffness and improve mobility in patients suffering from knee osteoarthritis. Dry cupping improved both objective and subjective measurements of pain.

The Acupressure Massage Technique To Enhance Eyesight

A 5,000 year old component of the ancient Chinese system of healing, acupressure is a natural healing technique that offers a wide variety of health benefits including among others, improved blood and fluid circulation, alleviation of stress, and relief of pain. It helps boost the flow of blood to all the body organs strengthening the health and well being of a person. This very old form of medicine entails the use of massage methods to specific pressure points in the body. Each pressure point is associated with a specific organ. Some pressure points on the hands, for example, are related to the heart while other points are affiliated with the kidneys. Thus, by administering massage therapies to the proper pressure points, a person can enhance circulation to that specific organ so that it reinforces his physical health. Fortunately, anyone can perform these acupressure procedures to alleviate eye strain and increase the health of the eyes caused by much close up work.

This article will talk about a type of eye exercise that anyone can do based on these principles. This eye exercises is known as the acupressure massage technique to enhance eyesight. The following is an explanation of how to do this technique coupled with the benefits it gives for better vision.

This procedure technique can be administered by massaging four important acupressure points surrounding the eyes.

First, press the upper part of the nose with both middle fingers for about five seconds and then release. Then, press the pressure point region positioned at the arc (the hollow of that bone) of both eyebrows with both middle fingers. Apply pressure to this point for five seconds and then release. Next, press the eye sockets’ outer edges (both areas) in a firm fashion and hold the pressure for five seconds then release. Then, finally, end the procedure by pressing the middle of both areas under the eyelids around the each of the eye’s bony sockets. Apply pressure for five seconds and then release.

Regularly performing these acupressure procedures can provide you with a number of benefits. It actually can help lessen tension, stain, and stress in the eye muscles. If you are using the computer for several hours a day and doing a lot of close up that causes eye strain, this becomes especially useful. From this viewpoint, the acupressure massage technique to enhance eyesight becomes quite useful and practical as it can provide eye strain relief related to extended computer use. Moreover, it increases circulation to the blood vessels of the eyes. And since many eye problems are associated with poor blood flow to the optical system, this becomes particularly beneficial.

Generally speaking, acupressure procedures are important components of the ancient Chinese art of healing that treats and heals various physical health conditions. They are done by administering massage techniques to pressure points that are related to specific organs to address health problems and conditions in those specific areas. The acupressure massage for better eyesight technique is a part of this ancient healing practice that boosts blood flow and relieves tension and stress in the eye system to improve a person’s vision

Eliminating Candida Overgrowth Through The Use Of Chinese Herbal Medicine

In Chinese medicine, a Candida diagnosis will usually only come after the healer has identified and evaluated all your symptoms. In the diagnosis, the entire wellbeing of your body is considered and the treatment that’s administered will be an attempt to restore balance in your body.

Yeast or Candida strains that are in the body are usually found in a person’s genitourinary tract and digestive tract, from mouth to anal sphincter. However, when this specific type of fungus thrives in abundance in a person’s body, it can generate certain health issues for that person.

Unfortunately, a lot of individuals suffering from fungal overgrowth treat their problem with conventional Western medicine therapies such as antibiotics that only tend to exacerbate the problem and result in recurring bouts of Candidiasis.

This is one reason why more and more people are relying on Traditional Chinese Medicine therapies that would help them cure Candida overgrowth.

A practitioner of Chinese medicine would certainly recommend lifestyle adjustments and some specific herbs that possess an antibiotic quality. This is one complementary or alternative mode of treatment that is sure to resolve any imbalances in the body.

The lifestyle adjustment and the herbs suggested by traditional Chinese Medicine practitioners restore balance by decreasing the amount of harmful bacteria that can spur Candida overgrowth, and still allow the beneficial bacteria to remain and even thrive.

The beneficial bacteria within the body are very important for health and among other things helps inhibit yeast infections such as Candida.

When a practitioner of Chinese medicine provides you with treatment of your Candidiasis, he/she will ensure that your body is brought back into balance since it is often the practitioner’s view that an imbalance of your Yin and Yang is usually the reason for most of the illnesses you suffer from.

In the treatment of Candidiasis, one specific way Chinese Medicine addresses the issue is to recommend a cleansing treatment that helps eliminate toxins, phlegm, and waste in the body that the practitioner has identified during diagnosis. These three factors are the biggest contributors for a Candidiasis infection.

The herbs used in the Chinese medicine treatment of candidiasis are meant to help promote the elimination of toxins and phlegm and are not designed to purge the large intestine. According to Chinese medicine, to halt the overgrowth of yeast in the body, it is important that the toxins, waste, and phlegm are taken out of the body.

To assist with the removal of toxins, waster, and phlegm in the body, Chinese medicine practitioners may use the following herbs: Phellodendron (wangbai), Coptis (lung lian), Skullcap (wang chin), Saussarea (mu hsiang), Cardamom (bai di kou), Agastachis (huo hsiang), Melia (chuan lian hsi), and Gentiana (long dao cao)).

The patient will then proceed to the next phase, which is the tonifying phase once the cleansing phase has been consummated. In the tonifying phase, the damage caused by Candidiasis is repaired leading to the restoration of balance in the body.

This phase of the treatment is also the time when the practitioner strives to avert the recurrence of the disease in the future. Herbal treatment during this phase will usually involve the use of Dioscorea (shan yao), Atractylodes (bai shu), codonopsis (dang shen), and astralagus (wang chi).

The treatment plan will also involve an instruction on how to lessen the likelihood of yeast overgrowth through diet modifications by lessening the consumption of foods that encourage yeast growth.

Cancer Patients May Gain Significant Benefits From Massage Therapy

Massage therapy or physiotherapy involves the kneading and rubbing of the muscle tissue’s superficial layers to stimulate alleviate tension and enhance circulation.

Aromatherapy massage, deep tissue massage, shiatsu massage, and Swedish massage are some of the most popular types of massage therapy around.

Massage Therapy Used in Cancer Treatment

There are doctors who recommend massage therapy as an adjunct to cancer therapy. While espoused as a way to help relieve pain related to cancer, massage therapy is also deemed helpful in reducing anxiety and stress associated with cancer.

Most of the time, massage is performed by licensed massage therapists, but sometimes, in certain situations, certain massage techniques can be administered by trained caregivers.

The Benefits Cancer Patients Can Receive From Massage Therapy

There is no proof that massage therapy can halt the spread or growth of cancer. Be that as it may, research has shown that this therapy may provide other benefits for people struggling with cancer:

1. Relief of Anxiety – A review of ten studies on aromatherapy massage in 2004 showed that aromatherapy massage can help reduce anxiety and boost psychological wellbeing in people suffering from cancer.

2. Improved Quality of Life – In a 2009 study, participants who were undergoing breast cancer therapy experienced improvements in functioning and quality of life after being administered with 30-minute massage once a week for three weeks straight. It also seemed that massage therapy helped them sleep better.

3. Reduction of Pain – In a study done 2002, 41 people being treated with radiation therapy or chemotherapy experienced a reduction of their pain as well as improved quality of sleep and less anxiety after being given massage therapy.

4. Stronger Immune System – In a 2004 study, it was seen that massage helped increase the number of lymphocytes (white blood cells that fight disease and infection in the body) and natural killer cells in women suffering from breast cancer. These women also experienced less hostility, depression, and anxiety after being treated with 30 minutes massages thrice a week for five weeks. The massages also help raise the serotonin and dopamine levels in their bodies. Serotonin and dopamine are two mood-stabilizing brain chemicals.

Massage Precautions for Cancer Sufferers

Before undergoing massage therapy, it’s important for people with cancer to talk to their doctors first. Here are some of the precautions to keep in mind:

1. Cancer patients receiving radiation therapy may be prone to light touch and massage oils can trigger allergic reactions.

2. For cancer patients who have undergone radiation therapy, a massage procedure may be uncomfortable.

3. Cancer patient being treated chemotherapy may be more susceptible to bruising.

4. Improper massage of bone in a body part of cancer metastasis could result in a fracture.

5. Theoretically speaking, the risk of cancer cells metastasizing to other body parts can increase when an area of a tumor is massaged. For cancer patients, it may be wise to avoid being massaged near cancerous areas or tumors.

Shiatsu, A Time-Honored Tradition Of Restoring Balance And Harmony In The Body

Ancient Chinese healers have found that using light finger pressure on their sick patients would make them get better. Through this technique, they were able to raise the energy levels of their patients and treated digestive conditions. They recorded their works in medical texts. Over time, those healers found that the human body has energy within itself that moves through certain channels, and to each organ was a corresponding meridian associated with it. These energy channels are called Meridians.

Thousands of years ago, there was a Buddhist monk who introduced Chinese Medicine to Japanese healers. The healers adopted this technique and developed it to an acupressure massage known as ‘Shiatsu’. This is an extremely relaxing form of physiotherapy that applies gentle pressure using the therapist’s thumb. The pressure travels up a meridian channel and down another meridian channel in a proper and smooth movement for each of the twelve meridians. During a Shiatsu massage, the client is clothed in loose clothing and lies on the floor on a comfortable mat.

Shiatsu and acupressure works straight through our energy system via the musculoskeletal and nervous systems of our body. These two techniques have a profound effect on our overall health and well being. Shiatsu restores harmony and balance to our energetic system allowing all the systems in our body to become relaxed and calm. Relaxation causes the nervous system to transmit signals that slow down the excess release of the hormone cortisol.

It is worth mentioning that Cortisol is a stress hormone. The level of cortisol released in our bloodstream can have a significant effect on our digestion, sex drive, immune system, and all other non essential body functions. If these functions are inhibited or slowed down, it will trigger the production and release of adrenalin, another stress hormone. Adrenalin is the hormone that provides us with a surge of energy and the extra strength to undergo a ‘fight or flight’ survival mode. Adrenaline helps us to overcome a certain life threatening crisis. We then collapse into a weakened state of fatigue when the crisis is over.

In Chinese medicine, our energetic system is sometimes referred to as our emotional being or ‘Ki’, ‘Chi’, Spirit, or ‘Soul’. This system is made up of the spiritual, emotional, mental, and physical aspects that make up a human being. Essentially, our energetic system is who we really are.

Disharmony and dis-ease are manifestations of underlying imbalances within our energetic system. Various factors like stress, illness, unhealthy diet, hunger, crime, poor self-esteem, insecurity, overwork, fatigue, and financial worry can disrupt the healthy flow of life-giving energy. Life stresses can lead to the development of blockages in our energetic system, specifically in the meridians.

Western medicine addresses symptoms with heart medicine, arthritis drugs, heartburn medications, pain pills, muscle relaxants, antidepressants, surgery and other palliative methods.

But in traditional Chinese Medicine and other forms of Eastern medicine, the source of the disharmony and dis-ease can be addressed with acupressure or Shiatsu, rest, and nutritional food. These are all designed to address energy obstructions along the meridians that hinder essential chemical reactions and life-giving flow of blood and energy.

Shiatsu has other benefits that include the normalization of nerve function through the autonomic and central nervous systems, promotion of joint flexibility, strengthening of the immune system, and boosting energy and blood circulation throughout the body through the meridians and blood vessels. The chemical reactions brought about by Shiatsu improve organ and muscle function creating ‘ease’ in our system.

The Risks And Benefits Of Acupuncture And Chinese Herbal Medicine

Continuing to gain popularity among the American public acupuncture and TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine) is the treatment of choice for diseases in which mainstream medical treatments have had little success curing. Treatments related to Traditional Chinese medicine are founded on the mystical notion that chi, a cosmic energy, moves throughout the human body and when the movement is obstructed the result is illness and pain.

Acupuncture and traditional Chinese medicine (mainly herbs) reintroduces the normal chi flow of the body that leads to the curing of sickness by enabling the body to self-heal. Acupuncture strives to restore normal chi flow via the insertion of needles on the outside of the ear, into specific points on the skin or both. Even though acupuncture and TCM are traditionally thought of as very safe, with none of the side effects of drugs and surgery, a few medical experts have recently objected to the long held idea that both procedures are risk free.

When talking about risks, acupuncture indeed has a few associated risks. They include:

• Skin diseases
• Nerve damage
• Unclean needles resulting in infection (hepatitis B)
• Localized bleeding
• Hematoma
• Punctured lung
• Fainting
• Convulsions

However, as with any other treatment modality, acupuncture is practically free of risk if it’s administered by a licensed qualified practitioner/doctor.

Chinese medicine and acupuncture follow standards that have not been approved fully by the FDA. Of course, many are aware that the FDA has shown a bias against natural modes of therapy and so this fact should come as no surprise. Here in the US, acupuncture needles should only be used once and then disposed of. Unfortunately, a lot of “traditional” doctors think that the process of certification for a licensed or certified acupuncturist has now become a farce and that the entire profession is more interested in making money by exploiting the desperation of people in whom standard accepted medical procedures did not work.

Because of this, acupuncture has been declared an unproven mode of therapy whose approach to healing is unproven and backward by the National Council against Health Fraud. They added that the identified health benefits are nothing more than due to the patient’s own expectations and because of the placebo effect.

Unlike acupuncture, Chinese herbal medicine, on the other hand, has been surprisingly heaped with praises by a number of researchers. According to some studies, herbal therapies very seldom bring up any adverse effects. They actually are obviously a whole lot safer than most of the pharmaceutical medications sold in the market today. Traditional and modern herbal remedies are now sold commercially for people of any age and physical condition.

These Chinese herbal remedies are now being utilized to address a wide variety of health problems. They include gynecological, digestive, immunity, and psychological problems; pain; alcoholism; smoking; addictive disorders; respiratory conditions; childhood illnesses; and allergic conditions.