"No matter what road we are traveling, we are going home."
Moxibustion and acupuncture are almost inseparable; they combine well, and are mutually supporting. Moxibustion is the burning of Artemisia vulgaris to stimulate specific areas of the body. The herb is thought to be pure yang energy in nature, and therefore suitable for warming. Moxibustion can be used directly on the skin or indirectly, or the herb can be placed on top of an inserted acupuncture needle.
Regular moxa treatment is believed to be helpful in preventing disease, and is therefore widely used in China.
Cupping is the use of glass cups or bamboo segments, heated on the inside by fire, that are then stuck to parts of the patient's body. The cups create an area of negative pressure over the area where they are applied, thereby stimulating the movement of blood and lymphatic fluid. Cupping is one of the oldest known folk remedies. Originally made from ceramic and bamboo, many cultures have used cups to stimulate the immune system and promote healing. In modern times, this therapy has gained favour due to its ability to enhance detoxification protocols, stimulate circulation, reduce swelling, and reduce the appearance of cellulite.
When applying this technique, the physician uses his own body to help the patients. Chinese massage has both external and internal aspects. The effects of the massage not only influence the condition of the skin and muscles, they are also directed at bones and joints and, most importantly, at the circulation of fluids. Eight fundamental techniques exist, from which all other methods derive: tui (pushing), na (grasping), an (pressing or pushing downwards), mo (rubbing), gun (rolling like waves), gian (pulling), da (beating), and dongs (moving).
The therapeutic results expected from these massage techniques range from the relief of pain caused by muscle problems to the curing of internal diseases. Most techniques can be combined with other types of therapy.
Aromatic plants have been used by humankind for over 4000 years. Aromatherapy was developed by several civilizations, both eastern and western. It has been based on empirical knowledge and informed intuition. Today, scientific research is showing that smells can indeed impact human life at almost all, if not all, levels. Dreams, emotions, stress, pain, concentration, memory and even romance are shown to be affected by specific scents. The smell cells in our nose are linked to the limbic system, which governs emotions, behaviours, and long-term memory. Aromatherapy can be defined as the controlled used of essential oils to maintain and promote physical, psychological and spiritual wellbeing. It is a journey that explores both the human spirit and the plant essence. The essential oils can be applied to acupuncture points in order to address a wide variety of diseases.
Healing with Stones
Stone medicine is the use of rocks and minerals created naturally by the Earth for healing purposes. Chinese medicine has a rich tradition of using stones as medicine, one that has been passed down from generation to generation for thousands of years. To a culture steeped in observation, stones and minerals were held in high regard.
Stones can be used by themselves or as an adjunct therapy to all other modalities. They can be placed on acupuncture points, used as tools to massage areas of the body, or warmed with the heat from moxa or a far-infrared lamp. Their mineral content means they play a role in dietary therapy. Based on treatment strategies contained in herbal medicine traditions, stones can be combined as a formula and soaked in water to drink as an elixir. They can be used in feng shui as sculptures or ornaments in areas in our environment to emphasise, and remind us of, our intention to resolve the life issues that confront us. In qigong practice, appropriate stones can help generate fluids and circulate energy; used during meditation, they can help to focus the mind.
In modern times, stones remind us that we are an integral part of nature. They help us reclaim our relationship to the natural rhythms that we have lost track of.
"No thing is either complete or impaired , but all are made into one again. Only the person of far-reaching vision knows how to make it into one. So there is no use for categories, but all is relegated to the constant.
The constant is the useful; the useful is the passable; the passable is the successful; and with success all is accomplished."
Chuang Tzu, c. 369 BC