One of the most widely known practices within the scope of Chinese medicines is Acupuncture. Utilizing thin and sterile needles, stimulation is facilitated at specific points and regions on the body. This process elicits a response, ultimately leading to a reduction of pain and inflammation.
Moxibustion, also known as Moxa or Mugwort (Artemisia Argyi) is an acrid and spicy herbaceous perennial that is native to East Asia. The plant is harvested in spring when the flowers are in bloom, then dried. In East Asian Medicine the herb is used in both topical and internal formulations for its analgesic, circulatory, and wound-healing effects.
The study of herbology is, perhaps, one of the earliest forms of scientific research. In every area of the world, the use and care of plants for healing purposes has been utilized. Both Western and Eastern herbalists share common ground with a fundamental understanding of botanical intelligence in the formulation of plant-based remedies. Unique to Chinese herbalism is a variety of plant, animal, mineral, resin, and food components within its diverse materia medica.
Food is the first medicine, and early on the connection between plant and person is established through the acts of cooking and eating. Utilizing principles within the canon of East Asian Medical theory, alongside Western nutrition principles. we can understand the valuable healing potential stored within food; how to cook food in order to optimize its nutritional value; and methodologies to grow and sustain our overall health.
TUINA, CUPPING, & GUA SHA
Tuina Massage, Cupping Therapy, and Gua Sha are complementary therapies that mobilize blood flow to promote healing for a variety of ailments. Tuina is a form of therapeutic massage with roots in osteopathic medicine, which utilizes meridian therapy, acupressure, anatomy, and physical assessment. Cupping employs glass, plastic, or silicone cupping tools to create suction and release tension, reduce rigidity, and increase tissue circulation and oxygenation. Gua Sha provides instrument-assisted unidirectional press-stroking for the purpose of eliminating noxious elements.
QIGONG & TAI CHI
Qigong and Tai Chi are indigenous forms of mind-body practices, often known as martial arts, that are rooted in the same philosophical and theoretical principles as East Asian Medicine. While they share a foundation, Tai Chi is often more focused on form as a means to connect with the breath, and bodily energy. Qigong can be more free-form, and focuses on the breath and bodily energy as a way to connect with movement. Fundamentally, they help to illustrate the theory of Yin-Yang, and are often practiced together.
MEDITATION & BREATH WORK
For centuries, relatives from North America to Africa have evoked the power of meditation and breathwork through daily practice, traditional rituals, and ceremonies as a means to transmit culture, healing wisdom and ecological knowledge. Current research highlights the benefits that breathing and meditative practices can have on a psycho-emotional and psycho-physiological level. In particular, slowed breathing can enhance autonomic, cerebral and psychological flexibility. It can also change the inflammatory response and thereby activate innate immune system function. On a somatic level, this equates to feelings of comfort, relaxation, pleasantness, vigor and alertness, and reduced symptoms of arousal, anxiety, depression, anger, and confusion.