Feature Articles

The Use of Acupuncture In Combination with Massage – Anne Grace

The Use of Acupuncture In Combination with Massage.

Anne Grace – www.annegrace.com

Over the last 15 years as a therapist, on of the most common questions I am asked, in my practice is “What treatment should I have, acupuncture or massage?” This can be a difficult question to answer, given that both treatments are very effective in their own right. Also, there is a large number of conditions and ailments both modalities can treat.

The best answer might be a combination of acupuncture and massage to treat health problems. I believe that the healing process is sped up by doing as much for your body as you can, by way of treatments, diet and lifestyle.

I have had many patients referred to me for massage for a back problem and they have benefited greatly for this. However on discussion their health problems we have switched to acupuncture to treat other problems.

When I was studying, I got the chance to spend some time at the Kunming TCM hospital in China. At this hospital, there were separate departments for massage and acupuncture. I saw quite a few patients having acupuncture in the morning and massage in the afternoon. Some of these patients were suffering from paralysis and hemiplegia follosing a stroke, while others had neck or shoulder problems. By using a combination of massage and acupuncture they were able to speed up their recovery. According to TCM theory, massage works by stimulating the Jing Jing (tendino-muscular channels), which in turn has an affect on the regular main channels. Acupuncture, on the other hand, involves the insertion of needles directly into the channels and somewhat works from the inside out. Hence, in the case of muscular skeletal problems, as well as numerous other disorders, where there are problems externally and internally, a combination of acupuncture and massage has truly amazing effects.

Therefore, I would recommend anyone who has any problems ranging from a severe common cold; through to headaches, cervical syndrome, chronic lumbar sprain and hemiplegia etc, try a combination of acupuncture and massage. However, one point that is worth noting, is that the two forms of treatment, according to Chinese research, should be practiced with at least a few hours space given between.

If anyone has any questions regarding this, you can contact me at www.annegrace.com


Taken from Glenn Blythe’s upcoming new book T’ai Chi School of Yi Chi Li – Syllabus – Level Li, Grade Two

Medical Assessments of T’ai Chi

16 Medical Assessments of T’ai Chi
In the general knowledge of T’ai Chi I believe it important for a student to be aware of the health benefits and how these Health Benefits are achieved. I will break this section into two parts, the first section being the more important of the two is looking at how the Health Benefits are achieved through the application of the theory of Traditional Chinese Medicine (T.CM). This will give the student a more complete and balanced out look on T’ai Chi.

The second section is looking at T’ai Chi health benefits and how they are acquired through the viewpoint of the Western Medical Sciences. Unfortunately with the spreading popularity of T’ai Chi throughout the West, there has been an increased tendency to explain the health benefits of T’ai Chi through Western Medical Sciences. I personally don’t have a problem with this as long as this theory stays subordinate to T.C.M theory. I remember when the West first grudgingly started to accept Acupuncture as a legitimate form of treatment for various diseases and injuries in the early 90s. The only way they could rationalize and come to terms with its successes was through their existing Western Medical knowledge, which was, with the insertion of
a needle or needles into the body this caused the body to release endorphins into the blood stream. Over the last few years I have noticed that more and more schools are beginning to take on this western approach which is very unfortunate for the long term future of T’ai Chi.

16.1 Traditional Chinese Medicine and T’ai Chi Chuan
Because T’ai Chi encompasses Meditation, Qi Gong, Martial Arts, Taoist Philosophy and Traditional Chinese Medicine there is a tendency for these other arts to over lap and spill into T’ai Chi, which in itself is not bad and does have some relevance to T’ai Chi, but can sometimes result in confusion and a cross pollination of theories and ideas that have no place in T’ai Chi. T’ai Chi is a separate and unique art with it own individual theories and beliefs, which if not careful could easily have its most fundamental tenets diluted from the other more popular arts. Many times I’ve had discussions with other T’ai Chi exponents and have noticed Traditional Chinese Medicine (T.C.M) creeping into the push hand theory of how power is created. Then before you know it, this theory becomes part of the generally accepted theory of T’ai Chi. T.C.M. theory does have a place in T’ai Chi, but not in the area of push hands or in the creation of physical movement. Its place is in the explanation of how the Health Benefits of T’ai Chi are achieved. I feel this has probably come about from T.C.M. practitioners learning T’ai Chi while studying T.C.M. at various colleges and then applying their T.C.M. theory to their T’ai Chi. Or it could be the case that the teacher has no real knowledge of T’ai Chi other than knowing a few hand and weapons forms and needs to teach the students some theory so they then read up on T.C.M. and apply the theory to all areas of their T’ai Chi.

So it’s for these reasons I will briefly outline the theory of T.C.M. and as usual there is no place better to start than a brief history of Traditional Chinese Medicine.

16.1.1 T.C.M. History
Medicine in China can be traced as far back as 10,000 years ago, where they used sharpened stones and bones to drain abscesses and to release blood for remedial purposes. Between 10,000 and 4,000B.C. their ability to fashion from stone more sophisticated and specific tools with which to use in simple medical procedures had improved. It was in this time frame that acupuncture first appeared. It is interesting to note that using stone (bian) was believed to have developed on the East Coast of China where their main diet consisted of fish, where as moxibustion is believed to have developed in the northern areas of China where their dietary intake was different and was derived mainly from the rearing of domesticated animals. Because the north of China is cold and windy, and because they consumed a lot more red meat as well as dairy products, they suffered from more damp and cold conditions. From accumulated experiences they developed heating modalities such as hot compresses and moxibustion. During the Shang dynasty (1,600Bc – 1¬,100Bc) bronze casting was developed which again raised the standard of medical instruments, including acupuncture needles.

16.1.2 Vin and Yang
The first written concepts of Yin and Yang appeared in The Book of Changes 700B.C. In Book 5, Chapter 2 from Lu-Sih ch’un-ch’iu.
“The Great One produces the two poles which in turn gives rise to the energies of dark (Yin) and the light (Yang). These two energies then transform themselves, one rising upwards, and the other descending downwards; they merge again and give rise to form “. By the time of the Spring and Autumn period (770 B.C- 476B.C) and the Warring States (475B.C- 221B.C) the theory of Yin and Yang had firmly entrenched itself not only in T.C.M. but in many other aspects of Chinese culture.

Yin and Yang are probably the most basic fundamentals of T.C.M., representing opposites of the Universe. Dark side represents Yin, Light side represents Yang with the black dot inside the Yin and white dot inside Yang representing that there is a little bit of opposites in everything. For example at night time there is a little moonlight and in the daytime there is a little bit of shade. Listed below are some examples of Yin and Yang.

YinYang
DarknessLight
FemaleMale
EarthHeaven
RightLeft
RestActivity
NorthSouth
MoonSun

For more information please contact Glenn Blythe on (07) 3883 1508 or via www.taichischoolofgentleexercise.com

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