Health Intuitive

Author Archives

The Practicality Of Chinese Medicine – The Aspects Of Yin And Yang

This article is a short summary that strives to describe the complex relationships of the various systems in our body. Chinese medicine has certain obvious advantages over conventional Western medicine in that it tries to explain the cause of a health problem and also uses a holistic approach for treatment of a disease.

The five elements theory in Chinese medicine in Walla Walla is based on an apocryphal approach of connecting energy channels in the body. After all, if we’re able to control energy, we can also control our health. In the system of the Five Elements, there is no such thing as absolute law. The classical Chinese perspective of the universe doesn’t allow room for the existence of absolutes. The rules of the Five Elements pertain to the tendencies toward change based on the foundation of the Five Elements.

The connection between the organs of the human body (zang fu) and the Five elements are as follows:

Elements – Water, Wood, Metal Earth, Fire
Yin (Zang) – Kidney, Liver, Lung, Spleen, Heart
Yang (Fu) – Bladder, Gall Bladder, Large Intestine, Stomach, Small Intestine
Sensory organs – Ear, Eye, Nose, Mouth, Tongue
Tissues – Bone, Tendon, Hair/Skin, Muscle, Blood Vessel
Emotions – Fear/Fright, Anger, Melancholy/Grief, Worry, Joy
Notes – Yu, Jiao, Shang, Gong, Zheng

The energies of the Five Elements, as a means of expression, are believed to contain the following creative qualities.

Water has the tendency to create Wood

Wood has the tendency to create Fire

Fire has the tendency create Earth

Earth has the tendency to create Metal

Metal has the tendency to create Water

The Cycle of Control (or Controlling Cycle) brings balance and harmony through opposite and complementary qualities. It is a type of control in what would otherwise be an unending increase.

The Cycle of Control:

Water has the tendency to control Fire

Fire has the tendency to control Metal

Metal to control Wood

Wood has the tendency to control Earth

Earth has the tendency to control Water

Broken Balance

When the balance is broken, the Insulting and Over Acting sequences govern the irregular relationship among the Five Elements.

Both the Controlling Cycle and the Over Acting Cycle have the same pattern save for the fact that each Element over-acts on another by one Element being energetically in excess.

The Over Acting Cycle is the opposite of the Insulting Cycle. The former cycle deals with energetics that’s opposed to the latter cycle.

There are Ten Stems in the theory of the Five Elements

Each Element has an aspect of Yin and Yang with one balancing the other – this is essentially what defines Yin-Yang.

As Yin lowers, Yang rises

As Yang lowers, Yin rises

If Yin rises, Yang lowers

If Yang rises, Yin lowers

Within each Element, there is an opposite and complementary balance.

Cycle of Creation of the Ten Celestial Stems

The understanding of the Ten Celestial Stems following the tendencies of the Cycle of Creation demonstrates how the elements of Yang create each other and the elements of Yin create each other.

Were there no restriction on the tendencies to create, the outcome would be a incremental rise from one Element’s energy to the other.

One way this is balanced and checked is through the aspect of each Elements’ Yin and Yang with each Element balancing one another within the system.

The system can also maintain balance by balancing the Yin and Yang aspect of any Element by means of the Controlling Cycle.

These tendencies are discussed below:

Ten Celestial Stems

Cycle of Control Balances

The balances follow a Yin/Yang pattern and are bi-directional. If Yin decreases, Yang increases and vice versa.

Wood Yin generated by Water Yin generates Fire Yin.

Fire Yin generates Earth Yin generating Metal Yin, which generates Water Yin.

The Yang elements are the same as the just mentioned Yin energetics.

The entire system is a fragile balance of all its parts.

This system continues to maintain and generate itself in perfect harmony; however, any number of changes of this imbalance can arise if any imbalance or disharmony develops anywhere in the system. The impact of transformations may generate symptoms deemed to be negative effects. Some transformations may not manifest any symptoms at all. Any of the Element’s Yin/Yang energetics can influence the other Elements in a manner based on the specific strength of their Yin or Yang.

The key to harmony is balance.

There is a passage in the book Lu Shih Chun Chiu that perfectly illustrates the dangers of stagnation and the importance of movement.

“The reason the door’s hinge does not age, yet the door does or the water in the stream remains vital, yet stagnant water does not, is because they move. The association between the Chi and the form is the same. The Jing does stream if the form does not move. The Chi turns stagnant if the Jing does not stream. Stagnation becomes like wind or like a tumor if it’s in the head. Stagnation leads to deafness, if it’s in the ear.”

Chung points out in the Lun Hung, written around 82 AD, “Illness is like chaos and confusion. The Shen and Jing become mixed up and confused.”

In the Huai Nan Tzu, the complementary viewpoint is emphasized. Order is the “going through without commotion” that allows action.

Within the Ten Stems, this relationship can be an integral and vital approach and is a better guide to determine diagnosis, disease, symptoms, and energetics.

The exciting implication of this is that if we understand this order and facilitate it, we become more capable.

Conclusion

The key to wellbeing is certainly movement with the physical, emotional, and spiritual aspects of the body intimately tied to each other.

If you try to enhance only the physical, the system will collapse eventually; without yin, yang cannot exist.

This article is designed to express an opinion about the myriad of relative energy or tendencies related to each other as well as the integrity of yin and yang and also to make the reader understand that besides soft and hard, weak and strong, negative and positive, and yin and yang, that there are other countless numbers of relative energies between those opposites.

There are weak and strong areas between the opposite poles at all distances between the opposites similar to the various lines of a magnetic field. Endless tendencies exist between yin and yang in constantly moving and vacillating strengths of energy.

This article has shown us why movement is extremely vital in all things. Joints solidify if they don’t move. Blood stagnates if it doesn’t flow the right way. Death follows if the lungs stopped breathing. There needs to be some changing of thought into the physical by doing, because thinking is not enough.

For optimum health, balance is necessary in all activity.

Finding Your Center

Are you feeling disconnected from your body? Imagine spending 50 or even 80 hours a week in an office, extremely fatigued, and hunched over a computer. Working ourselves to death absolutely produces zero benefits in terms of general health and well being. In fact, it can ruin our lives and the lives of people who love and care for us

By neglecting the body, we pay a high price in our mental and physical health.

Getting centered is one of the most effective ways to connect with our bodies. Centering is an essential aspect of mind ~ physical practices such as dance, tai chi, martial arts yoga, and sports. Our center is called by different names: In Sanskrit, it’s called the Lower Chakra, in Japanese, Hara, in Chinese, Dantian, and the belly or gut in the United States.

The Location of the Center

The center lies in the middle of the body, approximately a couple of inches below our umbilicus or belly button. It is where our stability and balance originates. Strozzi Institute founder Richard Strozzi-Heckler said, “When people are centered, they become utterly relaxed. In this manner, they get an ally with gravity, rather than resisting it”.

You may recall a time when you felt grounded in your body and deeply relaxed even though things around you are beginning to turn chaotic. Maybe, you’ve felt time slowing down. This is the mystery of your center – the place or state of mind where your body and mind converge.

However, this center tends to be a moving one. Wherever you direct your consciousness, your center goes. The center could be in your head if you are deep in thought. It might be in your chest if you’re experiencing low heavy emotions.

The mind also becomes still and quiet when your center is in the midpoint of your body. Rather than thinking ahead to the future or dwelling in the past, you need to stay rooted in the present. Accept who where you are and who you are unconditionally without trying to change things. Chuang-Tzu said, “Let your mind be free and flow with whatever may happen: keep centered and accept whatever you are doing and whoever you are.”

The following is a list of basic recommendations for getting centered right now:

1. Align your body by standing up or sitting straight.
2. Take few slow and deep breaths.
3. Focus your attention on a point two inches below your belly button.
4. Allow your body to completely relax from head to toe and free any tension.

A few people think that, in theory, this sounds great, but do they have the time to perform this?
Tom Crum said that, any time can be the time to discover your center.

As an example, when a person takes a walk, with each step he takes, he may become more conscious of his center. From time to time, press your index finger on a point two inches below your umbilicus. When you do this, imagine that you’re pushing a button that energizes your center.

One other ideal time to become centered is when you’re stuck in traffic. Rather than getting stressing out, Crum recommends using the seat belt to center yourself. You can use the clicking sound of the seatbelt to remind you to connect with your center. Use a belt buckle, if you’re not in a car. Adjust the buckle so that it is comfortably placed on your center.

Most people unfortunately are off-centered for most of the day. So they become stressed and easily irritated which are surely signs that they have lost their center.

To restore your center, select certain times of the day to take centering breaks. Try it and see what happens! These times can be a great opportunity to regain the mystery of your center!

“Eastern Healing Solutions, LLC
10875 Grandview St #2200
Overland Park, KS 66210
(913) 549-4322
http://www.overlandparkacupuncturist.com

The Heart’s Role In TCM

Most of us would agree that the heart is the organ of the body most closely connected to emotion. When we talk about the heart, the terms heartache, heartbroken, sweetheart, or heartstring come to mind. This is the organ that’s notorious for not being subtle; it represents emotions that are on opposite poles, like ecstatic joy or intense sadness.

The heart, in traditional Chinese medicine in Fremont or TCM, has a physical function that has parallels in Western medicine. It is responsible for the function of sweating and the blood vessels. Excessive perspiration is a sign that the heart needs to be supported and built up (tonified). Because the heart also controls the tongue, it can also affect speech. Speech problems such as loss of words and stuttering are signs of heart deficiency.

But the most important responsibility of the heart is to manage the shen and store the mind. One’s “Shen” can be determined by the overall health and well being of the mind. You will know if a person is well spirited and healthy just by looking at his or her eyes. Their eyes have a sense of health and a certain bright lucidity that shines from within. Acupuncturists would consider this person as having good shen.

Conversely, you also have people with eyes that look cloudy and dull or shifty (that shift from side to side) when you observe them. These people are considered to have a weak or feeble shen. This weak shen are sometimes the product of distraction or mild depression; and if the shen is severely sick, it can also indicate a type of mental imbalance.

The heart is both the effect and cause of ecstatic joy. This type of joy is considered a good thing to most people, but its effect can cause ADHD or manic depression. ADHD is sometimes attributed to a heart that cannot control the mind properly.

Wise individuals argue that the heart’s job is to follow the principles of propriety. For instance, this would be a person wearing a bathing suit. If that person wears a bathing suit in a bank meeting, this just shows that his or her heart was not providing him or her with the appropriate information on what to wear on a specific occasion. But the heart is doing its job if the person wears the bathing suit in a swimming pool during summer. This would imply that the responsibility of the heart is to follow proper behavior for the situation at hand.

Gua Sha Therapy For Treatment Of Sports Injuries

In Chinese medicine, Gua Sha is an ancient hands-on therapy that’s been used to treat a wide range of conditions from tendonitis to tennis and golfer’s elbow to shin splints to heel and back pain.

In this therapy, the surface of the skin surrounding the affected area is oiled and then scraped with a round-edged instrument and applied with pressure; this process produces a “sha” – tiny bruises in the skin. Gua sha is also commonly known as scraping or tooling. It is designed to promote the healing process, boost flexibility, and break down recently developed scar tissue. The therapy is akin to re-injuring a body party in order to activate healing.

The instrument used in Gua Sha therapy is easy to hold. It enables the practitioner to work around bony areas where tendons are connected. These areas are non-porous which makes the therapy a hygienic and safe healing modality. The instrument’s edge is smooth and tends to generate an efficient and comfortable effect when a lubricant is applied on the site of treatment.

While clients are at first worried about the development of redness on their skin, they will be delighted at the enhanced function and flexibility of their muscles and joints and the decrease of their pain after treatment. The “bruising” produced by this procedure tends to last for merely a day or two after which it vanishes completely.

The number of treatments patients usually get is once to two times a year or every two to three months. Following treatment, there is no “down-time”. In a lot of instances, gua sha encourages a quick return to active function. It can be a great form of treatment for the following ailments:

• Tennis elbow
• Shin splints
• Rotator cuff tendonitis
• Posterior tibialis tendonitis
• Plantar fasciitis
• Patellar/knee tendonitis
• IT band or Iliotibial band tendonitis
• Tendonitis/Hamstring strain
• Golfer’s elbow
• DeQuervain’s
• Bicep tendonitis
• Back pain
• Achilles tendonitis

It’s important to work with your physical therapist who can set you up with a program that combines flexibility work and strength training in combination with Gua Sha and other types of manual therapies. This will enable you to return to sport activities faster than conventional rehabilitation therapy and physical therapy alone.

Dr. Guoen Wang is a licensed acupuncturist, herbalist and doctor of Chinese medicine in Austin Texas.

The Various Kinds Of Moxibustion Techniques And Their Applications

Moxibustion is a healing therapy involving the burning of Mugwort (Ai Ye) around, above, or on acupuncture points. Mugwort, the leaves of the Moxa plant, are typically sun-dried and finely grounded into a texture such as cotton or wool, and then sifted until a light green, soft texture is achieved. Moxa burns evenly, holds together well, and is quite inexpensive.

Moxa can be sold as long or tiny rolls. It can be shaped into cones or rolled into balls. The cones and balls can be indirectly placed on a substance in between the skin and the Moxa or directly burned on the skin. As in the Warm Needle method, tiny balls can be used on the upper tip of an acupuncture needle. “Shish” Moxa or small rolled Moxa is commercially available, and is used occasionally on the upper tip of a needle in lieu of loose Moxa. Longer Moxa sticks (eight to ten inches long) are often selected in a “sparrow pecking” (quickly moving the flaming end far and near the skin) or circular motion around an acupuncture point.

Various forms of herbs are sometimes included to both the commercially available Moxa and loose Moxa sticks to alter its healing qualities. Examples of these include frankincense, myrrh, atractylodes rhizone, root of angelica, asarum, realgar, sichuan pepper, cloves, dried ginger, cinnamon, and du hou.

Direct Moxibustion Techniques

These direct techniques can be either non-blister forming or blister forming therapies and each has its own healing attributes for a number of conditions.

Blistering Technique (Scarring Method)

Cones up to a centimeter long are completely burned on the skin in the more intense procedure. This causes blistering and burning of the skin as well as severe pain. Cold water and a sterile cloth may be used to soothe the skin and clean off the ashes after the complete burning of the Moxa. This procedure is usually repeated three to ten times. It is important that burn cream or salve is used on the burnt skin once a blister has formed along with a light clean dressing to prevent infection and to protect the burned area.

This kind of moxibustion therapy used on selected acupoints can help strengthen the Wei Qi or immune system of the body which boosts the overall health of the body and its resistance to disease. Ancient Chinese practitioners believed that scarring and blistering are signs of a good and successful treatment. These days, this technique is rarely used, due to the risk of pain, infection and permanent scarring.

Uses

• Non-Scarring/Non-Blistering Direct Method
• General Weakness of the Body
• Developmental Conditions
• Chronic Gastrointestinal Disorders
• Asthma

1. In non-blistering moxibustion, the skin is directly burned by Moxa cones, but immediately removed when the embers come too close to the skin or when the burning begins to generate severe pain. This type of moxibustion often causes no burn but rather creates a red and small circular mark on the treatment area.

Uses

Mild deficient Cold

2. Another non-blistering or non-scarring procedure involves the rolling of Moxa into rice or wheat size grains and lighting three to seven of them on the skin directly. Because these rolls are small-sized and quickly, there is small risk that they will scar or blister the skin.

Uses

• Warts
• Vertigo
• Deficient Blood

Indirect Moxibustion Methods

Mediums

Using a substance in between the skin and the burning Moxa is the most common way of implementing the healing attributes of moxibustion. A number of mediums can be used for this purpose. Some of them are as follows:

Garlic

Fresh garlic thinly sliced and punctures with several small holes can be used on a non-ulcerated carbuncle or an acupoint. Practitioners usually use three to eight Moxa cones. During the course of the treatment, the garlic slice may need to be replaced. Due to the qualities of Garlic combined with the fire, blisters may develop.

Uses

• Pulmonary Tuberculosis
• Non-Ulcerated Carbuncles
• Stomach Masses

Ginger

Practitioners may use fresh ginger, thinly sliced, that’s punctured with several small holes and then horizontally placed on top of the selected acupoints. Then a cone of moxa that’s been manually shaped is placed and lit in the center of the ginger. The practitioner should carefully remove the ginger slice and the burning Moxa once the heat becomes unbearable. This procedure can be repeated using a cone of fresh Moxa.

Uses

• Deficient Stomach and Spleen
• Aching or Pain in the Joints
• Diarrhea
• Deficient Cold conditions
• Cold Stomach Pain

Pepper

A white pepper is finely grounded and assimilated with flour. The practitioner then spoons over the acupoint as a medium for the Moxa. In addition, a small hole in the center of the powder can be created using the finger to place cinnamon, cloves, or other powders. Then, a cone of Moxa is placed on the powder and ignited.

Uses

• Numbness and Stiffness
• Pain related to Cold type Arthritis

Salt

The navel is poured with salt until the salt is level with the stomach. A cone of moxa with a slice of ginger under it is then placed on the salt. This technique may also be used alone minus the ginger slice. This technique can be useful in keeping Yang from collapsing.

Uses

• Collapse of Yang: Weak pulse, cold limbs, profuse sweating
• Navel Pain
• Hernia Pain
• Prolonged or Chronic Dysentery
• Acute stomach pain with Diarrhea and/or Vomiting

Rolls of Moxa

One other popular form of indirect moxibustion uses thin and large moxa rolls wrapped in paper. The rolls look very similar to long cigars and are commercially available. They can be lit up and then comfortably held in the hand to distribute heat to certain parts of the body. Usually, the stick is moved close to the skin in small circles for about five to ten minutes, or until the targeted skin area turns red. The practitioner rapidly moves the stick to and fro from the treatment area in order to drive the heat deeper into the body. This procedure is often used when strong stimulation is required.

To extinguish a flaming Moxa stick, a small bowl of rice can be used and once more at a later time.

Uses

• Soft Tissue Injuries
• Skin Conditions
• Pain from Blockage or Stagnation such as Cold Arthritic Pain

Aconite

A dried and thin slice of aconite, which is usually very hard and stiff, is placed on a selected acupoint. The Moxa is applied in the center of the aconite and ignited in the same manner as the Garlic and Ginger techniques. Aconite has spicy and hot qualities that can warm the Kidneys and tonify Yang. Hence, this technique is useful for the treatment of deficient Yang problems. Also, a paste derived from rice wine and grounded aconite can be used as a medium for this procedure.

Uses

• Carbuncles and Yin Abscesses that will not discharge
• Non-Healing Ulcers

Conclusion

For any of these procedures, it is vital that the patient is observed at all times and that the treatment area is properly ventilated (more so with patients suffering from asthma). One also needs to test the sensitivity of the patient to heat. This will make sure that the patient is not easily burned, even if he or she has a low sensitivity to heat or high tolerance for pain.

Heather Shultz is a licensed acupuncturist in Marlton, NJ with advanced training in modern acupuncture techniques and traditional Asian therapies.

Three Theories Explaining How Auricular Acupuncture Works

Traditional Chinese medicine has always given us unique and different ways of treating certain types of disease. These techniques are painless, safe, and natural and often do not involve the use of medication. The body, in Chinese thought, is deemed to preserve a delicate balance with the environment via the transfer of energy. The body always removes negative energy from the body and allows positive energy to circulate through. The entire systems of the body work for this exchange simply to preserve balance. One typical way this is achieved is with auricular acupuncture in Orlando.

A Chinese healing concept, auricular acupuncture focuses on the outer ear or auricle for treatment. The auricle is considered a complete bodily system that is responsible for the vital activities of the ear and the other body organs. This area of the ear is comprised of a number acupuncture points that are connected to the whole body. Filiform needles are inserted in these points which stimulate these points producing signals that reach the brain that in turn activates a targeted organ. This activation boosts the functioning of that organ by releasing toxins, increasing blood flow, and enhancing muscle movement.

Auricular acupuncture works according to the following theories:

Delta Reflex

This theory states that auricular acupoint stimulation results in the stimulation of the associated body part. This leads to a rise in temperature of that body part and a related body part which causes a rise in the temperature of the outer ear. Both work as lock and key whereby an auricular acupoint serves as a key for the lock of body organs.

Anatomical Model

According to this theory, the location of the auricular acupoints on the map can be likened to that of an inverted fetus. Whatever signals are conveyed to the parts of the body reaches back again to the outer ear thereby making it a bidirectional movement.

The meridian Theory

In Chinese medicine, this theory is the most commonly accepted norm. The meridian theory sates that energy or chi circulates through energy channels within the body called meridians. Any obstruction in this channel is the underlying root cause of any health issues; therefore, stimulation of specific auricular acupoints generates therapeutic effects on the meridians.

Chinese principles and method have been adopted in the western world. Western scientists have formulated the same techniques as Chinese medicine albeit with a few changes in the form of improvements. The use of needles in auricular acupuncture treatment is a Chinese based idea but Western medicine has now developed it in the form of modern auriculotherapy. Here, advanced technologies are used to activate the acupoints in the auricle without the use of electricity, pellets, pressure, magnets, laser, etc. Modern auriculotherapy was developed and refined by Dr. Paul Nogier, a French neurologist.

Since the various parts of the body is connected to each other via acupoints, auricular acupuncture treatment can provide a lot of therapeutic effects on the body. It balances a person’s emotional and mental status by relieving insomnia, stress, depression, and anxiety. Various forms of bodily pain such as muscular tension, migraine, headaches, back ache, and arthritis can be relieved by this therapy. Its connection with the respiratory and digestive organs can help treat constipation, bronchitis, asthma, colitis, indigestion, and many other health problems. In addition auricular acupuncture can significantly help in giving away the habit of drinking and smoking. It can help maintain balance in women during their menstrual period.

There is a there is a specialized type of acupuncturist who is trained in the art of auricular acupuncture who knows all about ear muscles. These professionals are completely aware of the over two hundred acupoints found in the auricle. It’s important to note that during treatment, the needle should be inserted into the auditory canal that reaches to the inner ear. This may result in total hearing damage to the individual therefore one has to be very careful during this process.

Music And The Five Elements Theory

The Five Elements theory is the organizing of all facets of the phenomenological world into categories of Metal, Earth, Wood, Water, and Fire. Its theories became inseparably intertwined with the I-Ching or the principle of changes of Yin Yang, in 202 B.C., during the Han Dynasty. The Book of Changes Cycle of Elemental Music states that Water, Fire, Wood, Metal, and Earth correspond with the kidney, heart, liver, lung, and spleen respectively. Certain musical modalities also correspond with these body organs. Through the use of instrumentation, intensity, texture, and rhythm, these modalities (Yu, Ji, Cheu, Shang, and Kung) of ancient Chinese music, help in bringing in better efficient organ function.

Water

The music associated with Water reinforces and resonates with the kidney organ-system. It can be used to treat high blood pressure, ear problems, and swelling.

Fire

The music associated with Fire strengthens and resonates with the heart organ-system, regulating the pulse.

Wood

The music related to Wood strengthens and resonates with the liver organ system, calming restlessness and nervousness in sleep.

Metal

The music related to Metal strengthens and resonates with the respiratory system and the lungs. It can help resolve all respiratory system discomfort and difficulties.

Earth

The music related to Earth strengthens and resonates with the pancreas/spleen organ-system, enhancing digestion and bolstering appetite. It also invigorates the Chi, a Chinese concept of balancing energy balance within each person.

Regimen

The music associated with Regimen is made up of the principle of the five main elements — a lively balance of earth, fire, water, wood, and metal. This kind of music is appropriate for daily regimen and health-keeping.

Yin Music

Most helpful for people whose physical abilities are predisposed to Yang temperament. It matches people who are easily agitated, sturdy, strong, and people who suffer from paranoia, anxiety, and insomnia. People working and living in a male dominated environment are urged to listen to Yin Music.

Yang Music

This is for emotional/physical type people are predisposed to Yin temperament (i.e., people born with physical defects, who are timid, sensitive to cold, undernourished, or with weakening bodily functions, etc.). People working and living in humidity or darkness or in an environment dominated by females must replenish their masculine energies by listening to Yang Music.

Dr. Jignesh Panchal is an acupuncturist in Winter Park, FL who customizes treatment plans using Chinese medicine, Ayurvedic medicine or Ozone Therapy.

Muscle Strength And Chi

According to the principles of Tai Chi, we establish an internal pattern of nerve and muscle activation which may feel like some sort of movement inside our bodies that will be sensed in different ways for each individual. This sensation tends to follow the path of the associated muscular action and sequential nerve stimulation – in other words, the habitual pattern that moving actually generates is an internal pattern that’s quite significant on a rather alternatively random environment that can then turn into a way of directing our development by observing the way the sensation progresses with practice and the manner we’re able to function in the world (e.g. in daily normal tasks and with other people). As a result, we can expect this sensation to become more defined and more noticeable as we practice.

This feeling, which we call Chi, can therefore provide us with a means to evaluate our body usage and to know the parts around us by which we can effectively function and to do so with strength and balance. This sets up a wide range of personal space that’s very organic in shape depicting various capabilities and scores of good abilities and scores of not so good as well as an outer limit of minimal skill (that can be quite close to the body or a long way out from it).

This comfort zone volume of operation describes the ways by which we can relate to others in a fight – that we should remain within the ranges of maximum ability and to lead our foe into areas of weakness so that we can establish control – we attain this by depriving them of their balance – by what is known as “finding their center” while simultaneously preventing them to do the same thing to us.

We neutralize and control when we unbalance our opponents making their attack futile.

In cultivating this sequential, segmental, whip-like motion, we carefully and slowly practice to bring about specified electrical pathways and neurological patterns.

The way of moving with internal power or Chi requires that the body move with each joint and muscle changing ever so slightly – allowing the best use of the fibers (that are more powerful and more efficient and at small changes near their mid-point) and working with the joints around their most effective angles and range of operation to generate the greatest leverage possible. Small unified motions prove to be more sensitive and stronger in application – and at the same time can be a bit gentler on the body.

This allows for greatest use of whatever muscle strength is ready for use and explains why for disabled and old people, Tai Chi is a very valuable practice – since it prepares us to exploit the use of the things we have.

The level of physical development and skill that a few practitioners of Tai Chi have can help preserve this style of functioning. And even with very low and extended postures, the level of physical development and skill makes it possible to attain skills with sufficient practice.

However, we still require powerful muscles when we desire to utilize power in order to counter the programming. To attain this, we need to cultivate the control system – i.e. the way of moving – before striving to build up power. From the viewpoint of people who’ve been practicing external martial arts forms, this can be interesting since it implies that until we have set up the Chi based flow of an internal control power system, we should set strength aside and concentrate on the soft details we have developed – the Chi based movement of an internal control power system. We should “invest in loss” as the Tai Chi masters tell us.

How is this dealt in Tai Chi?

Basically, Tai Chi is a structured program that originates from a very pragmatic and practical perspective that takes us through each natural stage which is designed to deal with external energies and change.

Kung Fu is a repetitive practice of fluid exercises and forms done every day involving consideration, observation, effort, exercise, and refining. It strives to cultivate the body and mind in a cyclical manner – developing skill first – then physical capacity – then skill again – then physical capacity and so on and so forth. At each cycles or step, there is expansion of physical ability or skill into the space generated on the previous cycle.

Chi Kung and Meditation – training body and mind independent of each other – and to cooperate together, both unconsciously and consciously

The six harmonies – establishing harmonious movement internally and externally including proper concentration on balance and posture

Partner work or pushing hands – We train jointly to elevate our skill level in Tai Chi partner practice – hence the relationship is a bit mixed in its intent – on one side, to disrupt and unbalance and on the other side, to do so in a creative manner that allows both parties to observe and grasp.

Sung state of mind and body – attaining a level of Wuji or potentiality and the power to instinctively produce harmonious movement

The eight energies (peng, kao, lu, zhou, ji, lie, cai, an) – Jin – means of applying energy from the extremely lightest to the strongest – ward off, body stroke, elbow, press, split, pluck, push.

Adhere, stick, follow and continue (nian, zhan, sui, lian)

Going down into emptiness – the skill to create emptiness we develop for the foe to fall into – so they are susceptible to the issuing of explosive power – Fajin.

Seasoned teachers whom we model to our own movement and to provide opportunities and examples for us to learn and practice skill

Words related to Taoist philosophy:

1. Wuji – being in a condition of potentiality
2. Wuwei resuting in Tai Chi – automatic generation from a condition of potentiality resulting in immediate harmonious action
3. Meditation in the style of Zen Buddhism – that promotes a mindful way of being.
4. Wuji – coming back to potentiality

Tai Chi practice physically speaking promotes development of tissue in a number of areas:

1. Major mobilizing muscles- by alleviating these mobilizing muscles, they are allowed to relax and can then can be strengthened in line with Qi style movement.
2. Support tissues- ligaments, tendons, joint capsules, fasciae, slow twitch components of major muscles, small internal support muscles, etc. are worked in such a way that they become more resilient and stronger.
3. Bones – through regular load based exercises from Chi Kung partner work and forms and the use of gravity, the strength and health of bones are maintained.

All these are offered by Tai Chi, which simultaneously encourages us to think deeply and observe about why it works and what we are doing.

Jamie Catlett is an acupuncturist in Jacksonville, FL and the founder of Jacksonville Acupuncture Clinic.

Lower Your Cholesterol Levels By Following A Few Healthy Tips

To lower LDL (bad) cholesterol levels, most people would prefer using natural alternative treatments instead of drugs such as statins. The following is a couple of recommendations formulated by dietitians and doctors to help people manage their cholesterol levels.

1. Add more fiber in your diet

Research shows that people who have the lowest rates of heart disease in the world tend to be the ones who eat a diet that is low in fats and rich in fiber. Some fascinating studies by the Cornell University traced the eating habits of over 6500 people in China. What they discovered was that the traditional Chinese diet contained a high amount of unrefined carbohydrates that’s low in fat (less than 16 % of calories) and high with fiber (comprising about 76 percent of the calories). The researchers observed that this diet was connected to rare instances of cardiovascular-related diseases and low levels of cholesterol.

A vital part of this research involved the foods that are high in fiber content. They observed that eating a minimum of 36 – 50 grams of total fiber each day led to the reduction of LDL cholesterol. Foods such as garbanzo and black beans, potatoes and sweet potatoes, beans or legumes, peas, yams, barley, oats, and oat bran have shown to be great sources of soluble fiber. Veggies such as carrots, beets, okra, and eggplant have also been proven to be excellent sources of soluble fiber.

2. Stay from foods that are high in trans fats

People should minimize their intake of foods high in cholesterol and saturated fats and need to stay away from foods that contain trans fats. The National Cholesterol Education Program, the American Heart Association, and other leading heart-health institutions in the US have stated that diets rich in trans fats and saturated fats tend to elevate blood cholesterol levels in people that can lead to leading to inflamed and clogged arteries and atherosclerosis. Atherosclerosis is one of the deadliest and unfortunately most common diseases in the US. It is also the main cause of strokes and heart attacks. It’s very important to refrain from eating the following unhealthy foods:

• Trans fats – found in partially hydrogenated oils, vegetable shortening, and margarine
• Cholesterol – this can be found in cheese, meat, and other animal products
• Saturated fats – found in palm oil, butter oil, coconut oil, meat fats, and milk fats

Dr. Jeda Boughton is a licensed acupuncture physician and the medical director of BodaHealth in Vancouver, BC.

Cooling Herbs To Relieve The Hot Flashes Related To Menopause

While menopause is not a disease, its annoying symptoms can last for many years. So far, all existing treatments are designed to treat hormonal imbalances. Since the Women’s Health Initiative study of 2002, menopause experts have been endlessly debating the advantages of bio-identical hormones and the dangers of artificial hormones.

These days, women seeking relief from their menopause symptoms are searching for safer hormones without realizing the bottom-line: Hormonal therapies are just short term solutions for their symptoms.

A result of aging and degeneration of multiple systems, menopause is usually treated with conventional approaches that emphasize a one-chemical solution that merely hides the symptoms without treating the underlying cause: the positive effects vanish once the patient stops taking the hormones. Therefore, she may be required to take hormones for many years during menopause transition.

What treatment provides enduring benefits for menopause?

Exercise and a healthy diet are essential, but they may not be enough to relieve your hot flashes. You can use natural herbs if you savor the thought of using fewer synthetics and more natural ingredients. Cool herbs for hot flashes are the real secrets of true Chinese wisdom.

A woman’s body systems are the causes of her hot flashes. Taking cool herbs is like pouring cold water into hot water to balance the temperature. If the intake of sugar and fat is reduced, the balanced temperature of the body will last for a long time. But if those hot flashes return after weeks or months, this is because your body systems has a build of heat again; the herbal remedy to cool the hot body systems can be repeated again. Just pour cold water into hot water once more. To cool down the hot flashes related to your menopause, you may therefore only need a number of months for your body to cool down.

Balance Within – Integrative Acupuncture
16200 Ventura Blvd
Encino, CA 91436
(818) 478-9401

Home