Acupuncture and Tui Na in Dublin
Both acupuncture and Tui Na belong to Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). TCM is a group of medicine practices that shares common concept and theoretical views on the body. These concepts are based on a tradition that has initially developed in China 2000 years ago.
There are three main medicine practices found in TCM Chinese hospitals:
- Herbal Medicine
- Tui Na (Chinese therapeutic massage)
Other practices are also associated to TCM such as dietary therapy and Qi Gong (health longevity exercises).
Here at Equilibre Acupuncture Dublin, we offer treatments using acupuncture and Tui Na. We also offer advice based on TCM dietary therapy.
We strongly recommend to our patients and everybody who would like to be in touch with their body to practice Qi Gong which is a wonderful healthy exercise.
Why Chinese Medicine?
TCM is much older than conventional medicine. Over the centuries of its existence, it was able to develop a wisdom that our conventional medicine still does not fully apprehend.
In particular, Chinese Medicine puts great attention to those four concepts:
- The body has the ability to self-heal.
When we cut ourselves, we do not question the fact that our body heals itself. Neither when we have a cold and that it disappears by itself after a few days.
The main aim of Chinese Medicine is to help and stimulate the body to self-heal.
- Physical body and mind are part of the same entity, the human body.
Most of us have experienced the effects that a bad news or an argument can have on our appetite. And, It is common knowledge that extreme fear can have an effect on our gut or bladder. Even conventional medicine recognises today that there are psycho-somatic diseases.
For Chinese Medicine, this is obvious as both mental-emotional and physical levels are part of one complete entity which is our body.
- The body is connected to the surrounding world.
Chinese Medicine believes that our body is completely connected to the surrounding environment. For example, when comes a change of season, our body needs time to adapt to changes of temperature, humidity, light etc.
These changes in our environment can be source of diseases or health depending on our constitution and our general health state. One of the aims of Chinese Medicine is to help the body adapt to changes occurring in our surrounding world.
- Prevention is key to good health.
Ultimately, Chinese Medicine places great attention to prevention. For example, in China, during summer, many people get acupuncture and moxibustion treatments to reinforce their body for the winter to come. The idea behind this is to help the body to prepare and adapt quickly to climatic changes so that it can better fight cold, wind, damp etc.
What is Traditional Chinese Medicine?
As mentioned above, Chinese Medicine developed over 2000 years in China and was influenced by philosophies such as Daoism, Confucianism and Buddhism. This rooted Chinese medicine in a strong relationship with nature and in the observation of every phenomenon happening in the universe.
Quite often, Qi is described as this ethereal vital force which is in the body. To our western rational mind, this is not really understandable. But in fact, Qi is simply a general term that describe what makes our body alive. This includes, the oxygen coming from the air that allows our cells to breathe, or the nutriments that nourishes the different tissues and cells of our body. This includes also the tiny electric current that starts from the pacemaker of our heart or that runs through our brain, nerves and fasciae all across our body. This is all Qi and the Chinese describe different types of Qi which correspond exactly to oxygen (Lung Qi), nutriments from food and drinks (Grain Qi), tiny electric current etc.
Jing translated as essence is the substance that governs our development, reproduction and regeneration. There are two types of Jing; the pre-natal jing which is compared to the genes that are given to us by our parents and the post-natal jing which is how our genes react to our environment and quality of life.
This is why in Chinese Medicine and even Chinese culture, there is a great emphasis put on life preservation exercises. The quality of what we eat, drink, breathe and of our life in general has a great influence on our health and our longevity. Jing or essence is just a different way to describe the genes transmitted by our parents (heredity) and the impact that the environment and lifestyle has on our genes and ageing.
- Jing Ye
Translated as body fluids, Jing Ye includes all the fluids that moisturise, lubricate, protect and nourish the body. This includes saliva, tears, semen, mucus, sweat, the synovial fluid of the joints and other body fluids. In TCM, Jin is the lighter and purer fluids and Ye is the darker and denser fluids.
Xue translates as blood. Both conventional medicine and TCM consider blood as one of the most precious liquid in the body. Blood is the liquid that brings to all the different structure nourishment and moisture. In TCM, blood has an additional property as it houses and roots our soul or spirit.
The three main concepts of Traditional Chinese Medicine
Through the cultures and philosophies that appeared during the history of China, TCM developed a view and approach of the body which is singularly different than conventional medicine. At the core of this difference are three concepts that give Chinese Medicine a frame.
Yin Yang and the Five elements theories
The theories of Yin-Yang and Five elements are the language of Chinese Medicine which means that it allows Chinese Medicine practitioners to understand, diagnose and treat health issues.
The concept of Yin and Yang refers to two complementary and interconnected opposites that are constantly changing between each other. Using this concept, ancient Chinese could explain every phenomena happening on Earth, as well as in the human body.
The five elements theory aims at explaining the relationship between different key organs of the body and their implication in disease. They are Earth, Metal, Water, Wood and Fire and they correspond respectively to the organs Spleen, Lung, Kidney, Liver and Heart. In this order, we talk about a generating sequence because each element nourishes the next one. For example, water gives life to trees (wood) which could be translated as Kidney nourishing Liver. And in disease, the Liver could lack nourishment because of the Kidney being deficient.
There is another sequence called controlling sequence where Water (Kidney) controls Fire (Heart), Wood (Liver) controls Earth (Spleen), Fire (Heart) controls Metal (Lung), Earth (Spleen) controls Water (Kidney) and finally Metal (Lung) controls Wood (Liver).
In 5 elements theory, each key organ or element is included in relation to the other four through the different sequences.
Internal organ theory
The organ theory is the frame for Chinese Medicine physiology and pathology.
The organs are important in Chinese Medicine because, like for conventional medicine, they are the place were substances in the body are created. But there is more to this. Each key organ is either Yin (Heart, Pericardium, Lung, Liver, Spleen and Kidney) or Yang (Stomach, Small Intestine, Large Intestine, Gallbladder, Triple Burner, Bladder). And they all have functions that they have to fulfil in order to keep the body healthy. When those functions are disrupted, it is when disease arise.
There are 12 regular channels running through the body and each of those channels is connected to their respective organ. Channels run form the extremities of the body to the internal organs and vice-versa and they are what brings the body to life. They allow the internal organs to interact with the rest of the body, with the outside environment and with each others.
The 12 regular channels are the place where can be found the 360 acupuncture points which are the most used points. Without channels to connect points to organs, acupuncture would not make sense, so channel theory is an important part of Chinese Medicine theory.