Many centuries ago, Chinese philosophers and healers began to study nature’s rich and complex phenomena. They observed the environment around us, including how an organism’s physical appearance and behavior reflect its inner state. They noticed patterns in how nature’s energies flow and how all things are subject to universal laws.
Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) developed into a comprehensive system from these very simple roots. It branched out into many different sub-disciplines.
The Origins of Traditional Chinese Medicine
The ancient sages saw life as a dance between two opposing forces—yin and yang. The sky and the earth, heat and cold, light and dark: all opposites, yet, when combined in the middle, harmony is created. The sages knew this wisdom because it applied not just to their world but all of the universe. The duality exists everywhere we look, on every continent, and in every culture.
They called life energy qi. Qi is always moving, changing, adjusting, and balancing as it moves through the world. The movement of qi sustains all living things.
Over the centuries, Chinese healers found ways to manipulate qi, using acupuncture, acupressure, and gua sha. TCM does not leave anything about a patient’s health out of the picture during a diagnosis.
Your diet, mental and emotional state, and physical condition all play a part in treatment. TCM is holistic in this respect. The meridian lines are a complicated energy network that flows through our bodies.
The Meridian Lines and the Qi
There are twelve pairs of meridian lines, with the left sides of the body mirroring the right. However, there are also two central streams and hundreds of smaller tributaries that nourish every single cell in the body, much like the arteries and veins of the circulatory system.
The key thing to remember when thinking about meridians is that they are not physical structures that can be seen with the eye, like the circulatory system. They can be viewed indirectly by observing their effects on the body. For instance, seeing how they direct Qi.
TCM focuses on balancing the qi. When it flows, there is balance and, therefore, health. When it is blocked or disturbed, there is sickness or pain. Injuries, pathogens, and environmental factors can block the qi, but these pathogens can then be removed or dissolved for healing.
The meridians are associated with certain organs in the body. One connected with the lungs, and another with the liver, for example. Encouraging the flow of Qi down the meridian will positively affect the health of the associated organ.
In Gua Sha and Acupuncture
For instance, performing a gua sha treatment down the front of your arm, from the shoulders down towards the hands, will energize the lung meridian. You also treat muscles in your arms that can be stiff and weak by poor circulation. Also, this treatment will restore your lung health.
In acupuncture, the same principle is employed. If you have congested or infected lungs, consider treating the lung meridian. Naturally, you don’t need to memorize the entire meridian system to get the benefits of gua sha treatment; once you know where to place a single treatment point, you’re on your way.
However, it’s good to know that when you’re striving for balance and encouraging healing on a profound level, you’re following principles dating back thousands of years.
When the skin produces red or purple spots, toxins are expelled from the body. Muscles in the treated area will relax and adjust quickly to your treatment, while organs all over your body will also benefit. Red and purple spots on the skin will subside with repeated applications of the treatment. This means that matters are improving.
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