Basic Concepts of Chinese Medicine

Chinese medicine is a more than 2500 years old science, which is based on the concept, that the human body is a complex system of constant transformation and movement of energy, also know as Qi. It has a holistic view, which sees the human in its entirety, where different symptoms may be results of the same source and every imbalance or disease is treated individually. Chinese Medicine can support the body to activate its self-healing powers, recover its balance and help to resolve acute and even long existing problems. It can be used both to treat already existing disease, as well as preventing diseases from occurring. Since Chinese Medicine does not make a separation between body and mind, psychological problems and physical problems resulting from emotional distress can also be improved by means of acupuncture, massage, Chinese herbal medicine, bodywork and dietary.

Qi

Qi is the energy innate to the universe and the force which regulates all processes on earth and in the human body. According to Chinese medicine the Qi circulates through our bodies within a network of channels, called Meridians, which are connected to our inner organs and provide the body with a constant, even flow of energy. If this flow is insufficient, disrupted, unbalanced or stagnant, we experience all different kinds of symptoms including local or generalized pain, acute or chronic disease, allergies, emotional stress and instability or mental problems.

Yin Yang

Qi is defined by two polarities, called Yin and Yang. Both are characteristics of the same, both transforming into each other, mutually maintaining and generation each other. In the body, Yin is the force that regenerates, stores, cools, quiets and nourishes, whereas Yang is energizing, thriving, warming and distributing. Neither can exist without the other. A lack of Yin energy will result in temporary relative abundance of Yang energy and vice versa, but eventually an imbalance between the two will lead to a deficiency of both, resulting in chronic disease and might even cause a shortened life spam.
If the Yin energy becomes weakened (which in our every day life often happens, due to stress, irregular diet and lack of restorative phases, among others) it is no longer capable to calm and soothe the yang energy, which then often rises to the upper part of the body, without being able to descend. This leads to a variety of symptoms, ranging from headaches to insomnia, stress, palpitation, panic attacks, high blood pressure, nose bleeds, eye infections, skin rushes, etc…
Yin and Yang (and the flow of Qi in general) can be cultivated and balanced through a variety of techniques, including body movement, diet, acupuncture, (shiatsu)massage and Chinese Herbal Therapy. The better the balance between Yin and Yang and the more even the flow of Qi in our meridians and organs, the better we will feel physically and emotionally.

Meridians

The channels which regulate the flow of energy through the body are called meridians. Chinese medicine defines 12 principal meridians, of which each is related to an organ and its physiological functions, as well as other internal structures.
There are 6 Yin meridians and 6 Yang meridians, which are connected in pairs and each pair connects the upper part of the body with the lower. The Qi moves in circles through these meridian pairs, supplying the entire body with its vital substances. On these meridians there are also a large number of points, or gateways, which can be stimulated by acupressure or acupuncture in order to influence certain imbalances in the body and through this treat discomfort and disease. Additionally, the balance in the meridians and through this in the entire body can be stimulated and cultivated through means of stretching and movement, which is one of the reasons why different types of body work contribute largely to a better body/mind sensation.

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