Chinese herbs are specifically used to create decoctions or "teas" and are a very powerful part of healing disease or “patterns of disharmony”. Herbal decoctions can also be given in the form of tinctures, granules, concentrated powders, or as an external patch, compress or bath. Chinese herbal medicine uses several hundred substances, mostly of plant origin (roots, seeds, flowers, twigs, and barks). They are combined into a formula, which can contain anything between 3 and 18 ingredients. It is the "herbal synergy", or how the herbs act together as a unified whole, and how they interact with the individual that is the strength behind Chinese herbs and why they are so successful.
Chinese herbs are categorized according to their properties including their taste and temperature. The "herbal synergy" within a herbal formula is created by using a dominant (chief herb) with a deputy, assistants and envoy herbs in a combination to produce a better effect on one particular organ or condition.
The chief herb has the primary effect on the disease condition. The deputy and assistant herbs help to synergistically increase the effect of the chief herb, to treat an illness, as well as, "supervise" the function of other herbs. It is a very adaptable and flexible system, which can be tune specifically to the needs of the patient. Schedule an appointment with Grahame.
Tuina, (pronounced twee-nar), was developed in China over 5,000 years ago and is commonly known now as “the grandfather of all massage”. It encompasses acupressure, reflexology, stretching techniques, joint mobilisations and massage. The Japanese bodywork of shiatsu was developed from Tuina about 100 years ago.
Tuina works on the energy channels and points on the body using the same principles as acupuncture, except hands and fingers are used instead of needles. This wonderful massage session invigorates blood, increases circulation, relieves pain, soothes stress and eases tense, tight muscles. Schedule an appointment with Grahame.
Acupuncture is the ancient art of inserting very fine needles into specific points along "meridians" or channels that run throughout our body. Acupuncture can be traced back to the Stone Age in China. The body functions as an integrated whole through 12 channels called "Meridians", that distribute Qi. "Meridians" or channels are pathways of energy flow. Modern scientific enquiry has established the existence of the meridian system and is traceable and consistent with acupuncture theory.
Pain, numbness, soreness, sensations of heat or cold, and other sensations along the course of a meridian are very often important clues to problems in that particular system. Each meridian connects to an organ and affects the function of that organ. Meridians are the pathways through which the organs are nourished and stay in balance enabling proper function. There are also 8 extra vessels. These store energy and help regulate the flow of Qi in the meridians. In addition there are gates through which the inner Qi (energy) communicates with the environment, to help regulate the body. These are the acupuncture points.
Because of its success, acupuncture and Chinese medicine is under the microscope of modern scientific research.
There are three main explanations:
Conduction of electromagnetic signals: Western scientists have found evidence that acupuncture points are strategic conductors of electromagnetic signals. Stimulating points along these pathways through acupuncture enables electromagnetic signals to be relayed at a greater rate than under normal conditions.
These signals may start the flow of pain-killing biochemicals, such as endorphins, and of immune system cells to specific sites in the body that are injured or vulnerable to disease.
Activation of opioid systems: Research has found that several types of opioids may be released into the central nervous system during acupuncture treatment, thereby reducing pain.
Changes in brain chemistry, sensation, and involuntary body functions: Studies have shown that acupuncture may alter brain chemistry by changing the release of neurotransmitters and neuro-hormones in a good way. Acupuncture also has been documented to affect the parts of the central nervous system related to sensation and involuntary body functions, such as immune reactions and processes whereby a person's blood pressure, blood flow, and body temperature are regulated.
The reality is that a western explanation for acupuncture probably encompasses all of these. The beauty, elegance and completeness of the Chinese medicine theories however are still the best way to diagnose an individual patient and to apply the amazing benefits of acupuncture and Chinese medicine.
Schedule an appointment with Grahame.
The World Health Organisation lists 40 conditions that acupuncture treats well:
Digestive - Abdominal pain, Constipation, Diarrhoea, Hyperacidity
Emotional - Anxiety, Depression, Insomnia, Nervousness, Neurosis.
Eye-Ear-Nose-Throat - Cataracts, Gingivitis, Poor vision, Tinnitus, Toothache.
Gynaecological - Infertility, Menopausal Symptoms, Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS).
Miscellaneous - Addiction control, Athletic performance, Blood pressure regulation, Chronic fatigue, Immune system tonification, Stress reduction.
Musculoskeletal - Arthritis, Back pain, Muscle cramping, Muscle pain, Muscle weakness, Neck pain, Sciatica.
Neurological - Headaches, Migraines, Neurogenic bladder, Parkinson's disease, Postoperative pain, Stroke, Bell's Palsy.
Respiratory - Asthma, Bronchitis, Common cold, Sinusitis, Smoking cessation, Tonsillitis.
Food As Medicine - Food has been used as a preventative to disease for over 4000 years by physicians of natural medicine. Food is a major determinant of health that is directly under our control. We cannot always control pollution, hereditary factors, noise, environment, and the social and emotional behaviour of others, but we can certainly choose what and what not to eat.
Many people accept a level of ill health as normal and put up with symptoms that are considered by the medical profession as part of the human condition. This is not so; we are all conceived with the potential to be healthy and a capacity to enjoy life to the full.
The quality of the food we eat and the influence that processed foods have on our bodies’ has placed us under an incredible strain. In typical western societies the price we pay is virtually half the population suffering from digestive dysfunction, leading towards more serious health issues.
Today, at least one out of every two people experience food intolerances to common types of foods or allergens and alarmingly, an increasing number of people are developing Cancers, Alzheimers, Multiple Sclerosis & ME. Conditions that can be caused by an over load of toxins in the body.
Water, carbohydrates, proteins, and fats are the basic building blocks of a good diet. By choosing the healthiest forms of each of these nutrients, and eating them in the proper balance, you enable your body to function at its optimal level.
The human body is two-thirds water. Water is an essential nutrient that is involved in every function of the body. Water helps transport nutrients and waste products in and out of cells. Water is necessary for all digestive, absorption, circulatory, and excretory functions. It is recommended that you drink at least 2.5 litres of good quality water each day.
Carbohydrates are the energy source for our body in order to function. Carbohydrates are divided into two groups: simple carbohydrates and complex carbohydrates.
Simple carbohydrates, or simple sugars, are the quickest source of energy, because they can be broken down by our bodies the fastest. One of the richest natural sources of simple carbohydrates are fruits.
Complex carbohydrates include fibre and starches such as wheat products as in breads and pasta, grains (including rye and corn), beans, and root vegetables. These foods, rich in carbohydrates, are stored in the system and give us energy, long term. When we consume more calories from carbohydrates than the body can use, a percent of these carbohydrates may also be stored in the body as fat.
Fibre is an important part of our daily diet. Although most fibre is not digested, it gives us many important and healthy benefits.
Proteins are the main building blocks in our system and the primary make-up of most of our cells. Proteins are a much slower and longer-lasting source of energy than carbohydrates. Proteins help maintain proper acid-alkali balance in our bodies and are needed for the maintenance of our muscle, connective tissue, and skin.
Complete proteins which are found in meat, fish, poultry,
cheese, eggs, yogurt and milk, contain sufficient amounts of all
of the essential amino acids the body needs. Soybean products
such as tofu, soy oil, soy-based meat substitutes, soy milk and
soy cheese are complete proteins. Also the combination of a
number of protein-rich foods, such as brown rice with beans can
give you a complete form of protein as well.