In my approach to Traditional Oriental Medicine my intention is to integrate it’s different aspects in the way they were applied by the early practitioners. This implies the adjustment of: breathing, moving, life attitude and diet and the application of manual therapy and acupuncture.
Probably the best known and sought after branch of Traditional Oriental MedIcine (T.O.M.) is Acupuncture. It’s practice has taken a big rise in the west during the last 30 years. It is known for its effectiveness and has become largely popular under the growing group of people who are looking for alternative ways of treatment for their health issues, outside the traditional western approach.
Acupuncture has the big advantage that it has no side effects although one has to note that lately it has been increasingly practised isolated from the context of T.O.M.
T.O.M combines acupuncture with: physical treatment, Qi Kung, medicinal plants, diet, and the counselling of life attitude.
The massage therapy that is an essential part of T.O.M. is called Tuina in China and Shiatsu in Japan. I practice them both.
Both these techniques are aimed at opening up the energy flow and stimulating the self healing power of the patient.
These techniques are combined with Qi Kung exercises, ‘the mother of all martial arts’ who by harmonising movement and breathing strengthen and circulate the Life Force. (Qi in Chinese, Ki in Japanese)
Another big pillar of T.O.M.is the use of medicinal herbs.
Ancient knowledge states that when the disease has penetrated deeper in the body, the blood should be treated, therefore the use of herbs, combined with diet, as food was seen as a form of medicine.
The Book of the Yellow Emperor, one the foundations of T.O.M. states that: ‘In ancient times, the first thing the doctors would do is to treat the Shen’. Shen can be translated as ‘Spirit’ or ‘Mind’. This considers reflecting on habits and behaviour, life attitudes that are harmful to one’s own health.
Not everybody comes for introspection, pain treatment takes a important place in T.O.M. and maybe few people are coming to do some soul searching about the ‘why’ of their sprained ankle, even though few things happen isolated from our context.
What I am trying to do in my approach is to integrate acupuncture again into the whole context of T.O.M. to reach a more potent level of healing using the clinical tools that are able to boost it’s effects.
I combine my acupuncture treatment with shiatsu, breathing exercises, herbs and diet whenever possible and necessary.
Also I reserve a place for reflection and personal reassessment whenever required that I will explain in ‘Life Coaching’ and Five Element Ki training (see treatments).
Of course there are people who come for Shiatsu treatment only and most people appreciate the relaxing and pleasant feeling that Shiatsu produces and how it helps to cope with stress and boosts our immunity system.
I also teach Qi Kung courses for people strictly interested in that, as well as Shiatsu.
It has been an honour for me to be in this situation as a practitioner trying to help and it is no cliché to state that my clients have been my biggest teachers to whom I am infinitely grateful.
After explaining the way T.O.M. is based on four pillars ( diet/herbal treatment, qi kung, manual therapy, acupuncture). I have to ad another one that is: life coaching.
What categories do I treat?
These problems are considered to have been acquired recently, most of them with pain or inhibition, like. sprained ankles, dislocated shoulders, consequences of accidents, sports injuries, acute fever, colds, flu, cystitis∫, toothache, torticulis (frozen shoulder), cough, diarrhoea, constipation, muscle pain, sinusitis, conjunctivitis, rash, excema etc.
In this category falls every acute pain treatment that can come from a variety of conditions, from post-operative pain, to accidents, ‘wrong movements’ etc.
All of these conditions have in common that they are ‘acute’ problems, with no large history. They often need immediate, intensive treatment.
These problems are considered to have been turned into chronicle problems. This means that they have been acquired some time ago and have never been cured thoroughly or have been returning.
One can think of the sprained ankle that keeps spraining again in critical situations, also chronic back pain by permanent stress (working situations, looking at computer screens for long hours, lifting heavy objects, etc.), or hay fever etc.
Here we make a distinguish between internal and external ailments.
External ailments will be defined as obviously detectable by observation. Meaning problems of the musculo-sceletal system, the whole structure that sustains and moves the body: muscles, bones, joints, cartilage etc. Skin, teeth, nails, eyes, ears, mouth, with their specific diseases. from soar muscles, painful joints, tennis elbow, arthritis, postural problems, stif neck, back pain, lumbar pain, to skin problems like psoriasis, eczema, rashes, atopic skin, itching, acne, herpes, dryness of the skin, excessive sweating, to brittle nails, to eye problems like conjunctivitis, short sightedness, night blindness, cataract to ear problems like deafness, otitis, to mouth problems like (cold)sores, herpes simplex etc.
Internal ailments are related to the main organs and are not always visible in observation of the patient. Most of the the time they need a certain timespan to develop.
These can affect al main organs, from (coronary) heart disease, arithmics, hiper tension, palpitations, to liver problems like hepatitis, cholesterol, triglycirids in the blood , gout, to pancreas problems like diabetes, hypoglycaemia, to stomach ulcers, gastritis, acidity, heart burn, nausea, vomiting, to lung problems like asthma, hyperventilation, chronic cough, cystic fibrosis, lung edema, to kidney problems like kidney stones, colics, urinary incontinence, to intestinal problems like crohn’s disease, diarrhoea, constipation, irritable bowel syndrome to neurological problems, like carpal tunnel syndrome, headache, vertigo, migraine, bell’s palsy, trigeminal neuralgia, disc problems, neuropathic pain, sciatica, multiple sclerosis, parkinson, stroke, to hormonal problems that can be seen in hyper or hypo thyriodism, obesity, menopausal syndrome, infertility, to female problems related to menstruation, pre menstrual syndrome, cystitis, fertility, pregnancy and childbirth, dysmenorrhoea, endometriosis.
Then there is the whole problems of ‘the mind’ that are related to several systems like the neurological as well as the hormonal, like depression, stress, bipolarity, schizophrenia, psychosis, insomnia, hypersomnia, post-traumatic stress disorder, substance abuse, fobias, anxiety, panic attacks, compulsory behaviour, lack of self esteem etc.
Then there are diseases related to the immunity, like hepatitis, HIV; papiloma humana, sexually transmitted diseases, cancer, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue who often don’t have a clear beginning nor etiological explanation.
Here sometimes One of the most common reasons, often combined with different symptoms to come for treatment is the lack of energy.
The third category of patients are coming for treatment because ‘they want a change in their life’. Often related to long lasting problems of physical and or mental problems that leed to unhappiness, excess of stress, relationships issues, or the ‘simple’ lack of feeling of growth, advance in one’s life.
Their my work consists in guiding people to focus on their priorities, overcoming obstacles and connecting to motivation, inspiration and life force. focusing on decision making, intuitivity training and reassessment of one’s own history and character.