Acupuncture is an ancient technique developed for the first time in China several thousand years ago.
It is based on a long observation and deep understanding of the forces that control nature and their reflection in the functioning of the human body and mind.
The ancient Chinese tried to look deeper than the visible world that constantly changes and takes on different appearances.
They looked for the unchangeable original principals that rule life and command the changing of the seasons, the growing up of children even the rise and fall of specific political ideas.
What is the power that is behind your changing moods, ideas, physical wellbeing?
They discovered a vital intention behind all these phenomena that they called: ‘QI’, meaning Breath, or Life energy (see also SHIATSU).
In the human body this ‘QI’ flows through a network of channels that combine the surface of the body with its interior as well as with its mental and spiritual aspects.
During a long period these pioneers of T.O.M. worked on a whole system of tracking the external channels on the body in their relationship with its internal functions. Leading to the localisation of the 365 traditional acupuncture points. During the centuries more points have been added.
In acupuncture the practitioner, after a thorough and detailed diagnosis develops a treatment plan, adjusted to short and long term necessities.
In several sessions hair-thin (sterile, disposable) needles are inserted in certain acupuncture points, aiming when treating certain syndromes at restoring the energetic balance in the body, relieve pain, improving the levels of energy and strengthening the immunity system.
Farmacopea (the use of Chinese Herb combinations) is the extension of this dietary system, certain plants with certain properties and tastes strengthen (or ease) certain organ functions, on a even much more concentrated and powerful level than diet.
Chinese herb combinations are used when there is a necessity of boosting or correcting the energetic basis on a cellular level.
These herbs are always given in a combination to balance each other, if a certain herb produces a lot of heat in the body (for example Ginseng) other cooling herbs are added to make a balanced formula, if certain herbs produce dryness in the body, moisturising herbs are added etc.
Caution should be taken with modern western ‘magical formulas’ based on partial understanding of Chinese Farmacopea that promise quick solutions to complicated problems.
Chinese Farmacopea is a very sophisticated system applied following a thorough diagnostic and deep understanding of the specific condition of the person and forms a balanced response to his or hers issues and necessities.
Qi Kung is an ancient system of energetic exercises, not so much directed at the visible results as is normal in western systems but directed at harmonising and strengthening the internal mental and physical state of the practitioner.
It is considered the ‘mother of all martial arts’, not so much for its martial approach of self defence or combat but based on the fact that all martial arts are founded on QI Kung’s original principals.
These include: ‘grounding’, meaning developing a ‘rooted’ posture with firm but flexible contact with the earth.
The balance between front and back, inside and outside, left and right, up and down.
Movement that is synchronised with breathing.
Posture and movement maintained by the minimum of muscular strength, shifting to more inner or energetic impulse.
Division inside the body of the ‘active’ (Yang) part, and the ‘quiet’ (Yin) part to maximise strength and sustainability.
Although it is a discipline and needs regular practice, it has an easy and fast growing curve with almost immediate effect on energy levels, physical strength, concentration ability and wellbeing.
In the oldest text about Acupuncture the ‘Nei Jing Su Wen’ (about three thousand years old), it states:
‘Those who are habitually without disease help to train and to adjust those who are sick, for those who treat should be free from illness. Therefore they train the patient to adjust his breathing and in order to train the patient they act as example’.
This text makes it clear that in ancient times the doctors acted as Qi Kung trainers, something that up until today is still a widespread practice in many hospitals in China.
When an embryo develops in the womb of the mother how do the cells know HOW to develop?
According to T.O.M. before there is a physical body, there is an energetic body, a structure of channels that the Chinese called ‘Jing Luo’, or ‘Meridians’.
On top of this energetical structure the physical body is built.
The energy that flows through this network was called ‘Qi’ or ‘Ki’, life energy, a vital intent that moves all things in life.
Everything in life possesses ‘Qi’, every living creature in life has meridians, even an amoeba.
That this is not a theoretical hypothesis is for example shown by what in Western Medicine is called ‘Phantom pain’. Patients feel pain in amputated limbs or hands. The physical structure has been removed, but the energetic structure can not.
Knowledge and mastering of this energy is the base of all martial arts as well as T.O.M..
Everybody knows the instinctive reflex to put a hand on a painful part of the body. This can be seen as the most primitive form of Shiatsu.
Shiatsu is the specific form of manipulation of ‘Ki’ as it is known, developed in Japan.
According to the definition of the Japanese Imperial Ministry of Health and Wellbeing, Shiatsu is a manual therapy, a manipulation using thumbs, fingers, hand palms without the use of any instrument that aims through the application of pressure on the skin to resolve internal disturbances, promote health and treat specific diseases.
Shiatsu works directly on the vital life energy and the internal bodily functions. In health this ‘Ki’ flows freely through the channels. When disturbances or blockage occurs vague complaints like tiredness, irritation, headache or even depression can appear.
If these signals are ignored through a longer period more outspoken diseases occur.
It is especially in this early stage that Shiatsu is of invaluable worth. Shiatsu can restore health and improve condition and resistance.
Last but not least, Shiatsu when well practiced is very pleasant to receive.