Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) can have many forms and aspects and to really become proficient, it takes many, many years of training. TCM takes into consideration several different aspects of the body and the quality of energy or qi that it possesses and tries to bring them all into balance or harmony with each other, thus bringing health to the person. I think it’s a very noble and beautiful concept. I also think it’s really complicated and my Western mind doesn’t really have the patience to take the time to understand it all.
I have learned over time though, through experience with martial arts, tai-qi(chi), and qi-gong, a little about the energy meridians (not the nerves) that help to maintain this harmony and balance in our bodies. These are the meridians which are utilized in acupuncture, acupressure, and Chinese cupping therapy, and many other applications.
I have had acupuncture performed on me in the past with mixed results. I think the results were the way they were because I was not in a position at the time to return for follow-up treatments, not to mention the fact that I find it difficult to look forward to going to a doctor who is going to make me feel just a little like a porcupine.
A lot of people have tried various acupressure techniques for relief of headaches or motion sickness with fairly good results. I like acupressure better because I avoid the whole porcupine effect.
Cupping therapy is less well-known in the Western world and tries to balance the energy in an interesting way. In this case, a picture is worth a thousand words.
I’ve had cupping done, but until I came to China, I’d never known more than one other person who had. The marks don’t hurt but they do take a couple of weeks to completely disappear. If you have them on your arms, you might find a sudden desire to wear longer sleeves, unless you live here in China where it’s perfectly normal and no one will think you are being beaten at night by your husband.
Still, for most of these things, I have to learn a ton or depend on someone else to know it and help me out. I tend to be a rather self-reliant person and prefer anything that I can use myself and not have to make a doctor run in the night (or at all) if I don’t have to. I have found a treatment I can do myself that utilizes the energy meridians, but I don’t have to be a Chinese doctor-genius to use it. It’s called EFT. It’s easy, you can learn the basics online for free, and it’s quite effective, quite quickly. I’m starting to be grateful I learned about this before I came to China, because even though I have neglected to apply it in the past, now I am coming to appreciate it more and more. It’s helping me deal with migraine pain and overcome some mental/emotional hurdles about eating healthy. Anyway, it’s helping me right now, so I thought I’d share in case someone else might benefit. You don’t even have to live in China or walk around with funny marks on your skin. You just do some gentle tapping on a few energy meridian points. Easy-peasy, lemon-squeezy.
winner-winner, chicken dinner 🙂