Wednesday, February 22, 2012


After five months of massage therapy school, our class got to the part we had all been waiting for : Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). Points and meridians was one of our TCM classes. What are points and meridians? Meridians are invisible pathways on our bodies that connect acupoints to each other, as well as internal organs. The qi (energy) flows through these meridians. The meridians are like highways, when you experience a strong emotion, such as grief or anxiety, your qi gets blocked, similar to a traffic jam. Acupressure restores the smooth flow of qi. Acupoints are specific body points through which qi of organs and meridians can reach the body surface.

You can use acu-therapy to treat:
- headaches
- ortho issues
- weight loss
- addiction
- fertility
- colds
- insomnia
- the list goes on and on.

Basically, any disease you can think of, can benefit from acu-therapy. As a massage therapist, I would not be able to perform acupuncture, but can use non-needling techniques on points. Acupressure is a technique that we have frequently used. Our class has learned acupoint patterns to combat nausea, fatigue, frozen shoulder, sciatica and knee pain.

Now for the fun stuff. Moxa, cupping and gua sha, oh my. Moxa is quite possibly the most delightful herb in existence. It is a variety of mugwort, that is compressed and then burned. You can use it on specific points and meridians that are deficient. By the end of a session, I feel warm and tingling, it is an amazing feeling. Cupping and gua sha are two methods that help remove stagnation, and when I say stagnation, I pretty much mean pain. We have all had those "knots" the size of a golf ball that won't go away. After 15 minutes of having a suction cup placed on the knot and two more cups along the meridian, my pain was 90% gone. Gau sha brings stagnation to the surface, by using a tool to scrape the area. I am sure this might sound painful to some of you, but these treatments are WONDERFUL! I am excited to use them in my practices.

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