Sunday, September 27, 2020

Chinese Medicine for Body Health and Wellness -What Are Meridians and How to Move Qi Flow

 Chinese medicine has been around for centuries.  It is "natural", and helps the body to heal itself.  

A basic Chinese Medicine definition of the meridians of the body is that they are a network of 'energy channels.  There are six pairs of meridians (12 total major meridians), each affecting a corresponding Yin/Yang organ.  The meridians function as a network, much like a highway system, that can be mapped out throughout the entire body. They are similar to the circulatory system in western medicine, but it needs to be emphasized that meridians are non-physical.  According to Chinese medicine, as long as Qi flows freely through your meridians and your organs work in harmony, your body can remain healthy. This means that when your body's meridian system functions well, you are well. Yet due to a number of causes like excess stress, your body's meridians can become clogged or even blocked.

Acupuncture is used to determine where the qi flow is blocked in meridians, and the needles are used to unblock the qi so it flows again smoothly.

There are some things you can do for yourself to help your qi flow smoothly.  For centuries, and even now, Chinese people often keep jade rollers and gua sha tools in their "medicine cabinet" to help with health problems.  You can use your fingers to feel your body, for example moving your fingers down your arm from shoulder to wrist, and if you feel an area where there is discomfort or pain, that might mean the qi is blocked there.  It does not mean that your arm is "in trouble", it means the meridian it is related to is being affected.  

Any easy procedure anyone can do is to feel an area of their body slowly and carefully, and when you find an area that is tender or painful, use a jade gua sha tool to gently scrape the area.  Use the gua sha tool edge to scrape downwards a few times, mindfully and carefully.   Then use a jade roller to complete the process, again rolling downward, for example if the area is on your arm, roll from shoulder to hand direction.

 When I traveled to China every year, my Chinese doctor met me at the airport.  While we were in the taxi going to the hotel, he would scrape my neck with the gua sha tool, then use the jade roller to help me get over the 12 hour jet lag from USA to China.  It helped so much.  After almost a day of travel, his treatment helped me to get up the next morning "ready to go" and not waste a couple of days getting over jet lag.

I personally use a jade roller often to help my qi flow more smoothly.  If I feel a sore spot, I scrape with gua sha tool, the use the roller.  I also do qigong, tai chi daily, so the gua sha tool and jade roller are part of my wellness program.  On a day when I am not feeling very well, I start with the jade roller, then do the qigong, and start to feel better so I can continue with tai chi.  

More information about meridians, jade health tools, acupuncture and improving health naturally in future posts.

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