In the old days, it was common that a Chinese Medical practitioner was supported financially by the community in return for her/his medical services, even when the people were healthy. It was her/his job to keep the community continually healthy by helping them to eat appropriately and regularly, reminding them to go to bed on time and to refrain from the over-consumption of alcohol as well as sex. If you read books and articles about Chinese Medicine, you will come across the "Five Pillars of Chinese Medicine." They are:
- Acupuncture and Moxibustion
- Tui Na massage
- Chinese Herbal Medicine
- Chinese Nutrition and Dietetics
- Tai Ji Quan and Qi Gong
The Chinese have an old saying, "When you are ill, get Acupuncture/Moxibustion, Tui Na and take Herbal Medicine. If you want to stay healthy, sleep enough and eat healthy. If you want to build strength practice Tai Ji Quan/Qi Gong." The 5 Pillars are not just methods of treatment but a foundation to becoming/staying connected to Life.
As a Chinese Medical practitioner, I am very thankful to have the 5 Pillars to support me in aiding my patients. I often have to determine which method/s is/are best, as some patients react more positively to certain methods. For instance, I have had patients requesting acupuncture for a certain health theme but have had strong reactions, such as fatigue for a few days, after treatment. This is often a sign of "over-stimulation" and requires me to tone down the treatment, either by using less stimulation or reduce the number of needles. Frequently, I have substituted needles with touch of the hand, with Tui Na massage. This method is often more suitable for "sensitive patients," as these individuals return to treatments describing how their symptoms have resolved and the feeling of being more energetic than prior to treatment. This is when I hear the reminder of my teachers that "less is more."
I like to describe Chinese Medicine as a medicine for the individual; each person is unique and distinct through their constitution, environment and style of living that each requires different treatment strategies. It is not a "one-size-fit-all" medicine, as I like to say, unlike a lot of cheap, massed-produced clothes or products available today that don't really fit our needs. As such, no two individuals coming in with a headache will get the same treatment or Herbal Medicine or advice. The 5 Pillars provide me the foundation and stability, as pillars of a building do, but they also allow me, the practitioner, the flexibility to adapt to my patients' needs and individuality.
Image by NguyenDo on pixabay
Image Hand Acupuncture by jorgeparedes1992 on pixabay
Image Hand Massage by andreas160578 on pixabay
Image Herbal Medicine by vivi14216 on pixabay
Image Food by Ruttikal Chularom on pixabay
Image Qi Gong by ICM