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 • Jing
 • Qi
 • Meridian System
 •Yin & Yang

Yin & Yang

...are the principles used in Traditional Chinese Medicine to explain human physiological functions and pathological changes.

Yin and yang express a system of relationships, patterns and functions with regard to a dynamic equilibrium.

Yin is the feminine and Yang is the masculine assertive side of nature. Yin signifies female attributes, such as passivity, darkness, cold, and moistness. Yang signifies male attributes such as light, activity, warmth, and dryness.

Yin and Yang are opposing forces, that are harmonious when properly balanced. Nothing in our world is solely either yin or yang. Everything has some internal, negative, quiet, or cold (yin) aspect while also possessing an external, positive, active, or hot (yang) aspect.

Also, these two attributes of one's being continually interchange and complement one another. When the yin and yang are in balance there is harmony in the individual with a healthy state of body, mind, and spirit. Any upset in the balance will result in sickness or disease in human beings.

In Chinese medicine the body is perceived as a possessing a finite sum of yin and yang. When one's yin or negative energy decreases, one's yang or positive energy increases.

TCM practitioners work to achieve balance of these two forces by using acupuncture, acupressure, and herbal medicine.

Forexample, when one is depressed, the force of yin is greater than that of yang. So the doctor would concentrate his or her efforts on enhancing the patient's yang.

If the reverse situation were true (yang forces overshadow those of yin), then the TCM practitioner would advocate nourishment of yin with herbs and food, acupuncture, acupressure, and other natural means.

... the word used for the flow of the body's energy.
It is the energetic force that activates, enlivens and animates the body.

Qi is received from the heavens, inherited from our parents and absorbed from the food and water we take. Qi is also absorbed through specialized points in the skin known as acupuncture points.

The acupuncture points exist along meridians that serve as circulatory pathways within the body connecting qi energy to specific organ systems and external surface.

Chinese medicine modifies the flow of qi through the insertion of acupuncture needles at particular points of the body or through administering herbs pertaining to one or more of the meridians or organs.

The chief functions of qi are to nourish, protect, and warm the organism. Hence, the function of various organs is expressed in terms of qi. For instance, if one's heart qi is inadequate, then the person will probably suffer from heart problems if the condition exists over a long period of time.

The energetic currents of qi can even be detected with special frequency devices that are alerted when energy is concentrated in one part of the body or if it is deficient in another area.

Furthermore, qi works in the same manner as yin and yang in that if it is excessive or scare in a part of the body, then that particular region is prone to illness.

On the other hand, qi, unlike yin and yang, can become blocked and the stagnation of energy will also cause discomfort.


... is the essence of the living body as it oversees the transformation of a being from a fertilized egg, embryo, fetus, infant, child, adolescent, and finally into an adult.

Jing consists of matter within the nervous system, bone marrow, and reproductive substance such as hormones. Thus, it also governs our ability to reproduce.

Since Jing is not as easily generated as other bodily fluids, it must be preserved. In fact, according to TCM, Jing conservation is intricately related to longevity and the anti-aging process.

Jing disorders are often severe problems involving growth and development, inherited disorders, and infertility.

The Meridian System

... is made up of the channels on the body surface that qi or energy travels through.

These channels called "meridians" run through the body and nourish the tissues. They form a network and link the tissues and organs into an organic whole.

The Meridian System is an interconnection of pathways for qi and blood flow between the circulatory, nervous, and lymphatic systems.

Its apparent manifestations are similar to that of the nervous system. However, the meridian system is far more complex as it transports both basic circulatory substances such as blood and less tangible substances such as qi energy.

Acupuncture points are places along the Meridians that give access to energy streams. The meridians act to circulate Qi and blood throughout the body, protecting and nourishing the appropriate meridians to restore the body's harmony.

For some especially sensitive people, their meridian systems can even be detected with x-rays.

Energy constantly flows up and down these pathways. When pathways become obstructed, deficient, excessive, or just unbalanced, the qi that runs through the meridians is like a dam that backs up the flow in one part of the body and restricts the flow in other parts.

This causes illness, as yin and yang are thrown out of balance. Chinese medicine restores the balance of yin and yang in the body by manipulating the qi in the body along the Meridian system.

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For some facelift customers, a bunch of tiny needles beats one big one filled with botulism.
By Charlie Neibergall, AP

Forget the knife and syringe. The tool of choice for a growing number of wrinkle-phobes is a needle — scores of them.

Cosmetic acupuncture practitioners and patients swear by the results: Foreheads are smoothed, tummies tucked, breasts lifted and double chins become single once again. And as tales of botched Botox injections spread — the lawsuit filed by a sickened Beverly Hills socialite; at least four Botox recipients now seriously ill with botulism — acupuncturists say their non-toxic technique is proving ever more alluring.

"A lot of women are just afraid," says Martha Lucas, who says the number seeking treatment has quadrupled since she opened her Denver practice three years ago. (Lucas guesses that the number going under the needle nationally constitutes a "small fraction" of the more than 128,000 Americans who, according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, had face lifts in 2003.) "They don't want to take the chance they're going to come out not only with an ice bag on but with some potentially more serious side effect."

And there's the argument that cosmetic acupuncture, like traditional acupuncture, takes a holistic approach to treatment, so not only do eyebrows unfurrow, but "you feel better overall," says Christine Kleinschmidt, who practices in St. Louis. "You're sleeping better, you've got more energy and better digestion. ... It's not just skin-deep."

Physicians find the fountain-of-youth claims far-fetched. "To be fair, most people look better after a good night's sleep, after a vacation or after being outside in fresh air, so I'm not saying there can't be some benefit," says ASPS president Scott Spear. But "I personally have not seen any evidence that cosmetic acupuncture has any significant or long-term benefits."

Lucas' protocol of 10 treatments over five weeks goes for $1,200, less than one-quarter of the cost of the average face lift, although the results, which Lucas says last three to five years, are far from permanent. Each session takes 45 to 60 minutes and involves 60 to 70 needles. Kleinschmidt charges $1,800 for a typical course of 12 treatments, not including monthly or bimonthly maintenance sessions.

MaryAgnes Klock calls Lucas a "miracle worker." The Dallas resident says her jowls are gone, her eyelids aren't drooping, and she has dropped 35 pounds. Klock, who works in sales, won't divulge her age, but she will say that the other day someone guessed she was 40.

Acupuncturists say that while business is busy for weddings and holidays, the future lies in preventive procedures.

"I wish I'd known," Klock says. "I would have had it done in my 30s."

Article Source: USA TODAY

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