I’ve been very fortunate to have spent the last couple of weeks in Mongolia and China. I think the more you travel and meet people from other cultures the more you realise that we are more similar than different.
However one thing I do love about exploring other cultures is trying new foods and learning about their traditional medicines. I think we can always learn from their ancient wisdom of getting well and staying well.
I learnt that there are five ways of Traditional Chinese Medicine
4.Traditional Chinese Herbs
Often in Australia the above modalities are practised within the one treatment, but in China they are distinctly separate therapies.
I was very privileged to be given the opportunity of experiencing Fu Yang Moxibustion. This treatment is ancient traditional Chinese medicine – one that is not readily embraced by the young, modern generation. I think like most fast-paced lifestyles the young Chinese, like us, have succumbed to the quick-fix mentality and forgotten the ancient wisdom of slowing down, feeding and balancing the body to live healthy and optimal lives.
Fu Yang Moxibustion is a therapy designed to keep us balanced (Yin/Yang). Although an ancient modality that uses a combination of moxa and massage it is very relevant in today’s fast-paced lifestyle. The treatment takes two hours and the ceremony starts with lighting incense to welcome you as a guest, then sipping on green tea before being shown to the treatment room.
I was initially directed to soak my feet in extremely hot water infused with wormwood whilst the therapist massaged my neck and shoulders. The idea is to create a diaphoretic state where you “sweat out” impurities. Chinese massage is certainly not for the faint-hearted… couple this with a weakened diaphoretic state and it does become a little difficult to stay upright in the chair!
After about half an hour I was led to the massage table where the moxibustion therapy is performed. Moxa sticks (made from the herb wormwood) are lit and the therapist ‘fumigates’ acupoints along different meridians of your body to relax the muscles, warm up the “qi” and accelerate blood circulation. It is very relaxing and very warming – I think I actually dozed there for a while.
Moxibustion uses the power of the sun to heal the body – to remove negative, cold stagnant energy and replace it with positive, warm energy. The underlying belief is that the body is fundamentally positive and it needs regular rejuvenation to stay positive (healthy). From the age of forty our positive energy or ‘qi’ starts to reduce – so it is even more important as we age to use moxibustion, massage and other therapies to renew our positive energy supplies and thus stay healthy and well.
Traditional Chinese Medicine believes that if we have been unwell or unbalanced for seven years then it will take three years of therapy for the body to rebalance and become well again.
I certainly left the treatment feeling re-energised and relaxed albeit the muscles in my shoulders did rebel there for a couple of days. The one pearl of wisdom that my therapist did share with me however, was to not waste my limited positive energy or “qi” on needless stress. Stress is very depleting and seeing I am over the age of forty it is now most important to preserve, rejuvenate and regularly renew my positive energy. Now just to put this into practice…
Traditional Chinese Medicine’s core belief is that everything comes from the heart… We can Heal ourselves.
“Because it’s Not a Rehearsal”
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