The Japanese way of Acupuncture without needles
Part 3: The Vital Substances concept (Chi, Blood, Essence, Body Fluids), The functions of the internal organs,The causes of disease, One Shiatsu session
As Vital substances in TCM is meant Qi, Blood, the Essence and the Body Fluids. That is, another powerful system of important functions.
About Chi we discussed above. What we have not said is that Chi protects, nourishes, warms our bodies, transforms and transports food and our blood, and also holds and uplifts.
With the term Blood (with a capital B) we do are not just referring to our blood, but a form of Chi, more dense and material (ie Yin). Blood is the "Mother of Chi", it nourishes the body and the mind and cools down the internal organs. The deficiency of blood causes imbalances mainly in Mind.
‘Jing’ Essence is a fine term of TCM, which one cannot find an equal term in Western Medicine and it’s meaning is hard to explain!
The human body takes energy from the air we breathe, the food we eat and from a third source, the Essence. What we mean by Essence is, imagine a substance which exists within us inherited from our parents! This substance that nourishes the fetus inherited from our parents at conception. It affects our development, our reproduction and sexual maturation, and in general what we call our "constitution" among some other things. It's what makes each of us unique!
The Essence is unique and is replenished very hardly to not at all. According to some specialists Yoga ,Tai Chi / Qi Gong, Asian Martial arts, etc. help to be replenished. Imagine it as some money left for you by your parents to a Bank account, to draw in a case of an emergency! Say, for hard times ...
By Body Fluids we mean sweat, saliva, semen, the mucus, lymph, etc. The original source is the food and our drink. Their sudden or prolonged deficiency can lead to the immediate lack of blood eg Sauna or the emesis (deliberate vomiting) yogic techniques. Their accumulation causes swelling.
This is about another system of the Traditional Chinese Medicine Theory, according to which the functions of internal vital organs control, store and affect the Vital Substances. In Western Medicine internal organs mostly have an anatomical role, while in Chinese Medicine besides their anatomical role, possess some relationships with our feelings, body tissues, sensory organs, mental strength, etc. For example, the Heart governs Blood, is related to Joy and manifested in facial complexion, while the Liver controls the menstrual cycle, is associated with anger and manifests in nails, etc.
Traditional Chinese Medicine sets balance as the key to health. Balance in work out exercise, at rest, in our diet, in our sexual activity, climate and more. When prolonged period overturned the balance occurs disharmony. The disharmony is manifested in weakness.
According to Chinese medicine, diseases may have to do with our inner world or with the external pathogenic conditions in which we live or just to other causes.
Internal causes may be our emotions such as fear, joy, sadness, shock, excessive thinking, worry, anger. Each one of these emotions infects the Qi affecting a specific organ, eg Worry affects the Spleen, Grief affects the Lungs, etc.
External causes may be the climatic factors such as cold, heat/fire, the summer heat, dampness, dryness and wind. The Chinese Medicine here again uses a poetic term and refers to them as "The 6 Demons" because they try to intrude inside the human like Demons!
Other causes of disease are a poor constitution / heredity, overexertion in physical / mental work and exercise, excessive sexual activity, poor dietary habbits, trauma, parasites & poisoning, incorrect treatment.
Sexual activity for example, according to the book "Classic of the simple girl" (Dynasty Sui 581-618), must be exercised in accordance with the age of the man or the woman and the average state of health. eg for men 30 years old every day, 40 years old every 3 days, 50 years old every 5 days, etc. Of course this should not be taken for granted, but only as a larger point of view!
Let’s stay a little longer in males. According to Chinese Medicine, male ejaculation has a relationship with the loss of Essence which is housed at Kidneys. On the contrary, women have less Essence loss, as it has to do with the Uterus. Of course, women experience a much greater loss of Essence during the period and birth. I will tell you more, in another interesting article!!!
From my personal experience, I can say the following: Your Zen Shiatsu practitioner
• initially on your first session, will recieve a not so brief medical history.
• While you be answering the medical history, he/she will be watching over you many small things, from the way you answer the questions, and your movements to your behavior from the moment you entered the place/spa! This, rather not out of rude curiosity, but so that he/she will diagnose by observation the dominant of the five elements and your Yin Yang characteristics, that we discussed above. Also, to record some of your external facial features mostly. He/she may need to check your
tongue and take your pulse by both hands.
• In each session, he/she will first palpate your belly area to pull one diagnosis from the Hara (in Japanese the area around the navel).
• In your next session he/she will be better prepared and will come to some conclusions, according to the answers you gave to the medical history. He/she will have set a plan, a strategy that will march with during your next sessions.
• The session is set in a clean quiet simple comfortable Zen space, with low soft ambient music or even without music, in meditative atmosphere that travels you to another positive world.
In order a good session Zen Shiatsu to be performed, the therapist needs to have proper professional training and enough experience. Both require many years, without this does to mean that a new Shiatsu therapist will not be able to relax you.
books from my study years:
• The Foundations of Chinese Medicine, Giovanni Maciocia
• Acupressure for common ailments, Chris Jarmey & John Tindall
• Shiatsu, The complete guide, Chris Jarmie & Gabriel Mojay & Ilaira Bouratinou
• A practical Guide to Acu-points, Chris Jarmey & Ilaira Bouratinou
• Meridian Exercises, The Oriental way to health and vitality, Shizuto Masunaga
• Taiji Qigong, Chris Jarmey
• Personal notes and client files from my professional experience up today
He is from Thessaloniki, N. Greece, he lives and works in Santorini, Greece. He is active operating mainly in the hotel spa business, dedicated to special professional education and information, planning and management of spas, co-working with clients who share the same vision, principals and passion ... To contact, please visit www.santorinizenspa.com or email email@example.com