You probably notice that I am using a lot more moxa than usual in treatments lately. This is by design since for the next 5wks we are entering a very important time of the year.
To prevent disease in winter, treat in summer
This famous saying in Chinese Medicine means, for diseases which recur every winter, one may attempt to treat them in the summer. To fully understand this concept it is important to think about the nature of summer which is fire and yang while winter is cold and yin. Moxa which is a yang therapy is used to increase the reserves of yang in preparation for the winter months and as a result help prevent illnesses of the winter such as cold and flu.
So how does moxa do this? Scientific research on the actions of moxa show that it strengthens immune function by the release of compounds called histotoxin which increases Helper T cells, natural killer cells, as well as cytokines (INF-v, IL-2mRNA) in the lymph nodes. There is a great deal of research on moxa’s effects as an adjunct to cancer therapy, immune modulation, and increasing the body’s response to stress. Famous Japanese Doctor, Shimetaro Hara who lived to be 109yrs old and practiced medicine until he was 104 attributed his longevity to regular use of moxa.
Regular acupuncture and moxa treatments during the summer and autumn can keep you healthy and energetic during the winter.
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Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM)is a holistic system of medicine that is approximately 2500 years old. In TCM, an important guiding principle is “Yi bin tong zhi. Tong bing yi zhi.” This translates to “One disease, different treatments. Different diseases, one treatment.” So in TCM the treatment is based on pattern differentiation rather than disease. This makes sense since the disease is a manifestation of a patient’s unique pattern.
The treatment modalities in TCM can be grouped into three broad categories which are Acupuncture, Herbal Medicine, and Lifestyle (which includes Qi Gong, Tai ji, dietary instructions, etc.).
Acupuncture can be considered a medicine of trajectory in which channels and points are selected based on the location of the disorder. So inserting thin acupuncture needles will affect the closed circulatory system which includes blood circulation, the nerve pathways, and fascial matrix. As a result blood circulation is normalized, nerve impulses are regulated, and the fascial matrix relaxes, reducing pain and tension in the body.
Herbal Medicine affects the internal physiology and pathology of a disorder. The appropriate formula is selected based on pattern differentiation. A skilled practitioner will determine the pattern using concise questioning, pulse diagnosis, as well as looking and listening to the patient. Just giving a formula to a patient just because they have a headache is no better than giving them an aspirin. It does not take into account the patient’s unique pattern that they are presenting with and ignores the guiding principle, “One disease, different treatments. Different diseases, one treatment.”
Christian Hoffert L.Ac.
Outside the world of Chinese Medicine, Christian enjoys hiking, trail running, reading, martial arts, and cooking.
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