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Acupuncture, Massage, Newsletter - October 2009 | Issue 68

In this issue you will find:

Important PCOM Dates:

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North American Acupuncture & Oriental Medicine Day, 2009

In an effort to increase public awareness of the progress, promise, and benefits of acupuncture and Oriental medicine, Pacific College of Oriental Medicine, celebrates North American Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NAAOM) Day in San Diego, New York, and Chicago, with each campus supporting this day in a unique way.

Each campus will celebrate NAAOM day. Pacific College’s Chicago campus will be offering $15 off acupuncture treatments during the week of October 19 – 23 (Monday through Friday). A coupon must be surrendered at time of treatment for offer to be valid.

PCOM’s San Diego campus will be offering ten dollars off of acupuncture treatments during the week of October 19 – 23 (Monday through Friday), with coupon presented at time of treatment.

On Friday, October 23, 2009, Pacific’s New York Campus will be hosting a NAAOM Day celebration from 2:30pm – 7:30pm. The festivities will include free acupuncture treatments for balance and stress, a qi gong workshop, and autumn health and Oriental medicine tips from experts in the field. On that same Friday, the New York campus will also be offering an Information Session from 2:30pm to 4:30pm. This is a great opportunity to learn about careers in the Oriental medicine field and about the degrees offered by Pacific College.

Acupuncture has been used to treat (or relieve the pain of) dozens of ailments. The National Institute of Health recognizes its usefulness in treating addiction, fibromyalgia, headaches, cramps, back pain, osteoarthritis, carpal tunnel, asthma, and more. Oriental medicine strives to heal with the idea that the mind is richly integrated with the body, that both must be attended.

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Qi gong and Massage Enhance Body’s Natural Healing

Qigong massage is an ancient Chinese healing method that goes back some 5,000 years. Used to improve health, arrest aging, and treat some illnesses, qi gong massage is the progenitor of many other popular forms of massage therapy.

Like traditional acupressure techniques, qi gong massages uses pressure points and gripping, tapping, and rolling techniques to encourage the flow of qi. This unique combination combines the ancient Chinese practice of qi gong and therapeutic massage. Qi gong is a holistic system of self-healing exercises and meditation, an ancient, evolving practice that includes healing postures, movement, self massage, breathing techniques and meditation. Qi gong means working with the life energy to improve the health and harmony of mind and body.

Early Chinese medicine and Daoist tomes often sought to dovetail massage and qi gong as two powerful self-healing exercises. Qi gong balances the energy of blood and body fluid flow from the inside, and massage strengthens the flow from the outside. Uniting massage and qi gong can be particularly useful for soothing muscle tension, circulation problems, digestive disorders, and psychosomatic disorders.

Massage stimulates blood and fluid flow and qi gong's effects are enhanced once circulation is invigorated. Massage aids the practitioner in guiding circulating the flow of qi. Massage and qi gong can be self administered or applied by a professional. No special equipment or tools are required.

A qi gong based massage may help smooth the flow of blood and qi bioelectricity. It can help remove blockages caused by internal or external influences. In so doing, it can
enhance the body's own natural ability to heal itself. In essence, qi gong based massage consists of what has come to be known as Therapeutic Massage. Qi gong massage basically includes combinations of rubbing, pressing, point striking, pulling and kneading,

Dr. Sun of the Yi Ren Qi Gong School in Seattle once described our muscles and tendons as flour and our qi as water. When we combine the two and first start to knead the dough, we instill jing energy and transfer it into the body. This can improve both health and vigor.

In 2005, a qi gong massage based on Chinese medicine and delivered by a doctor of Chinese medicine improved the sensory impairment and adaptive behavior in a small controlled study of young children with autism. In 2006, a qi gong Sensory Training (QST) program was developed to train early intervention professionals to provide the QST intervention.

Some practitioners use qi gong machines to clear the three energy bodies (electrostatic, magnetic, and mental field waves) surrounding and inside of the body. They claim that these machines clear the nervous system of "noises" in the cellular matrix caused by fear, worry and irritation. These "noises" exhaust us, wear down our resistance to disease, and make us susceptible to colds, flu, and other health problems.
The qi gong machines use 60 Hz sound vibrations to calm and heal all the energy waves emitted in the electromagnetic and mental fields. Used in many Chinese hospitals, these machines are reputed to heal injured bones and muscle tissue, facilitates homeostasis, and instills calmness throughout the entire body.

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Using Acupressure to Relieve Pain and Anxiety

The ancient Chinese healing art of acupressure is similar to acupuncture, but instead of applying needles to certain points on the body, the technique uses finger pressure on these points. Like acupuncture, applying pressure on specific points of the body draws on the body's natural abilities to cure itself. The pressure promotes blood flow, releases muscular tension and engages the body's own life force to soothe and heal. Acupressure can relieve tension, aches and pains, arthritis, even menstrual cramps. It can also help relieve the symptoms of insomnia, depression, toothache, dizziness, digestive disorders, nausea, morning, and motion sickness.

According to UC Irvine anesthesiologists, an acupressure massage applied to children undergoing anesthesia may help lower their anxiety levels, reducing the stress of surgery. The sedatives currently used before anesthesia can cause nausea and prolong sedation. Acupressure has no such side effects. In a recent study, adhesive acupressure beads were applied to 52 children between the ages of 8 and 17 who were scheduled to undergo endoscopic stomach surgery. In half the children, a bead was applied to the Extra-1 acupoint, which is located in the midpoint between the eyebrows. In the other half, the bead was applied to a spot above the left eyebrow that revealed no reported clinical effects. Half an hour later, researchers noted lowered levels of anxiety in the children who had the beads applied to the Extra-1 acupoint, while anxiety levels rose in the other group.

When correctly administered, acupressure can be effective in treating a number of conditions caused by tension. The good news is that there are no side effects from drugs, and one can practice acupressure therapy any time, anywhere—while sitting, standing or lying down. Acupressure works by accessing and releasing blocked energy centers in the body. The stimulation rids the body of toxic build up that accumulates in muscle tissue. These toxins can cause stiffness in various areas of the body. Stiffness in muscles puts abnormal pressure on nerves, and blood and lymph vessels. The pressure on blood and lymph vessels affects both skeletal systems and internal organ functioning.

Traditional Chinese Medicine has mapped out points of meridian pathways on the human body. These points, mapped out and proven by Western science using electrical devices, carry energy called chi. Some points relate to a specific body part, others are more general. When these points are stimulated by hand and finger massage, they encourage the body to combat illness. Basically, the many pressure points that exist along the meridians act as "valves" for the flow of qi. Acupressure opens these valves to restore the flow of qi and balance the body's natural energy.

Much like a regular massage, acupressure massage uses the finger or thumb, and sometimes a blunt object. Motions are quick and circular and applied with a medium amount of pressure. Massages last between five and 15 minutes. The most often used acupressure techniques involve rubbing, kneading, and vibration using the hands, fingers, knees, and elbows. Sometimes, even the feet can be used to massage larger areas of the body.

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Chinese Wisdom: Proverb of the Day

“Forget injuries but never forget a kindness.”

~ Confucius

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