Chinese Medicine is a complete medical system which has been used for over two thousand years to heal and prevent illness. Acupuncture, cupping, moxibustion, herbal medicine, medical massage (called “tui na”), and nutritional counseling are used to stimulate the body’s inherent capacity to heal itself. While Chinese medicine is mostly noted for its effectiveness in relieving pain, it is also helpful for:
- Colds and Flu
- Drugs detoxification
These are the “Eight Branches of Chinese Medicine”. In Traditional Chinese society, they were addressed in this order!
- Prayer and Meditation
- Art/creative outlet
- Feng Shui
1. Prayer and Meditation: In Chinese Medicine the spiritual, mental, emotional, and physical bodies are not seperate, as is commonly believed in our modern culture. By addressing all of these aspects of one’s self, one can more quickly come to harmony, thus opening up to optimal health. I like to work with people in their spiritual beliefs, whatever form that may take. By activating the patient’s prayers, directing compassionate intention and prayers towards their own healing, the person begins to feel empowered to affect their own wellbeing. This practice enhances the healing process according to ancient Chinese teachings by 50%. And modern scientific experiments have proven that indeed prayer and intention do play a huge part of what we create in our health and lives. Most often after an acupuncture treatment my patients notice a marked difference in their level of overall sense of wellbeing.
I have a daily meditation practice which helps me stay clear, and grounded while I am helping people through their healing process. I feel that regular spiritual prayer and meditation is a way to rejuvenate myself so I can continue in the best way to help myself and others heal from any disharmonies manifesting in the physical body.
2. Diet: Why re-invent the wheel here… For the best dietary information I recommend to all of my patients, please visit the Weston A. Price Foundation website at www.westonaprice.org They have lots of information on what is essentially Chinese Medical Diets, “Traditional Diets”, basically, what your ancestors did with food to insure the highest level of healthy body and mind, as well as adaptations of traditional dietary wisdom for the modern diet.
Medically speaking, everyone’s constitution is unique. Through careful review of one’s eating habits, taking into account cultural customs, climatic norms and seasonal changes, I will make suggestions based on the individual patient’s condition. For example, someone with a lot of phlegm resulting in productive cough, weepy eyes, and perhaps nausea, who lives in a damp climate, or there is an unusually damp spell in the weather, we may decide to eliminate damp foods such as ice cream and other dairy foods. Or someone with dry skin, hair, nails, may be directed away from dry foods such as crackers, or hot spicy foods which can dry the body’s fluids.
3. Lifestyle: Patterns and timing, both daily and yearly cycles of work, sleep, diet, and exercise effect one’s health, and are often the focus of treatment as far as maintaining well being. Workaholism, apathy, and depression can leave little room in one’s life for activity with brings joy and balance to the whole person, and bring on stress and ill health.
4. Exercise: This is always an interesting area in today’s overactive culture. Many people in this country have very demanding and stressful work and home schedules, then they go to the gym for a heavy workout…and wonder why they are feeling so stressed, can’t sleep, are in chronic pain, or can’t digest food well. There’s a great quote from one of my favorite teachers, Miriam Lee, “Some of the most fit people I’ve ever seen are actually the most unhealthy”. So balance, again, is the key. I work with people to look at their very busy and stressful lives and recommend more relaxing forms of exercise like yoga, tai chi, or chi gong. This way they bring the balance of relaxation and movement to their lives. Elderly patients, and those with chronic illnesses also benefit from these more gentle forms of exercise, while people who work at sedate desk jobs and the like, may benefit from more vigorous exercise. Moderating heavy exercise or choosing a different form of exercise may alleviate a patient’s back pain, leg pains, or headaches.
5. Feng Shui: Geomancy, Feng Shui, or the art of the placement of things in our environment, is the fifth branch of Chinese Medicine. Ancient Chinese doctors would actually go into a person’s house to see what effects the household environment is having on the patient’s health before he would treat with herbs or acupuncture. And even today in Tokyo, no developer would think of beginning a project without first consulting a Feng Shui expert. I visit people’s homes especially if there is chronic illness, or more than one person in the household is having health issues of any kind. Often there are very simple (and sometimes not so simple) changes one can make in the home environment which can benefit the well being of the entire household.
I’ll give you an example from my own life. When I gave birth to my son I lived in an upstairs apartment which had a long dark hallway as an entrance. I had a difficult time in labor which resulted in the baby being a footling breech with the cord wrapped around his head, and needed a ceserean section. A year later my friend moved into that same apartment when I moved out, and she too had a very difficult 42 hour labor with her daughter with lots of bleeding. I later learned of another woman who lived in that apartment years before us and almost died giving birth. As I studied this aspect of Chinese Medicine, I read a passage from an ancient text which warns of long dark entrance hallways specifically for women in the home who were to give birth, as it represents the entrance to the world for the baby, and can portend danger. There are many good books on Feng Shui like the one “Clear Your Clutter with Feng Shui” which are good to check out. In cases of illness it is best to get your Chinese medical practitioner to come assess the home, as she will most likely notice things pertaining to the patient’s health that others may overlook.
6. Acupuncture: See the main page on Acupuncture.
7. Herbs: Herbal medicine was original food based. There are restaurants in New York where the herbalist will look at your tongue, take your pulse, ask a couple of questions and recommend a dish. Please refer to the Weston A. Price Foundation’s website at www.westonaprice.org for a the ideal diet which would eliminate much need for herbs and acupuncture intervention. Classical Chinese Herbal formulas are used to augment acupuncture treatments. They are balanced in ways to ensure easy digestion and to balance the effects of the individual herbs that compose the formula, thus avoiding problems in modern approaches to herb use where an herb company will isolate the active constituent which scientists believe is responsible for the herbs’ action, and administer this as a “cure” for allergies, weight control, etc. Chinese practitioners almost never prescribe just one herb, but several which provide balance in the medicinal effects. Classical Chinese Herbal formulas have often been in use for hundreds of years, tailored with great consideration to balance the effects of the herbs to make for very safe internal medicine. A skilled and well educated practitioner will know how to diagnose and administer herbs with great benefit to the patient.
“Geri’s expertise with acupuncture and Chinese herbs is amazing. In 2012, I was diagnosed with an almost totally blocked, non-functioning, atrophied, right kidney and the left was showing signs of distress. Several weeks prior to surgery, I went to Geri for acupuncture and she also recommended Chinese herbs. I did 2 rounds of this. After the surgery, I met with the urologist and viewed the new pics from the ultrasound and his jaw hit the floor. As well as having the surgery go extremely smoothly and quickly, the ultrasound now showed a completely functioning, restored kidney, although it remains slightly smaller than the left. The left was also functioning and not compromised anymore! 3 years later, I use the herbs to prevent stones from reoccurring and I have been completely well! The urologist stated, “I cannot discount that acupuncture and Chinese herbs have made a difference.”
I also have gone to Geri for vertigo, balancing and allergies and have had great success in all areas. It’s truly remarkable. For me, this has been life altering.” -JD in Yreka