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Chinese Qigong Acupressure Therapy
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1. What Is Qigong Acupressure Therapy
2. Scope and Effects of Qigong Acupressure Therapy
3. Characteristics of Qigong Acupressure Therapy
4. Therapeutic Mechanism of Qigong Acupressure Therapy
5. Healing Application and Contraindications of Qigong Acupressure Therapy
6. Times and Courses of Qigong Acupressure Therapy
7. How to Learn and Practice Qigong Acupressure Therapy
8. Cautions and Comments

What Is Qigong Acupressure Therapy

Qigong acupressure therapy is a particular form of qigong therapy. According to the nature and severity of diseases, common techniques of massage, such as finger-pressing, vibrating, knocking, patting, grasping, kneading, push-rubbing and rolling are used to stimulate appropriate acupoints, meridians or special places on the body surface. Therapists use their hands (or other body parts), reinforced by concentrated qi, to promote circulation of qi and blood in the body and to restore normal functioning of impaired organs. This mode of treatment is called qigong acupressure therapy because fingers or palms are used to apply pressure with concentrated qi to acupoints or meridians for curing diseases.

Qi is always applied in combination with concentration and awareness to the acupoint. Qigong acupressure with concentrated qi to cure diseases is a complicated therapeutic technique: it can only be practiced by a few qualified qigong experts.

Scope and Effects of Qigong Acupressure Therapy

Qigong acupressure is a medical application of the qigong and martial arts (gongfu) practiced in ancient China. Qigong acupressure therapy contains the same finger-pressing, hitting, grasping and kicking techniques used by martial artists to attack enemies and protect themselves from injury. Qigong acupressure skillfully transfers this knowledge to the medical field to treat diseases.

Nowadays, qigong acupressure is widely used in Chinese medical clinics and is welcomed by the masses because of its simple techniques, good results and lack of side-effects. Through many years of clinical practice (treating over 10,000 patients), rich knowledge and experience have accumulated about its healing applications.

We have had excellent clinical results with patients suffering from paralysis, cervical spondylosis, periarthritis of the shoulder, prolapse of lumbar vertebral disc, arthropathy of limbs, gastrointestinal neurosis, insomnia, neurasthenia, diabetes mellitus, hypertrophy of prostate gland, andropathy and cancers. For example, the cure rate was 89 percent in 68 cases of hemiplagia and paraplegia; 100 percent total effectiveness rate and 78 percent excellence rate in 61 cases of junior myopia; 89 percent total effectiveness rate and 78 percent excellence rate in 60 cases of neurasthenia; 100 percent total effectiveness rate and 95 percent excellence rate in 40 cases of pain syndrome; 100 percent total effectiveness rate and 88 percent excellence rate in 72 cases of gynecological diseases; 90 percent total effectiveness rate and 61 percent excellence rate in 106 cases of lower back and leg pain; 96 percent total effectiveness rate and 81 percent excellence rate in 218 cases of soft tissue injury; and 96 percent total effectiveness rate and 77 percent excellence rate in 48 cases of soft tissue injury of neck and arm.

Characteristics of Qigong Acupressure Therapy

Qigong acupressure is a therapeutic to cure diseases by applying thermal energy, derived from concentrated qi to the meridians, joints, nerves and blood vessels on the body surface by means of various techniques of massage. It may adjust neural and humoral functions and balance yin and yang in the body to cure disease. The characteristics of qigong acupressure are as follows:

1. Wide applications: Qigong acupressure is useful to treat many diseases, belonging to different branches of medicine, but it is most effective in treating patients with chronic functional disturbance or those in the recovery stage. For example, it may produce a good result in chronic patients with paralysis.

2. Simple to learn and practice: In general, beginners may use it for clinical practice after studying hard for three to five months.

3. Safety and effectiveness: It is a safe, comfortable and effective treatment for many internal and external diseases, but the application of pressure and qi to the acupoints should be adequate in intensity.

4. Easy application and inexpensive: An inexpensive, simple and effective therapeutic treatment, qigong acupressure may be used anywhere and at any time. No special equipment or medical instruments are required.

5. Disease prevention and health maintenance: Once the technique of qigong acupressure therapy has been mastered, people may use it for themselves or on others to prevent diseases and maintain health.

Therapeutic Mechanism of Qigong Acupressure Therapy

Because qigong acupressure originated from ancient martial arts and traditional Chinese medicine, it should be practiced following traditional Chinese medical theories and principles of diagnosis and treatment on overall analysis of the illness and the patient's condition. This therapy has been combined with modern medicine in clinical practice and its therapeutic mechanism can be explained by modern medical theories.

1. As mentioned in ancient classical medical books, The Medical Classic of the Yellow Emperor: "The qi, blood, essence and spirit in human body may circulate through meridians and spread all over the body to adjust yin and yang, nourish muscles, bones and joints and save the organism's life"; and "the 12 meridians in the body can adjust the functions of five Zang Organs (five internal organs: heart, liver, spleen, lungs and kidneys) and six Fu Organs (vital organs of the human body) to keep a harmonious coordination between the human body and surrounding environment." Under normal physiological conditions, the meridians are a network of channels for qi and blood to circulate and spread all over the body and to hold the organism as an integrate living entity; but under pathological conditions, they may transmit pathogenic factors and pathological influence between organs and structures in the body to cause imbalance between yin and yang; disturbance and stagnation of ying (nutrients), wei (defensive energy), qi and blood and finally to cause sickness. As mentioned in ancient medical books: "If the closed 'door' or 'window' of meridians can be reopened and qi and blood may recover normal circulation, then the disease can be cured. Therefore, stagnated qi, proximal to the closed segment of meridian should be led forward to overcome the obstacle by applying adequate stimulation to the appropriate acupoints." After the acupoints are stimulated by finger-pressing, vibrating, knocking, patting, grasping, kneading, push-rubbing and rolling maneuvers, the meridianal qi can be activated, the blockage of meridian can be relieved, the circulation of qi and blood can be promoted, the balance between ying, wei, qi and blood can be restored and the functions of internal organs can be adjusted and integrated.

2. Under normal conditions, yin and yang in the body are balanced and the functions of organs are harmonious. If the balance between yin and yang is disturbed by noxious factors, the body is likely to attract illness. For example, influenza fever in children is usually caused by a deficiency in vital energy, impairment of wei qi (body resistance) and invasion by external wind and heat evils (pathogenic factors). As traditional Chinese physicians say, "External evils always attack people deficient in qi." The techniques of qigong acupressure deal with this situation by enhancing vital energy and expelling external evils from the body, thus maintaining health and curing diseases.

3. According to modern medicine, qigong acupressure cures diseases because it adjusts the functioning of the central nervous system, improves blood circulation and metabolism in the focus of disease and enhances the recovery and regeneration of damaged tissues of the lesion.

In brief, qigong acupressure therapy may produce multiple effects: relieving meridian blockages, promoting circulation of qi and blood, adjusting yin and yang imbalance, restoring vital energy, expelling external evils, postponing the aging process and prolonging life span.

Healing Application and Contraindications of Qigong Acupressure Therapy

Healing Applications

Common Diseases:
Surgical diseases:
diseases of shoulder, elbow, wrist, phalangeal joints, cervical spondylosis, stiff neck, diseases of lower back, muscular sprain of lower back, prolapse of lumbar vertebral disc, sciatica neuralgia, soft tissue injury of buttocks, and injury of iliosacral joint.

Internal diseases: headaches, stomachaches, neurasthenia, neurogenic vomiting, hiccups, hydrocephalus, hysteria, infantile indigestion, incontinence of urine in children, impotence, nocturnal emission, myopia, dysmenorrhea, acute gastroenteritis, heat stroke and syncope.

Complicated diseases: cerebral hemiplegia, paraplegia, sequelae of encephalitis, polyneuritis, Bell's palsy, cerebral contusion and injury of sciatic nerve.

Other diseases: brain tumors, cancer of the intestine, pulmonary fibrosis and qigong psychoneurosis.

Acute diseases: acute stages of inflammation, acute abdomen, febrile and infectious diseases.

Serious diseases: severe hypertension, heart disease and late stages of cancer.

Hemorrhagic diseases: hemophilia, allergic purpura and thrombocytopenic purpura.

Skin diseases: severe skin diseases.

Times and Courses of Qigong Acupressure Therapy

In general, qigong acupressure may be applied once a day. A routine therapeutic course includes 6-18 treatments. In patients with mild diseases and short clinical course, a therapeutic course may contain 6-24 treatments. In chronic patients, a therapeutic course may last for 1-3 months, and in paraplegic patients, 3-6 months. The acupressure treatment may be discontinued, if the patient's health improves enough. In order to increase the therapeutic effect, it is best if patients complete the entire therapeutic course.

The chronometric (time-related) phenomenon described in traditional medicine is quite similar to the biological clock in modern medicine and it is usually used to explain the time-related circulation of qi through the meridian system. Because the qigong acupressure therapy is applied at the acupoints of the meridians, it is of course closely relate to flow of qi through the meridian and the qigong acupressure practioners may choose an adequate time to treat the patient. For example, at noon (11-13 o'clock), i.e. Wu o'clock in Chinese chronometry, qi is flowing through the Heart Meridian, it is the best time to treat patients with heart diseases by qigong acupressure therapy. The time table of qi circulation in the meridian system is shown as follows:

Chinese Clock Western Clock Meridian
Zi 23-1 Gallbladder
Chou 1-3 Liver
Yin 3-5 Lung
Mao 5-7 Large intestine
Chen 7-9 Stomach
Si 9-11 Spleen
Wu 11-13 Heart
Wei 13-15 Small intestine
Shen 15-17 Urinary bladder
You 17-19 Kidney
Xu 19-21 Pericardium
Hai 21-23 Sanjiao

How to Learn and Practice Qigong Acupressure Therapy

1. In order to master qigong acupressure therapy, the acupoints must be kept firmly in mind and the techniques and other fundamental skills should be correctly executed and gradually improved over years of practice.

2. Qigong acupressure therapy practioners can excel if they have a forceful and robust physique and accomplished skill. There are three basic exercises to practice for fulfilling above requirement: (1) arm exercises for strengthening arm force; (2) wrist exercises for improving skillfulness and elasticity....(3) fingers exercises for increasing firmness and endurance. A good therapeutic result can be obtained only after the concentration of thought and application of qi and pressure by the finger can be carried out simultaneously and coordinately. If the beginners want to use qigong acupressure therapy in clinic after a short training course, they are better to : (1) read hard the basic knowledge about the fundamental exercise of qigong and the therapeutic techniques of qigong acupressure in textbooks and carry on earnestly and persistently the physical exercise following the directions about the action, posture and other requirements of physical exercise emphasized in the textbooks until they are qualified; (2) carefully, seriously and preoccupiedly accomplish the performance of qigong acupressure with their visual line and finger pressure concentrated at the acupoints; and 3) select correct acupoints and adequate techniques to treat patients and watch their response to your treatment over time. A good therapeutic result can be obtained only after a successful treatment at correct acupoints with appropriate techniques to apply necessary amount of qi.

Cautions and Comments

1. Before the qigong acupressure treatment, a correct differential diagnosis of both modern and traditional medicine must be made after conscientiously collecting the information of disease and defining the exact location of lesion by careful palpation and comparison with the normal side for establishing a proper therapeutic principle and arranging a useful therapeutic program. A satisfactory therapeutic result can be obtained only after correct selection of acupoints and adequate application of therapeutic maneuvers.

2. Before the application of qigong acupressure therapy, the finger nails of physicians should be cut short to avoid any injury to the patients' skin. The pressure applied by the finger and the amount of qi delivered to the acupoints should be determined and gradually increased according to the duration of disease and the condition of patients. For example, acupressure manipulation must be very gentle in patients with chronic diseases, in starvation or after a heavy meal; qigong acupressure is prohibited in pregnant women and should be postponed in drunken or overfatiqued patients; and acupressure must be very gentle to avoid bone fracture, in patients with bone deformity.

3. After qigong acupressure therapy, most patients experience a relief of symptoms, a comfortable and relaxed feeling, sound sleep, improved appetite and increased body weight. However, some patients may show signs of a worsening condition. In general, it is only a temporary response to the treatment and may disappear after the treatment is continued for 2-3 more days. An explanation is necessary to relieve the patients' worry about the temporary setback.

4. After qigong acupressure therapy treatments, patients may feel hot, sore, numb and distending sensations around the acupoints with some local redness, heat, sweating and twitches. These are normal response to the treatment and need not cause concern: they will soon spontaneously disappear. In some patients acupressure may produce ecchymoses, which will also spontaneously subside after one week. If patients develop severe side effects, such as dizziness, nausea, pale complexion or syncope, nail-pinching at the nasal septum or base of finger nails or toes may help relieve these reactions.

5. Treatment of complications: (1) Temporary arrest of respiration caused by extraordinary strong stimulation of acupressure applied over the back may be relieved by patting with concentrated qi over the neck, shoulder and back, by finger-pressing with concentrated qi at Yaoyan (EX-B 7) or by grasping abdominal oblique muscles. (2) Temporary weakness or paralysis of the arm caused by extraordinary strong stimulation applied over the scapular region may be relieved by patting with concentrated qi over the shoulder, elbow or wrist. (3) Temporary weakness or paralysis of the leg caused by extraordinary strong stimulation over the lateral side of buttocks may be relieved by patting with concentrated qi over the lower back, buttocks and popliteal fossa.

(Source: Chinese Qigong Acupressure Therapy, Foreign Languages Press, 1997)

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