People who know me from this blog or via my other social media platforms probably already know this but…August and early September is board exam season for me. I’ve been practicing traditional Chinese bodywork and providing mind-body health and wellness coaching for the past couple years but my program was designed to have me end up as a licensed acupuncturist. That involves a four and a half year program of study that includes quite a bit of clinical internship and board exams. Yesterday, I sat for and passed my Evil Western Biomedicine board exam and this is important–for you, and for anyone who goes to see a licensed acupuncturist.
Taking care of your health is not a matter of doing something only once you are ill, though that is part of it. Truly, though? Taking care of your health means that you are proactive and that you nurture your wellness as a natural part of your routine lifestyle. That can mean the more well-known acupuncture, it could be something less-familiar to you, like tui na or other manual therapies. It could be herbs or mindfulness practice. When all is said and done, you have an incredibly rich resource for your health if you go with Chinese medicine. Try it, you’ll see!
“Many times during my practice of tui na, I have felt the presence of what in kung fu parlance is referred to as the ‘past masters’ – the living body of wisdom passed through the centuries that keeps the art alive much like a soul animates a body. What would they think if they saw us practicing this art today? I think they would recognise us as kindred spirits, even if we come from faraway lands.”
Yes. Be it London or Austin or anywhere in between, we stand on the shoulders of giants when we practice tui na. It is my hope, as an essay writer, as a scholar, and as a Chinese medicine practitioner, that we develop strong friendships and vibrant practices and lively communication amongst ourselves. Our patients and our community, as a result, are the thriving beneficiaries of such developments.
In my own practice as an AOBTA-CP (a fancy term that designates my qualifications to practice Asian bodywork therapies, including tui na and gua sha), I employ gua sha routinely as part of a tui na session. When I’m done with board exams and licensed for acupuncture and herbs (by mid-September if all goes as planned), I will continue to provide these services with or without needling.
So why, you may be asking, is this worth a blog post?
The long story short is that I have been doing a lot of facial rejuvenation work this past year and, more and more, I use gua sha as part of the service because it works so very well. I find, though, that people have never heard of gua sha and that means…blog post!
A Two Hearts Wellness signature treatment will begin with tui na to boost circulation and to enhance the healthy function of your organ systems in a way that is similar to an acupuncture treatment. With your body in a state of balance and relaxation, the jade gua sha instrument can lift and sculpt, and smooth and refine. Cupping moves fluids and reduces lines and puffiness. The jade roller, finally, defines and perfects. All total, a treatment can reduce the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, sagging, dullness, and uneven tone. This can result in a tighter neck and a defined jawline, brighter skin tone, and lifting of brow and eye areas.
Of the many beauties associated with Chinese medicine (and, as I ponder it, Renaissance Florence but I digress), one that resonates greatly with me at this time is its attitude towards change. Chinese medicine is based on a foundation of harmony and theories regarding yin-yang balance. Not too much of one or too little of the other but, rather, right balance between yin and yang; these are, naturally, mutually interdependent and constantly shifting and resettling and then shifting once again. Being as inert as as a turnip carved from stone is not healthy in the Chinese view; such a state is, instead, one of stasis or blockage. […] If you could tell your future self something encouraging about change, what is it that you would say?
In China, and in the norms of medical practice there, herbal treatment is an intrinsic part of the exchange. To be an excellent herbalist is to embody the scholarly history of Chinese medicine. But if herbs seem dreadfully foreign to you, maybe remembering your joy at reading Harry Potter will bring you back to the magic of herbs and, in so doing, you might become suddenly intrigued so that you will wish to take a second look. What do you think? Are you starting to become interested in Chinese herbs now? I hope so!