Among the different methods of traditional Chinese healing are acupuncture, massage, and herbal medicines, along with therapies based on the theories of yin and yang and vital energies. Chinese healing methods may also include dietary instructions, with many of these also based on the theories of energy flow and balance through the body. Chinese healing practitioners often prescribe several different methods to treat illness.
The theory of yin and yang is at the basis of many Chinese healing methods. Yin and yang represent opposites, such as day and night and hot and cold. In traditional Chinese medicine, an imbalance of yin and yang in the body is seen as leading to illness. One of the most common methods of healing based on the theory of yin and yang is Qigong.
Quigong is practiced as part of martial-arts meditation and has medical applications. Qigong exercises to promote healing are designed to regulate the mind and breath to promote the flow of qi, or vital energy, in the body. Promoting the flow of qi is believed to promote healing. Quigong exercises include physical movement, visualizations, and affirmations.
Tui na massage also has some connections to the theory of yin and yang and qi. This method of Chinese healing is a form of massage that is designed to cause energy to flow within the body to promote healing and wellness. The Tui na practitioner may stimulate acupressure points as part of this method of massage.
Acupuncture or acupressure seeks to correct imbalances of yin and yang in the body by stimulating energy points on the body. In acupuncture, small needles are inserted into points of the body to promote healing. As a Chinese healing method, acupuncture’s goal is to open blockages in energy flow so that qi can circulate through the body.
As with other methods of Chinese healing, herbal medicine seeks to balance the energies of the body. Herbology, along with diagnostics, makes up the bulk of traditional Chinese medicine. Thousands of different herbs and combinations of herbs are used in this method of Chinese healing.
Chinese herbs are classified in three ways. Chinese herbs are classified by the four natures, which refers to the amount of yin and yang in each herb. The five tastes classify herbs by their taste, such as sweet, sour, and salty, with different tastes being associated with healing different conditions. The meridians refers to the parts of the body the herb will be most effective in healing.