ACUPRESSURE…THE ANCIENT THERAPY
Known as acupressure has evolved from the same roots as the Oriental art of acupuncture. The Oriental medical view describes how the body works in terms of its energy, or Chi, rather than in the mechanical terms we are familiar with in the West.
Oriental therapies work by treating imbalances in the level and flow of the body’s energy and help to equalize and maintain a state of balance.
The book Nei Ching records that during the reign of the Yellow Emperor (2690-2590 B.C.), stone tools were used to adjust the people’s Chi circulation, making acupressure 4,500 years old.
Archeological digs of the Shang Dynasty (1766-1154 B.C.) produced stones of this description. Later, bronze needles replaced the stones, and gold and iron needles replaced the bronze needles (220 B.C.-220 A.D.). As early as 200 B.C., the basic tenets of Chinese medicine were recorded in detail in the Huang Di Nei Jing—the “Classic Textbook of Physical Medicine of the Yellow Emperor,” and are presented in the form of a dialogue between Juang Di, the Yellow Emperor, and his doctor, Chi Po.
The Emperor asks questions about health and the causes and treatment of illness. Chi Po explains to the Emperor the principles of a healthy way of life that will lead to longevity. Functions of the various organ systems and meridians and their harmonious interaction in the healthy human being are presented in detail throughout the course of the dialogue, as are the disturbances which are present in illnesses.
Chinese medicine was discouraged during the era of the Kuomintang government (1928-1949 A.D.) as its leaders flirted with Western medicine and its ability to quickly cure the epidemics of disease that ravaged the rural population of China. Today’s China mixes both Western and Eastern medicines and applies each to the particular situation of the patient.
The Chinese doctors of ancient times saw man as an integral part of Nature, in a state of intensive interaction with his environment. Nature is in a constant state of change and continuous development. In a similar way, humans pass through different phases of development during their lives, from birth through growth and maturation to death. The Chinese regarded these developments as the expression of inherent conformity with a natural law which they called TAO. Basic knowledge of the natural process of irrigation in the fields also influenced the development of the concepts of the flow of life energy throughout the body.