Welcome to the Knowledge Base here on Acupunture by Marcy. You will find all sorts of fun and informative information about my techniques here. Take as much time as you need.

The best way to begin your education in Oriental Medicine is to go to the alternative method section of the nearest Half-Price Books store. Usually there are several books on qi gong, tai chi, diet and herbal therapies. The book stores with on-line purchasing have some books, especially on tai chi.  

Redwing Books, redwingbooks.com , is the largest supplier of books and videos on Oriental Medicine. Much of their inventory is text-bookish, but they have everything, including sections on massage, yoga, homeopathy, western herbs, etc. My goal is to own nearly every book (one each, that is) on their shelves. Be sure to check out their sale/discounted section. These terrific people are in Taos, New Mexico. Their warehouse and offices are built to blend in with the environment and to conserve all forms of energy. They are involved with their local community in many areas, and are just great people and a great company all around. Bob asked me to give the following information for your protection when you order books, or purchase them from a store for that matter: Be sure 

1. That the book is really out-of-print (gone forever). We have seen three cases recently of books labeled as out-of-print when they are really just reprinting. For example, some stores are selling a specific acupuncture book for prices like $175.00; actually, it is reprinting and will be available again for $54.94 later this month or early next month. 

 2. That the retail price listed is really the retail price. There are text books that have very low discounts, so these are sometimes listed at prices much higher than the actual publisher price -- when the "discount" shown is subtracted, the price is either the same as retail or even more. 

Acupuncturetoday.com, Acufinder.com and Aomalliance.org are great places to start searching about acupuncture and other methods of Oriental Medicine, as well as information about schools and training, and locating practitioners in your area. Texasacupuncture.com and tsbme.state.tx.us have information about Texas schools and training. 

Qi gong . is the study or cultivation of qi through body, breath and mind. First, what is qi? It’s your energy, life force, vitality, your essence, your breath. Everything has qi. Build qi—build your health. Build qi—build your life. It’s often described in terms of stillness in motion, or meditation in movement. Rubbing your palms together activates energy centers in your hands—it cultivates qi. Medical qigong could mean a practitioner emits his own qi to you, but it’s more likely that qigong exercises will be prescribed. Grassroots movements are teaching the world about qi gong healing by focusing on the essence rather than techniques. The cool thing about building qi gong healing is that it is free. Better yet, it’s your responsibility—not your doctor’s or anyone else’s. Qi gong is undoubtedly the most profound medicine we have because it is self-medicine, or self-healing.

To learn more: feeltheqi.com, nqa.org

Book Clearing House: bookch.com

Roger Jahnke’s books and videos—go through feeltheqi.com

Herbal therapy is by far the most intricate method. Single herbs may be used, but usually combinations or formulas are prescribed. Some formulas are hundreds of years old. While the majority are taken internally, there are many variations. The formulas come in bee-bee like pellets, capsules, salves, tinctures, liniments, powders, and granules. Most powerful are the teas cooked from raw or bulk herbs just prior to consumption. Everyone should have this experience once, but it’s not a popular choice. It’s messy and takes time, but the chief objections are horrible smells and worse tastes.  

Acupuncture is the most well-known method. Acupuncture is the insertion of very fine needles into specific points in the body. The needles come in different gauges, lengths and shapes. There are several distinct systems of acupuncture for the ears, hands and scalp, as well as for the body. Oriental Medicine practitioners may use one system exclusively, but most draw from at least three or four systems. 

Tui Na is Chinese Medical Massage. It’s a main branch of Oriental Medicine (OM) but is not practiced to its full extent here. In China, this specialty requires advanced training, which includes bone-setting, joint manipulation and disc alignments. It is actually closer to traumatology and orthopedics than massage as we know it. However, healing of sports injuries and boo boos of daily life are included. In Texas schools, OM practitioners are trained in 10 or 12 basic muscle techniques, but are legally prevented using tui na techniques even close to the maximum potential. Tui na is not Thai massage.  

Diet or food therapy is just that. Foods have inherent healing qualities. As with qi gong, there are prescriptions for specific ailments. This area will be expanded in the near future, so check in occasionally for hints and easy recipes. 

Moxibustion is the application of heat. Mugwort leaves (artemisia vulgaris, or ai ye) and stems are dried, chopped and compressed. Indirect application usually is by lighted cigar—the hot tip is held near the surface to warm the area, or by stick-on cones which have protective bases. Direct moxibustion burns several very small threads directly on a point on the skin. Moxa may be cut into pieces and put onto a needle. Actually, the smoke is why many practitioners don’t use moxa. It sets off smoke detectors, may trigger allergies or headaches, the odor can be harsh, and some think it smells like marijuana. However, it can be an extremely effective method of treatment.

Cupping is the application of glass, bamboo or plastic cups to the body by creating a vacuum with a live flame or a vacuum pump. The muscle is actually pulled up into the cup—just like when we were kids and would put the vacuum cleaner pipe on our hands or faces.  

Gua sha is scraping the skin with a smooth edge, such as a spoon or lid or even a shell. As a rule, patients love cupping and gua sha, however, the probable bruising is a serious deterrent. 

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