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Glossary

Amenorrhea: the lack or cessation of a menstrual period.

Auricular Acupuncture: ear acupuncture, one of the more widely used microsystems within eastern medicine. Microsystems use one aspect of the body and for example, the ears, hands or feet and to treat conditions anywhere in the body. Auricular acupuncture may be the primary mode of treatment or in conjunction with body acupuncture, other bodywork or herbal medicine. A combination of body and auricular acupuncture can reduce a broad range of symptoms such as minor depression, hormonal imbalance, aches and pains.

Blood: in east Asian medical systems many terms have more than one meaning; blood is one of these. Blood in Chinese medicine is a nourishing substance, which cools and moistens the tissues and anchors the Shen (mind/spirit). Therefore, someone who is blood deficient may have dry skin, or their sleep may be disturbed by vivid dreams.

Central Nervous System (CNS): refers to the brain and spinal cord. These serve as the main processing center for the whole nervous system, and thus control all the workings of the body. The central nervous system does not include the peripheral nerves in the arms, legs, muscles, and organs.

Channel/Meridian: used interchangeably. They refer to the pathways of Qi, (intrinsic motive force) that flows in regular patterns within our body. There are 12 primary channels that relate directly with our Yin and Yang organs and eight extraordinary channels that relate to our constitutional and genetic predispositions.

Cold: this type of influence causes intense pain in a fixed location. Its telltale sign is that cold temperature makes it worse while application of heat makes it better.

Cold Foods: generally the actual temperature of food, or raw foods. In CCM, if one has a weak digestion, warm simple foods that are cooked (not overcooked) are suggested so that they may be more easily digested.

Contusion: a serious bruise. Minor bruises are often insignificant, and usually heal within a few days. However, a contusion is the result of ruptured blood vessels leaking into the surrounding areas, and can be serious. If a bruise does not heal relatively quickly, the stagnating fluids can cause discomfort, swelling, even chronic dysfunction. Some bruises, usually black in color, are deep enough to be at the level of the bone.

Dampness: dysfunctional fluid metabolism. It is considered an insidious pathogen that is often complicated by other factors and can cause heaviness, dizziness, and leakage of fluids, phlegm, mucus, diarrhea, inflammation, or edema.

Damp Cold: dampness complicated by cold often causing chronic conditions of stagnation of fluids, swelling, edema, localized pain that is improved by heat.

Damp Heat: dampness complicated by heat that can result in infection (bacterial or viral), phlegm, or collect in the joints causing a heavy and burning sensation.

Dysmenorrhea: painful or difficult menstrual period.

Fascia: connective tissue, which wraps around and interpenetrates muscle, tendon, bones, organs, nerves and vessels. It maintains structural integrity from head to toe in a flexible protective matrix. Therefore, tightness of fascia in one place can also affect a distant region of the body.

Five Classical Fields of CCM: Acupuncture is the insertion of fine, single-use, sterilized stainless steel needles into specific points along the acupuncture meridians. Herbal medicine has origins dating back to the 27th century BCE, the practitioner tailors formulas to each individual’s conditions. Dietary Therapy, a well-balanced diet is an art and science and can be one of life’s greatest pleasures. Qi Gong practice involves specific patterns of physical exercise combined with mindful movement of energy for overall health of mind, body and spirit. TuiNa is Chinese massage. It is especially effective for muscle, tendon, and joint issues. It is also widely used for pediatrics, geriatrics, digestive function, and overall well-being.

Five Elements: health can be described in terms of the balance of Five Elements, also called Five Phases, which are: Wood, Fire, Earth, Metal, Water.

Heat: In addition to that which is hot-to-the-touch, an external or internal “climatic” imbalance or ailment characterized by fever, aversion to heat, over activity, constipation, dehydration, sparse, dark urination, and insomnia. Application of heat worsens this kind of pain or symptom while cold improves it.

Moxa: Mugwort, Artemesia Vulgaris, is a common herb found around the world and has been used medicinally for thousands of years internally and externally. Moxibustion is an important part of the practice of acupuncture. In Chinese, Zhen Jiu is the term used to describe acupuncture, and means “Acupuncture and Moxibustion.”

Moxibustion: the practice of burning moxa (see above), the wooly part of the leaf, Artemesia Vulgaris. Usually rolled into a cigar shape in order to warm an acupoint or region above the skin. Moxa is held and moved above points and/or channels to warm and mobilize the Qi and blood to promote circulation and healing.

Myofascial Release: a technique that releases muscular tension through the connective tissue (fascia). It is currently thought that the transverse pressure applied induces the peripheral nervous system to release the muscle. It can be effective in any problem featuring tight muscle tissue, and is very effective in relieving myofascial pain.

Qi: Pronounced “chee,” it is the intrinsic motive force in living things. Qi leads the movement of bodily substances such as blood and fluids. It is also responsible for neural and chemical impulses throughout the body and in every cell. Some simply translate Qi as energy, but its dynamic quality has intelligence and purpose. Without Qi, we are just a bag of bones with nowhere to go.

Qi Gong: The cultivation of insight and awareness of one’s own Qi through skillful movment and intent. Practice involves specific patterns of physical exercise combined with mindfullness for overall health of body, mind and spirit.

Stagnation of Blood: a broad description of blood flow that has become obstructed and is not moving smoothly. Identified by sharp, stabbing pain and includes cysts, masses or organ imbalance.

Trigger Points: areas of myofascial (muscle and fascia) tissue where local circulation has been impeded to the extent that it is contracted. They can be very painful and are characterized by pain patterns that are referred to regions elsewhere in the body. Trigger points form in muscle that is held in undue stress for long periods, and pain can be managed by releasing them. Common patterns of referral and trigger points have been mapped and often correspond with acupuncture points and channels.