1. How is acupressure with essential oils beneficial for restoring balance in the body?
Merina: All of the points along the meridians have specific actions and benefits that have been used for thousands of years. Essential oils also have specific actions that have been noted over thousands of years from Egypt to China to India. By placing an essential oil that has similar or synergistic actions as those of the acupressure point you are enhancing the resulting benefits of both modalities.
2. What is the Five Element Theory?
Merina: In Chinese Medicine the Five Elements refers to those primary elements that occur in nature. Those elements occur on the cosmic, planetary and individual levels, with the individual levels duplicating the cosmic level at a micro level. The Five elements are Fire, Earth, Metal, Water and Wood. Each one supports and generates the next which facilitates the continuance of all life.
Five Element Theory in Chinese medicine addresses those elements as they are represented in the individual body. The goal is to clear, balance and restore the function of each element so they work together as nature intended. When this is accomplished any illness or imbalance as it is manifested, like a cold or cancer, will dissipate. The key in maintaining balance is supporting the elements through lifestyle enhancements.
3. How can Western practices and Asian medicine work together to heal physical and emotional problems?
Merina: Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) and Western medicine are practiced side by side in many hospitals throughout China. Western practices address the acute and degenerative conditions while TCM can help mitigate the side effects of the western modalities as well as keep the body balanced to help support the western medicine protocols.
Yet Chinese medicine itself, which is the root of most “Asian” medicine modalities, have been and continues to be, very effective in the treatment of diseases such as cardio-cerebrovascular, immunogenic, tumours, bone fracture, and so forth.
The western approach to mental emotional issues are most commonly talk therapy and psychiatric medications. TCM approaches mental and emotional issues with acupuncture and herbs to address the underlying balances that lead to the imbalance. In my practice, I work with psychologists in balancing the patients physical and emotional body which helps the patient get clarity on the issues and behaviors that cause their stress as they discuss it with their psychologist/psychiatrist.
Excerpt – Anxiety: From chaos to calm
In today’s fast-paced, high-pressure world, it’s nearly impossible not to feel overwhelmed and stressed at some point. In fact, it’s so common that there isn’t a day that goes by in my practice when someone isn’t stressing about stressing. Although it’s common to stress about “stuff,” it’s when the situations that trigger the stress continue without relief that stress can grow into a full-blown type of anxiety disorder. At that point the stress can interfere with daily life and relationships.
The body starts breaking down and symptoms such as increased heart rate leading to high blood pressure, adrenal burnout, insomnia, digestive problems, thyroid problems, and so on start to show up. According to Chinese medicine, feelings of stress and anxiety use up the body’s life force faster. This life force or jing is stored in the kidneys and plays a big part in how gracefully one ages.
If, for example, one lives a hard life of trauma, drugs, illness, etc., the life force is used up more quickly than one who lives healthfully and relatively stress-free. When the life force is used up quickly, one’s health deteriorates faster, and aging signs show up earlier than in those who have preserved their life force.
Chinese medicine has long held that anxiety also takes a toll on the heart. Depending on the state of the heart, situations of chronic anxiety, especially sadness, will have different effects on the body’s qi. If the heart is weak, GAD can cause symptoms like heart palpitations, tiredness, insomnia, and blood-pressure issues among many other symptoms. For thousands of years, acupuncture along with special herbs have been used to calm the mind and relieve anxiety.
That potent combination has helped millions manage and even resolve long-term anxiety and its effects. Using the acupressure points and essential oil combinations can help you begin to find ways to relax yourself. Adding deep breathing and meditation as well as healthy food choices will increase your chances of calming and helping yourself get back to being your best self.
As you apply the following acupoints and oils, incorporate deep breathing techniques and be aware of the thoughts and emotions that come up. Allow them to flow through and out of you so that you see them from a distance and don’t get attached. This may help you get new insights to things in your life that can be shifted to help overcome the source of anxiety or nervousness.
Acupressure is an ancient healing modality whose therapeutic roots stem from
ancient forms of Chinese medicine.
Since the beginning of time, humans have realized that when certain areas of the body are pressed, massaged, or needled symptoms were reduced or even eliminated. We instinctively touch where we are in pain or discomfort. Acupressure works by improving the flow of vital life force energy (qi) though the body, which activates the body’s self-healing mechanism. The ancient Chinese had the ability to see “lines of light” in the body that had energy running through them. What resulted was the meridian system in Chinese medicine. They could also ‘see’ points on those lines where more energy, Qi, was gathered and which ones were blocked.
These gathering points of Qi came to be the acupoints we use today in acupuncture and acupressure. When these points are stimulated the energy is unblocked and the meridian flows freely, relieving pain and activating healing on many levels.
Acupressure is based on the vital energy theory which says that stress impedes the flow of the “vital energy” that exists in each human body. Acupressure helps optimize that flow of energy in our bodies, activating the body’s self-healing mechanisms to treat illness and alleviate pain. Here are some of the major points used in my practice.
My book highlights the point locations and benefits in more detail. However, here are some potent points to help get you started.
ST36: Leg Three Mile – Locate it by running your finger up the lateral side of the tibia below the knee. As you get close to the knee you will feel the bone curve out. The point is just before the curve. If you are on the correct spot, a muscle should flex as you move your foot up and down.
Leg Three Mile revitalizes and renews. Major point for relieving fatigue, strengthening the immune system and enhancing vision. Also good for a variety of digestive issues like constipation, diarrhea, and upset stomach. This is powerful and important point and can be used often.
Best Oil: Rosemary is perfect to use with this point due to its anti-bacterial properties, which will assist in the immune function of the point. Ginger essential oil is also beneficial on this point and will assist in the digestive properties of the point.