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What are the Different Methods of Chinese Healing?

By Bethney Foster
Updated Feb 28, 2024
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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.

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Discussion Comments
By mobilian33 — On Sep 08, 2014

Chinese medicine uses ginseng to treat almost everything you can think of. It's supposed to be a miracle herb of some sort. Well, this herb has become so popular that the ginseng that grows in the forest here in the mountains where I live is now worth a lot of money.

There was a time when people would walk past the stuff like it was nothing. Now people are selling it for money, and other people are sneaking around trying to steal it off other people's property. I don't know how well the herb or root actually works, but it's obvious that there are a lot of people out there who think it works pretty well.

By Sporkasia — On Sep 08, 2014

I don't understand acupuncture. I wish I did know why sticking a pin in what part of a person's body can help stop pain in another part of the body. Whatever the reason this natural healing treatment works, I am simply happy it does. My mother suffers from wrist pain that is most likely caused by her arthritis.

There are some days when she can move the hand only a little because of the stiffness, but what is worse are the days when the pain is so bad she can't make it through the day without numerous painkillers.

She discovered acupuncture a few years ago and the treatments give her relief from the pain almost immediately. The relief doesn't last forever, so she has to go back for treatments every few months, but she seldom has severe pain anymore.

By Laotionne — On Sep 07, 2014

The way Chinese medicine classifies herbal treatments by the taste is good because this allows you to determine which foods and herbs can help with some of the problems you might be having. For example, if you have diabetes then your body has a problem controlling sugar levels. Then by the principles of yin and yang you will need a bitter herb or a bitter food to help correct the problem.

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