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This is nearly the end of this theme, there will be a little bit more tomorrow and then we’ll be moving on to pastures new and I’ve got some cool ideas for this – so stick around to find it where this is going. But today I’d just like to quickly run through the rest of the most common TCM treatment options.

Tui Na

Here's "cupping" in action, see the burns forming under the glass?

This is a sort of massage which is supposed to work like acupressure (which is acupuncture without punctures). It is usually given to someone who is fully clothed, and there’s no oil involved. It uses thumb presses, rubbing, gentle percussive motions and stretches.

So massage but not as fun really – though I’ll take any kind of massage over no massage.

Cupping

This is one of those aspects of TCM that I’ll never understand you put hot cups on someone, they create a vacuum they suck in the skin and leave temporary burn/scald marks all over you – this is for the purpose of relieving an excess of water in the body.

It’s worth noting that we’re good at getting rid of excess moisture in our bodies – we urinate, sweat, spit and exhale – so this is a treatment for a problem we don’t have. And cupping won’t help with water retention issues either so don’t try this on your knees…

And a little Gua Sha in action - doesn't he look positively healthier? (Source: Wikipedia)

Gua Sha

More madness it’s a little like acupuncture except that you don’t make delicate little needle holes in people – you scratch large chunks of skin off of them using jade, stone, bone or whatever is handy at the time. It’s believed (by the extremely gullible) that this can even cure cholera – avoid where possible.

 

 

Die-da

This is a quick fix for bone setting used by martial artists in China, and it’s worth noting that it’s heavily recommended that if alternatives exist – that even practitioners recommend you use them in preference to die-da.

And that’s it – our tour of Traditional Chinese Medicine is now complete, and you should be fully armed with the facts whether or not this changes your preferences for any or all of it. I’ve got a little bit more to say on the subject tomorrow when I’ll answer a question someone asked early on in the series but that will be the last word on the subject for a while.

 

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