Branches–that Traditional Chinese Medicine rests its theories upon. Understanding the Five Branches in TCM enables each of us to take our health into our own hands!
The first branch of TCM is acupuncture. The primary idea behind acupuncture is that good health is dependent on the balance of the body’s life force (Qi). This healthy balance can be achieved by tapping into our body’s meridians–which can be thought of as rivers of Qi. Acupuncture helps maintain or restore balance by triggering the release of endorphins (our body’s natural pain killer) which then in turn calms the nervous system and allows the body to function more efficiently. Although it is not recommended to practice acupuncture on yourself if you are not a licensed acupuncturist, you can still practice your healthy independence by making the smart decision to come see the amazing Melissa at LFA!
The second branch of TCM is herbal therapy. With the help of a skilled herbalist like Melissa, you can help restore your balance to maintain health. Herbal therapy is the primary therapeutic modality in TCM and is fundamental to achieving harmony and balance, especially in severe cases. Interested in herbs? Let us know and we will guide you to the best ones for you.
The third branch of TCM is dietary therapy. This branch holds the key to health and can truly empower all of us. Many ailments are linked to our diets, and we can achieve a healthy balance by simply tweaking what foods we decide to take into our bodies. TCM considers food not only for its nutritional value but also its energetic property (Qi) and what organ systems it helps strengthen. Hippocrates says it best with, “Let food be thy medicine and let medicine be thy food.”
The fourth branch of TCM is bodywork therapy, which includes shiatsu, tui-na, acupressure, and thai massage. This branch deals with meridian theory and the acupuncture points that the first branch, acupuncture, rests upon. Although where acupuncture uses needles, bodywork therapy uses a more hands-on approach with massage and pressure. This is a great way to take your health into your own hands, literally!
The fifth branch of TCM is movement therapy, which includes all forms of exercise that use the movement of breath to help open blockages in body. This therapy refers to exercises that improve health and longevity and may include special postures to achieve correct alignment and is always practiced with a quiet mind. Qi gong (energy cultivation), tai chi, yoga, Pilates, and meditation all fall under this category.
Stay tuned with us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter this month for tips to help you tap into the Five Branches all on your own. Be independently healthy for all your life–you’ve got the power in you!