The Oriental View of Energy

All oriental medicine is rooted in the ancient concept of Yin and Yang, most often represented by two rain drop, or fish, shapes that form a circle.

These two opposing and cyclic forces are regulated by the flow of "Chi" (Ki, Qi, Prana) or vital energy though the body along specific meridians. The body is healthy when Yin and Yang are in balance. The goal of oriental medicine is to ensure good health and promote longevity by affecting the flow of Chi energy to harmonize Yin and Yang. 

There are several choices of oriental alternative medicine to seriously consider:
Acupuncture/Acupressure, Chinese herbal therapy, Japanese massage (Shiatsu, Kiatsu), Ayuveda, Yoga, Reiki and Qi Gong (Chi Kung). All of these can be beneficial to help prevent and treat injuries and as an aid in maintaining good health. 

Acupuncture and acupressure are well proven methods to relieve pain and promote healing. Specific points along meridians are stimulated with very thin needles (with or without heat), or applied pressure, resulting in a regulation of the Chi energy flow through the body. 

Chinese herbal therapy is one of the most refined and complex herbal system in the world. It includes plants, minerals and animal sources. Medicinal substances are classified by their activity or energetics in conjunction with Yin and Yang, the eight principles, the five phases and the six layers. 

Shiatsu massage uses finger, hand, arm and knee pressure for its therapeutic effect. Kiatsu, developed by Master Koichi Tohei, uses Ki (Chi) energy as a healing power in conjunction with therapeutic massage. In Kiatsu, only the fingertips and hands are used to extend Ki into the tissues. 

Ayurveda (recently becoming popular in West) is a 5,000 year old healing and rejuvenating art of India.  Ayurveda is based on Hindu texts which prescribe proper breathing, nutrition, meditation and aromatherapy in a manner that involving the interrelationship of the mind, body and spirit. Disease occurs from uncorrected imbalances caused by stress, poor lifestyle choices and poor diet. 

Yoga is a sister science to Ayurveda and includes natural preventive measures to help ensure good health, happiness and longevity. The eight limbs of yogic practice include: regulation of the nervous system, discipline, cleansing, postures, concentration, contemplation, the awakening of awareness, and the state of perfect equilibrium. Yogic practice allows optimum energy flow that has preventive and curative value. 

Reiki is a ancient Tibetan Buddhist healing art using the "laying on of the hands" that claims incomparable simplicity and powerful results. Reiki (Japanese for "Universal Life-Force-Energy") was "re-discovered" and proselytized by Buddhist Mikao Usui in the 1800's. Reiki practitioners receive the "attunements" directly from a teacher who has received the "attunements" and training. A Reiki healer uses touch to convey warmth, serenity and healing through the flow of Chi (Prana) energy.  Reiki energy is holistic claiming to heal the body physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually.

Qi Gong (Chi Kung) is a general term for a system of Qi cultivation that has been used for thousands of years by the Chinese people to improve and maintain health. Methods include proper breathing, stretching and bending, special movements and concentration. Tai Chi Chuan (when properly practiced) and is a form of Qi Gong.