Principles of Chinese Medicine by Angela Hicks

By Angela Hicks

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Conversely if the Substances are deficient or stagnating this will impact on the Organs. So far we have discussed the concepts of yin and yang, the Vital Substances and the Organs. This chapter wouldn’t be complete without some discussion about one more fundamental concept in Chinese medicine – the Five Elements. What are the Five Elements? The concept of the Five Elements may seem quite unusual to those who are unfamiliar with Chinese thought – they are a metaphorical description of the basic constituents of matter and how they interact.

Does treatment hurt? How does the acupuncturist know where to put the needles? We’ll also take a look in greater detail at what acupuncture can treat. But first, what is acupuncture and what are channels and points? What is acupuncture? When I first studied acupuncture very few people had heard of it. Nowadays most people know what it is and may also know someone who has benefited from it. News of its effectiveness has mostly been spread by word of mouth – once a person experiences the results they tell others about it.

This begins next to the eye, travels around the side of the head then down the side of the body to end by the nail of the fourth toe (see below). Many people have headaches travelling 65 66 Principles of chinese medicine around this pathway at the sides of their heads and going to the eye. Treating this channel on the foot can help to alleviate many headaches or migraines. NICE has recognised that overuse of painkillers is a common cause of headaches and has established that acupuncture is a better alternative in the treatment of headaches.

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