READ THESE AND THEN ANSWER THE QUESTIONS.
An Overview of the World’s Healing Systems
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To understand the concept of Planetary Herbology, let’s first examine each school and its herbal system. We will then discuss their similarities and differences, using specific herbs as examples.
In Western herbology, herbs are classified according to their therapeutic properties. For example, categories such as alteratives, diuretics, diaphoretics and tonics allow the Western herbalist to group herbs with similar qualities and then use them accordingly. Herbs in this system are recognized primarily by their chemical constituents. In fact, many drugs used in Western allopathic medicine result from extracting an herb’s active constituent and synthesizing it, as in the case of aspirin derived from Willow trees, digitalis from Foxglove or reserpine from Rauwolfia.
In Chinese herbology, herbs are categorized by their energies, tastes, directions and actions on the body (moving the blood, getting rid of dampness or heat, breaking up stagnation, building substance or energy, etc.). The Chinese traditionally also include animals and minerals, such as Deer antler and Gypsum, as healing substances. Based on a broad bipolar categorization of Yin (cooling) and Yang (warming) energies, this system considers each herb’s constitution, and that of the patient, resulting in a more holistic approach to healing.
Japanese herbology is similar to that of traditional Chinese medicine, using the same herbs but emphasizing stricter conformity to classical Chinese Han Dynasty formulations, mostly derived from Chang Chung-Ching in his pivotal clinical manual, Shang Hang Lun. Japanese Macrobiotics, recently developed in the West by George Ohsawa and Michio Kushi, bases its dietary and philosophic principles on the concepts of Yin and Yang, just as in Chinese medicine.
However, differences in the definitions of Yin and Yang between the Chinese and Japanese systems can create much confusion when trying to learn these concepts. In an attempt to make them more easily understood by the Western mind, Ohsawa reversed certain aspects of Yin and Yang, mainly regarding their directions. These differences are outlined for reference purposes:
|Chinese Japanese – Macrobiotic
YinYang Yin Yang
internal external external internal
cold hot cold hot
wet dry wet dry
empty full empty full
solid organs hollow organs hollow organs solid organs
(heart, liver, (small intestine,
spleen, kidneys, stomach, gallbladder,
Ayurveda, from India, is the oldest known system of natural healing on the planet. It is often referred to as the “Mother of Natural Healing” since many principles of the world’s medicines, including Chinese, Japanese, Graeco-Roman, Mediterranean and Tibetan, are derived from it. In ancient times, a renowned wisdom school, Nalandar University, is said to have existed in Northern India. Sages from all over the world would travel there by foot to learn the secrets of nature from the school’s masters. Eventually, this knowledge spread from its origins in the Himalayas to the far reaches of Japan and Europe.
Ayurvedic medicine classifies herbs and foods according to the three Doshas or humours. Diseases, as well as a person’s constitution, are also categorized in this way. Similar to Chinese and Greek Hippocratic medicines (such as Unani medicine still practiced in the Middle East), the individual is viewed as a union of physical, mental and spiritual energies, with the goal of health achieved through balancing. In the Tridosha system, Vata (Air) corresponds to nervous energy, Pitta (Fire) to circulation, warmth and digestion, and Kapha (Water) to the solid, formative aspects of tissue, fluid and bone. A balance of these aspects ensures health, while an imbalance of any of the three generates disease.
The Native American herbal tradition used plants according to their properties and energies. Some tribes, such as the Tewa Pueblos, even divided them into sun and moon aspects, similar to the Chinese concepts of Yang (warming) and Yin (cooling). Native Americans have discovered the uses of hundreds of indigenous herbs, mostly from the North and Southeast of North America, including Echinacea, False Unicorn, Black Cohosh, Blue Cohosh and Slippery Elm.
What is Acupressure?
Acupressure is a science that deals with the human body and the flow of natural energy within the body. This medical science is practiced with the use of only one human tool: the thumb. Pressure is applied on different ‘pressure points’ on the body, stimulating the corresponding glands of the body.
Let’s take a look and see exactly what a chiropractor does!
1) What are your “pre-conceived notions” about alternative medicines? Have you ever used an alternative to regular “Western” medicine? Would you be open to using an alternative like herbs or acupuncture?
2) Name at least four different types of herbology
3) Compare and contrast Western, Chinese, and Japanese herbology
4) Choose three herbs from this website. Explain what they are used for
5) How long has acupuncture been around?
6) Define the following: a. Qi (also spelled chi) b. Acupuncture points c. Meridians
7) In one to two paragraphs, give a basic explanation of how acupuncture works.
8) List some of the most common ailments treated by acupuncture.
9) How does acupressure differ from acupuncture?
10) Briefly explain how acupressure works?
11) What does a meridian do?
12) What does a meridian do?
13) Briefly explain the theory behind chiropractic treatment. How does it work? Write at least a paragraph.
14) What kinds of conditions can chiropractors treat?
15) What kinds of conditions can chiropractors treat?
16) What is biofeedback and how does it work? Please give a detailed explanation.
17) List several (at least six) of the conditions that biofeedback is used to treat.
18) Write a paragraph explaining how stress and biofeedback are related.
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