Kevin Ergil wrote an article for NewLife Magazine, July/August 1999. Here are highlights of what he said:
The earliest known systematic discussion of individual substances (herbs)is a book names after the legendary emperor Shen Nong, it "classified and discussed the tastes, temperatures, toxicities and medicinal properties of 364 substances." "Many of our favorite herbal formulae were first written down in 220AD..at the same time Chinese herbal medicine is a living tradition which has always been engaged with its living practice."
Stephen Holt, MD wrote in the same magazine:
"The basis of TCM is deeply rooted in preventive medicine".
Fingernail and tongue diagnoses--Dr. Tsu Tsair Chi, same article
"The fingernails have the capacity to show very openly detectable characteristics that correspond to organ function and bodily health. From the shape, the colar(?), ridges, bumps and other markings on the nail, one can categorize the patients into different symptomatic categories pinpointing the origin of their conditions." "Generally the appearance of the tongue can give valuable information on organ function." One looks at the color, texture, shape, coating and moisture level. "..fingernail and tongue diagnosis is (a) way to detect problems early on..."
NOTE: Self-prescribing of herbs or Chinese herbal medicine on the basis of lmited herbal knowledge should be done with GREAT CARE, if at all. If you plan to explore this area without a practitioner, NOT RECOMMENDED, at least get a good book to work with.
QiGong--from an article by Garri Garripoli in above magazine:
"..combines deep diaphragmatic breathing with slow physical movement and creative mental visualization." Specific 'dances' have been prescribed for specific ailments.
"In TCM, a doctor looks at the patient and takes time to analyze the whole person. TO them it's obvious that many factors may contribute to illness and even though pain appears in one place, its source may be elsewhere on the body and/or the spirit."
T'ai Chi Chuan--Stephen Shulmand and Neil Gumenick of The School of T'ai Chi Chuan, Inc. in the same magazine:
"Its practice results in increased awareness, sensitivity...The T'ai Chi form takes only 7-10 minutes to perform and is a complete physical exercise, balancing and rejuvenating both the internal organs and external musculature. No special clothing or equipment is required. It can be done in small spaces and is suitable for men and women of all ages."
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