The system



Illness in Chinese medicine whether of a physical or psychological nature is recognised as a disruption in the normal function of one or more of the body''s organ systems.  The cause of this disturbance can be physical or psychological and often reflects a person’s life style, attitudes and psychological/emotional disposition.  Acupuncture utilizes a network of energy pathways, called meridians that run through the body and connect to each of the organs.  By stimulating various points on the meridians the malfunction of the organs can be rectified. Chinese herbal medicine utilises over 200 herbs which are combined into herbal prescriptions, which when taken modify and redress the imbalances in the organ systems.

Illness in Chinese medicine is described as particular malfunctions of one or more of the organs. Imbalances in any particular organ leads to a pattern of symptoms, one such imbalance is called ''Liver Yang Rising'', and manifests as a headache which may be on the temples, sides of the head or in the eyes, with nausea and possibly vomiting, dizziness, tinnitus, deafness, a dry mouth and throat, insomnia and irritability; such patients might be angry and tense with a clipped shouting sort of voice and a green tinge to their complexion. Their tongue would be red on the sides and their pulses would feel wiry. What is interesting about this description is that ‘Liver Yang Rising’ is not just described in terms of physical symptoms, but is also characterised by certain emotional and temperamental states: the diagnosis is confirmed by examining the pulses and tongue. In Chinese medicine there are six pulses on each wrist which reflect the function of six of the main organs. Pulse diagnosis is considered to be a very skilled art, and a very experienced Chinese doctor can diagnose what is wrong just from the pulses. The size, shape, colour and coating of the tongue is also important in ascertaining the state of internal organs. It is the combination of presenting symptoms; pulse, tongue, complexion and temperament - from which the practitioner makes the diagnosis.

The Chinese have always recognised a close link between the organs of the body and our emotional and psychological states. The Chinese believe that an excess of anger disturbs the functioning of the liver, sadness affects the heart, worry affects the spleen, grief affects the lungs and fear affects the kidneys. To the Chinese what goes on in our head can profoundly affect our physical well-being and vice versa.

In the treatment of illness the Chinese may utilise a number of different methods including acupuncture, herbal medicine, massage, diet and exercises such as Tai Ji Quan or Qi Gong.  The aim of all these approaches is to rebalance and strengthen our body and mind systems.

Abington Park Clinic, based in Northampton, has been using this system in the practice of acupuncture since 1988.


Abington Park Clinic   Acupuncture   Chinese Herbal Medicine   Northampton    Northamptonshire