The Tools of Chinese Medicine

Chinese medicine is a fascinating and varied science. Having evolved over thousands of years, some aspects of the art may be considered somewhat esoteric in nature due to their early origins and perceptions of practitioners a the time. However, Chinese medicine is a complete medical system that involves the use of methods such as herbalism, acupuncture, cupping, moxibustion and massage.

A Closer Look at the Tools

Chinese Herbalism

When we talk about Chinese medicine one often thinks of the prescription of weird and wonderful herbs and potions that are often foul-smelling and even worse tasting. While this is often the case, Chinese herbalism is only one part of Chinese medicine.

The use of plants for medicinal purposes have been used for centuries by many cultures around the world. The Chinese are no different and have a complete system of healing by use of herbs and various substances that are found naturally in nature.

The main differences between Chinese herbalism and that of other herbalistic traditions are in the way that illness is observed, diagnosed and therefore the reasons for the eventual prescriptions of the remedies that are used. Chinese herbalism uses the principles of Chinese medicine understand, diagnose and treat disease. These principles are typically those of yin-yang theory, five elements, channel theory (Jing Luo), the six climatic influences and the use of an individual’s constitutional birth chart.

Another difference in Chinese herbalism is in the herbs and substances that are used. Mostly, substances found in China are used. However, Chinese herbalism also uses other non-plant based materials such as deer antler and even Tiger penis to have a curative effect.


Acupuncture is a practice that is fast becoming popular in the West. With it’s origins dating back to around the first century BC, acupuncture is a solid part of Chinese medicine and is a complete medical system in itself.

The principles of acupuncture are also based on those of Chinese medicine. However, with this system, needles are used instead of herbs in order to bring about a curative effect. A primary principle of acupuncture is that of the channel system, know in Chinese as the Jing Luo. This theory states that the body is formed of a complex network of channels and pathways that traverse different regions of the body. Along the pathways are located points, which, when stimulated can trigger certain reactions in the body to bring about good health.

Many Chinese medicine practitioners choose to study acupuncture alone and make it their primary model for treating a patient. See here for our recommended acupuncture course.

an acupuncture needle in the skin


Cupping is an interesting technique often used in Chinese medicine. During this practice either glass cups of bamboo, pots are most commonly used. The practitioner will momentarily insert a flame inside the cup and then quickly place it on the area of the body that needs attention. The flame inside the cup creates a vacuum, and thus, a sucking effect on the body part to which it is applied.

The theory behind the use of cupping is that it can help to withdraw or extract any invasive pathogenic factors that may have entered the body. In Chinese medicine, this is typically looked at regarding the invasion of cold, damp, heat or wind. For example, one use of cupping may be in the area of the upper back to help to move and draw out mucous and phlegm (damp) in a person suffering from a chest infection. Cupping can also be used for muscle knots and stiffness and also in conditions of blood stagnation.

Cupping is not solely used in Chinese medicine. Many countries around the world have used this practice and dates back many hundreds of years.


Moxibustion is a technique that involves the use of a herb know as mugwort, which has been processed to become a sponge-like substance known as moxa. Moxa is then employed in several ways. One commonly used method of moxibustion by acupuncturists is by attaching pieces of it to the end of acupuncture needles and set fire to. As the moxa smoulders, it generates heat that is transmitted down the shaft of the needle and into the acupuncture point, which in tern, heats up the pertaining acupuncture channel and respective body part.

Moxa is also used topically on the skin, usually placed upon slices of ginger to act as a barrier between the skin and the moxa, so the heat will be transmitted without burning the patient. A practitioner may also apply moxa heat topically with the use of a rolled moxa stick; a cigar-like roll that is heated and held inches away from the afflicted area.


Massage techniques are also commonly used by a Chinese medicine practitioner. Typically, the massage technique known as Tui Na will be employed. Tui Na uses gentle techniques to stretch and knead afflicted areas of the body. The use of Tui Na massage can help to promote blood flow, free stiff joints, relax stiff muscles and free trapped nerves. Altogether, Tui Na is an efficient system to help restore good health and well-being to the patient.

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Natural Treatments For Cancer

cancer cellsCancer is a big concern for millions of people all across the world. This disease seems to be prevalent in people with particularly unhealthy lifestyles. However, there are also a large number of people who seem to develop various forms of cancer for no apparent reasons.

Researchers believe that there may be a genetic component to cancer. However, that risk may be reduced with certain lifestyle and dietary changes, although more research is needed in this area.

If you suspect that you may have cancer then you must visit your doctor as soon as possible for an examination. It is not worth taking the risk to not get yourself checked out or to turn a blind eye to it. In many cases, if you can get a proper diagnosis from your doctor early and begin treatment then there is a much higher chance of recovery.

Here is an interesting video we came across about some natural treatments for cancer. While these treatments may be effective for many and you may prefer the natural route, it is still strongly advised to also seek the advice form your doctor.

For people suffering from cancer, is a great organisation for advice, support and care. You can make a donation to the Macmillan charity here.

Cancer Research is also another great organisation that is doing great work into the study of cancer in order to better understand the disease, to improve health care to patients suffering with the condition and to find a cure.

Cancer Research UK is also a charity, therefore, they also rely on donations from the public. You support their work by making a donation here.

We hope you enjoy the video and please be safe with your health.

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Heights Natural Pharmacy

a leaf with some tablets depicting natural healthNature is a wonderful thing and provides us with many benefits, including medicinal properties from a variety of different sources.

From herbs to various forms of natural therapeutic practices, we  certainly can avail from what is on offer in the way of natural medicine.

Natural Health Care – A Growing Trend In Society

For many years the norm has been to visit a conventional doctor for ones symptoms and ailments. While we agree that Allopathic medicine is also a necessity to good quality health care, so to do we affirm that natural medicine also has it’s place within the healing arena.

With more and more research being compiled on the many health benefits of various natural practices, it appears that world consciousness at large is also becoming pro natural therapy.

This is indeed a good thing for many reasons. Firstly, healthcare costs the government millions each and every year. This is even more infuriating when we learn that a number of conditions could be otherwise treated naturally, saving a lot of money for the health service. Secondly, there are a number of conditions that do respond well to various forms of natural treatment, which can be an added benefit to the patient when we consider that a natural route to treatment means that they will be avoiding side effects that can often occur from taking various harsh medications.

Of course, there are also a large number of conditions that will require conventional medication and the care of a medical doctor. Therefore, your first port of call should always be your doctor for any serious condition that a person may be facing. However, an open discussion with your GP may reveal that there could be natural alternatives for the condition in question, fro which your doctor can advise you.

Here is a fascinating documentary about the uses of natural medicine, many of which are very ancient in origin. It is very interesting to see how some forms of treatment that were commonly used hundreds, if not thousands of years ago can still be effective today.

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