As we celebrate the Year of Fire Rooster, let’s look at various ancient Chinese health practices that are still relevant today.
- Acupuncture The practice of placing needles on specific point on the body is the basic description of Acupuncture. Fine needles are inserted into acupuncture points or acupoints to specifically stimulate meridian points, unblock the Qi (chi) in order to reach a healthy bodily state.
Acupuncture has been known to treat a long list of ailments, which include, allergic rhinitis, bodily pain, migraine/headaches, lack of energy, nausea, etc.
- TaiChi An elegant exercise that involves fluid consecutive movements, mostly popular with older people, TaiChi finds its roots in ancient Chinese culture. It is said to help improve balance and stability, something that is helpful for Parkinson’s patients, the elderly, and those with chronic diseases. It is also helpful for those who experience knee pain, back pain, and even fibromyalgia.
More often than not, people compare Taichi with Yoga due to the slower movements and the relaxation it provides it’s practitioners post exercise.
- Cupping or Ventosa Last year, ventosa or cupping reach another level of popularity when Olympic Superstar Michael Phelps was seen with multiple round bruises on his body, which was a result of Ventosa. Ventosa is widely used to relieve muscle pain and strain. The premise is the suction resulting from the cups helps eliminate blood stagnation and promotes better blood flow for healing. The suction supposedly also helps eliminate toxins from the body. Ventosa may also be paired with a standard massage for further relaxation.
- Drinking Tea Tea is part of every Chinese meal. Leaves that come from the Camellia Sinesis (tea) plant are dried and steeped in hot water to produce a beverage that has numerous health benefits. The tea plant has several parts which produces different types of tea. The top leaf, which has the most health benefits and antioxidants, is what makes white tea. The second leaves that are picked then dried is what Green tea is. Although it may have less antioxidant properties than white tea, it is also less expensive. Next is Oolong tea, which is the stems and some leaves of the tea plant that is allowed to partially oxidize/wither prior to picking. Lastly, Black tea, which is the remnants of the tea plant after the first 3 are picked. All parts of the tea plant have antioxidants, but, as mentioned, the most comes from White tea or the top leaves. Tea also has polyphenols which have anti-aging and anti-inflammatory properties.