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Health Conditions | Chinese Medicine Helps Ease Summer Activity Backlash

Chinese Medicine Helps Ease Summer Activity Backlash

Summer can lure most people — even the most ardent couch potato — outdoors. While that is mainly good news, the sudden influx of outdoor activities can also result in a lot of aches and pains.

To avoid this "activity backlash," you can try some therapies offered in the acupuncture and Oriental medicine department at Bastyr Center for Natural Health, either as a preventive measure or to treat an injury. These therapies include acupuncture treatments, Chinese massage (Tui Na) and Chinese herbal medicines.

Most people have heard of acupuncture and Chinese medicine but may not know how they work to prevent or treat injuries. Benjamin Apichai, LAc, clinical faculty member at Bastyr Center, explains that according to the theory of traditional Chinese medicine, sports injuries can cause "qi" (life force or energy) stagnation and blood stagnation. "Acupuncture, Tui Na and herbs help move the stagnation, thereby reducing swelling and stopping pain," he says. The therapies also help patients improve body function and strength — a wise thing to do when anticipating a season of physically demanding exercise.

What is Tui Na? Tui Na is a form of massage that offers multiple benefits, some not found in more familiar massage techniques. Like most treatments in Oriental medicine, Tui Na deals with balancing the body's lack or surplus of "qi" (life force). "Tui Na is a therapy combining general massage, acupressure and stretching techniques. It helps the body in balancing yin, yang, qi and blood," says Apichai. "It relaxes tissues, realigns joints and can increase stamina during physical activities," he adds.

Writer: Sydney Maupin, Staff Writer
Contributor: Benjamin Apichai, MD (China), LAc
Date: 2002

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