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The Great Dictionary of Metamedicine – Book review

Claudia Rainville, author of the international best seller “Le Grand Dictionnaire of Métamédicine, chaque symptome est un message” (aka “The Great Dictionary of Metamedicine, every symptom is a message“) started her career as a psychotherapist, born and raised in the typical Western medicine environment. After few challenges she had to face during the years in her personal and family life, and after noticing few similar patterns in her patients, she founded the Metamedicine approach.

Ancient Romans used to say “Mens sana in corpore sano“, so “Healthy mind, healthy body” and that’s what pretty much Metamedicine is based on.

After realising that patients had significant emotional events or traumas before the onset of new health issues or symptoms, the correlation of these events became a vast inventory of case studies and successful diagnostics. So, according to Metamedicine (aka META-Health), there is not only a mind-body connection but actually a very precise organ-mind-emotion network. Which means that each area of our brain, with its chemical and emotional responds, is linked to a specific organ and a specific conflict or trauma or environmental social experience.

As examples of what I have mentioned already, we could say that the skin (organ of touch) might be affected by a loss-of-contact-conflict, the breast (organ that nourishes the baby) by a separation-conflict, the lungs (breath is the sign of life) by a fear-of-death conflict, and so on.

I know this is a lot to take in and maybe difficult to understand, so let me give you a couple more of examples that Claudia Reinville herself mentions in the book.

Let’s start from something very common like allergies. They are a very common problem, which usually onsets due to situations (or allergens) that are not accepted or that wake up forgotten emotions and traumas. One can be allergic to pet hair, pollen some foods: let’s focus on this one. Food allergies are the ones linked with a memory, for example: have you been told that one of your relatives died while you were eating broccoli? Don’t be surprised if you can’t stand them or if you are allergic to them. Were your parents divorcing while you were starting to eat fruits as a toddler? Be careful ’cause you can become strawberry-intolerant. If you are unable to address the episode or the period of time where your allergy started, it could be related to a previous life experience. Gluten and dairy products allergies are instead a separate matter.

Let’s give you another example, a quite common problem that many people are afraid to share: anal itching. The anus is the terminal part of the intestines, and so it represents the end of a process and letting go “something” (yeah, you know what I am talking about!). That’s why anal itching can be getting started when there are difficulties in letting go and move on from a situation. It could be a person, a house, a job, etc. Ask youself: what is that bothers me about letting go this thing/person? Why is it so hard to move on?

In “The Great Dictionary of Metamedicine, every symptom is a message” the author writes in alphabetical order mentioning step by step every single disease, how it is related with a trauma or a issues/ conflict we should face and solve, giving examples thanks to her experience with thousands of patients.

I found this book really illuminating, as being a ThetaHealer Pratictioner I already knew this type of correlation in our beings, but being able to address all of them and put them down on paper is remarkable and it comes very handy. Especially if you work with holistic healing like I do, it makes you save a lot of time and helps you understand better your clients, not to mention all the positive improvements you can gain for youself. So take your new Dictionary and start digging, I hope you will find all the answers you are looking for!

Massage Techniques – Part 2

There is a lot of misinformation and prejudice towards Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) and oriental techniques in general. Since this is what I specialise in I decided to talk about few manipulative techniques that can be used together (or separately) to restore the natural energy balance and body wellness.

Hopefully this small contribution to the body of knowledge on the web will help setting the record straight about the true and proven benefits of TCM.

This is the second part, and if you missed the first one you can find it here.

CUPPING

Cupping therapy might be trendy and “new agey” now, but it is definetely not new. It goes back to ancient Chinese and Middle Eastern cultures, described first also in an Egyptian papyrus dated 1,550 B.C. This therapy consists in placing special cups, heated with fire using alcohol or herbs, on the skin for a few minutes to create suction. The cups can be made of glass, bamboo or silicone, and the session can be described as “wet” or “dry”.

During a dry session of cupping only suction is used, and the cups can be removed and replaced quickly or simply dragged along your skin. During the wet cupping instead a tiny cut on your skin is made and the suction of the cups is used to drag out a small quantity of blood. Your practitioner, your medical condition, and your preferences will help determine what method is used, but to be honest I have never seen wet cupping being used in a Western country.

At the base of cupping’s principles there is the belief that the suction facilitates the healing with the flow of blood and “qi” in the body. This may relieve local muscle tension, but generally improve relaxation, overall blood flow and promote cell repair. It may also help form new connective tissues and create new blood vessels in the scars. Cupping has been used to treat a wide range of conditions, including migraines, anxiety, fertility, rheumatic disease, blood disorders, skin disorders etc.

Before you get concerned, I must say there aren’t many side effects associated with cupping. But the ones you may experience will typically occur during your treatment or immediately after. These includes feeling lightheaded or dizzy, sweating or nausea. If you will experience wet cupping there is an higher risk of infection, burning or bruising, although some red bruises left by the cups are perfectly normal and will disappear in maximum 3 to 4 days. Extra caution should be taken also for children, seniors, pregnant or menstruating women, but generally always check with your GP or pratictioner first.

GUA SHA

Gua sha is a natural, alternative therapy coming from ancient China that involves scraping your skin with a massage tool to improve your circulation. The name comes from the word “gua”, that means “scraping” and “sha”, which are the transitory therapeutic petechiae intentionally created by the pratictioner with the tool.

Usually before the session the pratictioner applies massage oil on the skin, then starts scraping it with short or long strikes and always towards one direction. Generally gua sha is performed on a person’s back, buttocks, neck, arms, and legs, but a gentle version of it is even used on the face.

This technique is intended to address stagnant energy, qi, in the body responsible for inflammation. Rubbing the skin’s surface is thought to help break up this energy, reduce inflammation, and promote healing. That is why it is usually used to relieve muscle and joint pain and relief musculoskeletal disorders. But gua sha can also boost the immune system healping treating a cold, fever, or problems with the lungs, and other benefits include helping women during menopause, insomnia, anxiety and fatigue.

But, does it have any side effect? As a natural healing remedy, I can say gua sha is safe. It should not be painful, but because it involves rubbing or scraping skin bruises can occur, although you should not bleed. Bruising usually disappears within a couple of days, but if you take blood thinners or had recent surgery you should not have the treatment done. As always, check with your GP and pratictioner.

Moxibustion stick burning and glowing

Massage techniques – Part 1

There is a lot of misinformation and prejudice towards Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) and oriental techniques in general. Since this is what I specialise in I decided to talk about few manipulative techniques that can be used together (or separately) to restore the natural energy balance and body wellness.

Hopefully this small contribution to the body of knowledge on the web will help setting the record straight about the true and proven benefits of TCM.

TUI NA

The term “Tui Na” (pronounced “twee naw”), which literally means “pinch and pull,” refers to a form of Chinese manipulative body therapy often used in conjunction with many other therapies, such as moxibustion, acupuncture, cupping, herbalism, etc.

During a Tui na session, the pratictioner may use a variety of manipulation methods, from gentle to very firm, such as brush, knead, roll, press, and rub the body areas. Tui na is not generally used for pleasure and relaxation, but rather as a treatment to address specific patterns of disharmony and iillness. Infact, like acupuncture, Tui na aims to harmonize yin and yang in the body by manipulating the Qi in the acupuncture channels. It also includes what is popularly known as “acupressure,” where practitioners use finger pressure instead of needles to stimulate the acupuncture points.

In ancient China, medical therapy was often classified as either “external” or “internal” treatment. Tui na was one of the external methods, although it can be used to address both internal diseases and external injuries. Many people seek it to relieve multiple disorders including insomnia, constipation, headaches, migraines, irritable bowel syndrome, premenstrual syndrome, and emotional problems. It can also treat disorders related to digestive, respiratory, and reproductive systems, stiff neck, distension of shoulders, sciatica, and sore back.

MOXIBUSTION

Moxibustion (or “moxa”) is a form of heat therapy in which dried plant materials are burned on or very near the surface of the skin. Usually the material used is Chinese mugwort (aka Artemesia), but it can be made of a mix of other substances as well.

Moxibustion can be direct and indirect. During direct moxibustion, a small, cone-shaped amount of moxa is placed on top of an acu-point and burned. This type can be scarring and non-scarring, depending on the fact that moxa stays on the skin area until it burns out completely, or it is removed before it burns the skin. I must admit I have never seen a scarring moxibustion technique in Western countries, while in China was quite common.

Infact indirect moxibustion is currently the most popular form of care because there is a much lower risk of pain or burning. The practitioner lights one end of a moxa stick, roughly the shape and size of a cigar, and holds it close to the area being treated for several minutes until the area turns red. Another indirect form combines moxa on top of acupuncture needles.

Benefits of moxibustion

The general purpose of moxibustion, like several forms of Traditional Chinese Medicine, is to strengthen the blood, maintain general health and stimulate the flow of qi. That is why it is very common for patients receiving moxibustion to report a sudden flowing of warmth that quickly radiates along a specific pathway, away from the site of application. This is a good result, as it indicates the arrival and flow of the Qi in the freed energy channel. Usually the patient also experiences a pleasant heating sensation that penetrates deep into the skin, but should not feel any pain, blistering or scarring unless the moxa is left in place for too long.

Moxibustion can be used for several general diseases as well, such as pain due to injury or arthritis, digestive or bowel problems, gynecological conditions (quite common breech presentation in late term pregnancy), protection against cold and flu strains, and many more conditions that follow a “cold pattern” and naturally feel better after heat application.

Moxa can be easily used at home and itt is not uncommon for some practitioners to train their patients to use moxa on themselves to strengthen the effect of the clinical sessions between appointments. But although it is a very safe practice, to gain the best benefits from a Tui na and moxibustion treatment right for your condition, it is always better to check with a professional pratictioner first.

 

 

Photo: G. Olivetti