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TCM Health Care Literacy for Chinese Citizens

TCM Health Care Literacy for Chinese Citizens

A, Basic Concepts & Knowledge

(1) TCM health care refers to those practices in which people, under the guidance of TCM theory and through a variety of methods,  can  enhance physical fitness, prevent disease, and prolong life.

(2) The concepts of TCM health care are based on adaption to nature, balance between Yin and Yang, and identification of individuality.

(3) Emotion, diet, lifestyle, and exercise are the four cornerstones of TCM health care.

(4) TCM health care emphasizes comprehensive maintenance and regulation of health from adolescence onward.

(5) The idea of preventative medicine in TCM embodies the process of promoting health and preventing disease.  It consists of the following three periods: " prevent before sick", "prevent the exacerbation of the disease" and "prevent the recurrence of the disease”.

(6) Herbal health care is to uses the properties of herbal medicine to balance qi, blood, as well as Yin and Yang in the human body. One should pay attention to differences in age, physical condition, and season when taking herbal medicine.

(7) Some herbal medicine and food are homologous. The following function as both common herbal medicines and food: honey, yam, lotus seeds, jujube, wolfberry, longan meat, walnut, poria, ginger, chrysanthemum, mung beans, sesame seeds, garlic, Chinese prickly ash, hawthorn, etc.

(8) The five key acu-points for keeping health in TCM are Shanzhong, San yin jiao, Zu san li, Yong quan and Guan yuan.

(9) Basic self-massage methods consist of point pressing, pressing and kneading, pinching and pressing, grasping and holding, rubbing and twisting, tapping and pounding.

(10) Scraping can activate blood circulation, relax muscles, smooth meridians, relieve depression, and dispel pathogenic factors.

(11) Cupping can dispel cold and dampness, remove blood stasis, stop swelling and pain, as well as remove poison and heat.

(12) Moxibustion can activate qi and blood as well as warm and promote circulation of meridians.

(13) Containers made of aluminum and iron should not be used when making herbal decoction.

B  Herbal Lifestyle & Behavior

(14) Maintaining peace of mind, adapting to the social state, and maintaining a positive attitude toward life and work are necessary.

(15) Having a regular daily life while continually adapting to the changing rules of nature throughout a whole day, such as morning, night, day and night, as well as throughout the 4 seasons.

(16) The appropriate amount of sleep and wake up timesin 4 seasons are to sleep late and wake early in spring and summer, sleep early and wake early in fall, sleep early and wake late in winter.

(17) People should get balanced nutrition factors from grains, vegetables, fruits and poultry in moderation.

(18) People should chew the food slowly, eat in moderation, concentrate their mind, and keep a happy mood during a meal.

(19) Breakfast should be the most nutritious meal.  Lunch should be the largest meal, and dinner should be the smallest.

(20) Wash your hands before each meal, and rinse your mouth after meals.

(21) Women have physiological cycles, such as menstrual period, pregnancy, lactation and menopause, in which health care methods should be adjusted.

(22) Not smoking and drinking alcohol in moderation can reduce the occurrence of related diseases.

(23) Bathing your feet is good for foot health.  It can help prevent foot weakness in old age.

(24) Maintain a moderate amount of sexual activity.

(25) People with weak constitution should take appropriate food to tonify their bodies in winter.

(26) Children should not be overfed.

C  General Health Care Contents

(27) Psychological health care: Emotions should be controlled and regulated to achieve physical well-being and mental peace.

(28) Diet health care: based on individual physical condition, changes in diet, and choosing the appropriate food is best.

(29) Exercise health care: through the practice of TCM health care exercises to maintain health, enhance physical fitness, prolong life, and slow aging. Common exercises include Taijiquan, Baduanjin, Wuqinxi, Liuzhijue, etc.

(30) Seasonal health care: according to four seasonal changes to adopt different health care methods should be adopted.

(31) Meridian health care: Ying and Yang balance can be maintained based on meridian theory of TCM and functions of meridians and acupoints, use methods of  needle, moxibustion, massage and exercises to promote the circulation of meridians.

(32) Physical health care: according to different body constitutions, proper health care methods can be formulated.  There are 9 constitutional types in TCM, which include the balanced constitution, Yang deficient constitution, Yin deficient constitution, qi deficient constitution, phlegm-dampness constitution, damp-heat constitution, stagnant blood constitution, stagnant qi constitution, and inherited specific constitution.

D  Commonly Used Methods for Health Care

(33) Tooth occlusion method: Clenching the molars 30 times and then clenching the foreteeth 30 times after waking up each morning is can strengthen the teeth.

(34) Closing mouth and adjusting breath: often close mouth and adjust breath, keeping an even and slow breath.

(35)Swallowing saliva: Every morning, keep the tip or entire tongue against the palate of the mouth until the mouth is full of saliva. Swallowing the saliva is helpful to digestion.

(36) Rubbing face : every morning, first rub your two hands together to warm them up.  Then, using your middle fingers, rub your face from starting from the sides of your nose up to your forehead and then down the sides of each cheek. Repeat this 10 times until your face is warm.  This exercise can make the face fresh and rosy and eliminate fatigue.

(37) Combing hair: Comb your hair using all fingers from the forehead to the occiput 50 ~ 100 times to activate the circulation of qi and blood and help to keep a clear mind.

(38) Eye exercise: move the eyes from left to right more than 10 times, move the eyes from right to left more than 10 times, then close the eyes and rest for a while.  Repeating this exercise 4 ~ 5 times a day can clear liver heat and brighten the eyes.

(39) Ear exercise: cover the ears with both hands and look up and down 5 ~ 7 times.  This can help to produce a clear mind and eliminate distractions.

(40) Rising qi: When inhaling, use proper strength to raise and hold the perineum and anus for a while.  When exhaling, release slowly.  Repeating this 5 ~ 7 times a day is good for the qi movement in the body.

(41) Rubbing abdomen: after dinner, rub the palm around the navel in a clockwise direction about 30 times.  This can help digestion and eliminate abdominal distension.

(42) Rubbing sole: before sleeping each day, use the thumb to rub the soles of the feet in a clockwise direction about 100 times.  This can strengthen the lumbar and kidney. 

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