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Cheung's Meridian Therapy for Sports Injuries and Better Health

 (extracted from Australasian Blitz Magazine )

In today's world, many of the diseases and illnesses of modern society are degenerative and self-attacking in nature as a result of emotional stress, exposure to toxic chemicals and pesticides, lack of exercise and poor diet. This results in abnormal organ function and reduced co-operation between organ systems.

Western scientific medicine is generally designed to detect disease, not to restore balance. If no obvious cause of illness or injury is found, say a bacteria or reduced red blood cells, then treatment tends to be impossible or imprecise.

Chinese medicine looks at the condition of the whole person and always tries to restore normal functions and balance, considering disease or injury a disharmony of the body process.

In ancient times, very often the town doctor in China was also the local Kung Fu master. Because martial artists require extensive knowledge in anatomy and pressure points, and how to heal sprains, bruises and breaks, they were often also quite knowledgeable in healing and maintaining the body and its health. This was consistent with the philosophy of Yin and Yang, of balance in all things in life.

Grandmaster William Cheung of traditional Wing Chun Kung Fu has spent the last 15 years of his martial arts career developing a chi meridian therapy (CMT) program for healing, based on these principals of maintaining body harmony and balance. The program has been used and performed worldwide in dealing with diseases, illness and sports injuries. Using principles of Chinese medicine and a knowledge of chi (internal energy), Grandmaster Cheung's method is simple and effective. But a little background into Chinese medical thought is necessary to understand how it works.

From ancient times, the Chinese have known that the human body is only part of the greater universe, and that all of the universe is a part of nature. Every person is a miniature replica of the universe and is subject then to the laws of nature. There is a principle of constant flow or flux in nature and that's why our world is constantly changing. In Chinese philosophy, this principle is known as the Yin and Yang theory. Our bodies are one with the universe and flow in harmony or discord with the forces of nature. Thus all things are born from the chi of Yin and Yang.

Our bodies are a combination of Yin and Yang energy. Yin energy draws in towards the centre to create a depression or coolness - the absence of heat. In breathing, the Yin breath is the one drawn into the body. All Yin energy contains a bit of Yang. Conversely, Yang energy goes out from the centre to cause heat or expansion. In breathing, the Yang breath is the one being exhaled from the body. Yang energy always contains a bit of Yin.

If we maintain a harmonious balance of Yin and Yang energies in our bodies, we will be healthy in both mind and body; if we lose this balance, we become sick or injured. Chinese healing methods, then, aim at preventing illness or injury by keeping the body in perfect balance and harmony, with fine-tuning the body through proper exercise and nutrition.

Along with the concepts of internal energy and Yin and Yang, the Chinese believe there are five earthly elements: fire, earth, metal, water and wood (see diagram). Between these five elements there exists two cycles of interaction: the cycle of generation and the cycle of destruction.

In the former, each element produces or generates the succeeding element. Thus fire generates earth, earth produces metal, metal produces water, water will generate wood and wood produces fire, which in turn produces earth and so on. In the latter, each element absorbs or destroys the succeeding element. Here fire destroys metal, metal destroys wood, wood destroys earth, earth destroys water and water will destroy fire, and so on.

The theory of the Five Elements, together with the principle of Yiin and Yang, are linked to organs and bowels in the body.

The Yin Yang principle defines the relationship between organs and bowels as follows: the liver, being the mother, is Yin and the son of the liver, the gall bladder, is Yang. The heart is Yin, the son of the heart, the small intestine, is Yang. The spleen is Yin and the son of the spleen, the stomach, is Yang. The lungs are Yin and the son of the lungs, the large intestine, is Yang. The kidneys are Yin and the son of the kidneys, the bladder, is Yang. According to this principle, if there is a problem with the liver, this problem would probably also affect the gall bladder.

The relationship of the Five Elements with regard to the organs and bowels is as follows: the liver and gall bladder are in the Wood element; the heart and small intestine, along with the 'imaginary organs', circular sex and triple heart, all share the Fire element. The spleen and the stomach are found in the Earth element; metal, the lungs and the large intestine; and the Water element holds the kidneys and the bladder.

Remember, the Five Elements share two cycles of interaction; one of generation and one of destruction. They act and counteract each other in accordance to these two cycles. For example, if there is a problem with the functioning of the liver, it will also affect the small intestine (because of the relationship of these organs and bowels in the generation cycle), and also the spleen and the stomach (because of the relationship found in the destruction cycle).

Each organ and bowel has a pair of meridians, which are known as the 12 Primary Meridians. They are also divided into Yin and Yang. The heart, the spleen, the lungs, the kidneys and the circular sex - these are the Yin meridians. The gall bladder, the small intestine, the stomach, the large intestine, the bladder and the triple heart are all considered Yang meridians.

These 12 Primary Meridians are connected to the organs and run throughout the body, along a line of pressure points, ending at the extremities (see examples of the stomach and gall bladder meridians). There are also eight extra meridians, known as the Extraordinary Meridians. Six of these meridians share pressure points with the 12 Primary Meridians. The remaining two, the front trunk meridian and the back trunk meridian have their own pressure points.

Grandmaster William Cheung has developed a program which promotes proper circulation of the Meridians, thus improving growth and proper functioning of all the organs and faculties of the entire body.

When injuries occur in the body, some form of bleeding usually occurs; for example, say a person sustains a sprained ankle in training. This will affect the flow of the meridians that pass through the ankle. Some of the pressure points along the stomach meridian and the gall bladder meridian will be blocked (see meridian diagrams again).

As a response to the sprain, the body releases anti-bodies to protect the ankle, causing swelling to immobilize the ankle and restrict movement, so that the ankle can be repaired. Usually the ankle is tender and painful to touch at this time.

Grandmaster Cheung's Meridian Therapy healing program would relax the ankle by massaging pressure points on those meridians away from the affected area to reduce the swelling, which would, in turn, promote chi flow through the injured area. Increasing the chi flow by manipulating the pressure points on the affected meridians improves the circulation of blood, which brings nutrients and oxygen to the ankle. The relationship of blood and chi is consistent with the Yin and Yang Principle that chi is the son of blood. Circulation of chi enhances the flow of blood, importing more nutrients, proteins and oxygen, which in turn enhances the chi flow in the meridians, relaxing and reducing pain and inflammation in the affected ankle.

Grandmaster Cheung has also developed a general health program based on these principles, called Cheung's Meridians Stretching Program. In Western health and fitness programs, there are no exercises, besides those which strengthen the heart and lungs (cardiovascular programs), to benefit the body's internal organs. The Meridian Stretching program can directly benefit internal organs of the body as well as help cure disease and sports injuries.

Previously we looked at the example of a sprained ankle and viewed diagrams of the stomach meridian and the gall bladder meridian. Refer back to those diagrams to see the line of the meridian being stretched in the following two exercises. By stretching the meridians, Grandmaster Cheung says that you will stimulate them in a gentle and safe manner which promotes good and proper circulation of internal energy. That will, in turn, allow you to maintain balance and good health.

In both of these exercises, you should place the tongue on the upper palate and breathe deeply and softly. By placing your tongue thus, you connect your front and back trunk meridians, allowing your chi to flow better. Hold each position for 20 seconds and repeat three times. Always do the left side first.

Meridian Stretch for the Gall Bladder Meridian

This stretch will help relieve headaches on the side of the head, stress and tension.

Notice on the diagram of the gall bladder meridian how many pressure points are found on the side of the head.

By stretching this meridian, chi circulation is improved, removing blockages that can cause such headaches.

Meridian Stretch for the Stomach Meridian

This stretch will benefit the stomach and the digestive system. Notice in the diagram of the stomach meridian, point 4, which is close to the eye. This stretch is also good for problems with eye palpitations.

This exercise is performed sitting down. Put one leg out, then fold and pull it behind you. Take the other leg and fold it across in front of you, bringing it across to meet the first leg. Lean back onto both hands to begin the stretch. Be sure not to over extend the back and the trunk. Keep a straight line in the trunk as you lean back for the stretch.

* These are only two of many exercises contained in grandmaster Cheung's Meridian Therapy healing program. From Canberra Raider, Bradley Clyde, to many people in Melbourne and around the world, Grandmaster Cheung has used his CMT methods to heal and repair many people with sports injuries and other problems. He is available for sports injury treatment and seminars and has developed a Meridian Therapy Correspondence Course for those interested in learning more about CMT healing.

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