Acupuncture Without Needles
Micro-massage

Before we begin discussion on this topic, it needs to be underlined that first and foremost, micro-massage is basically a massage form, as it is involved with massage of exact body areas. Nevertheless, it is a much scaled down form of massage, because these body areas comprise the cutaneous regions of an extremely small part, even below one square centimeter - scientifically known as dermotopes, but inappropriately called 'acupuncture points'.

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However, the question that arises here is the manner in which such an intervention or involvement that is extremely weak mechanically is able to have consequences that are comparable to or even advanced compared to what is obtained through conventional massage that activates the muscles, a muscle cluster or possibly even further deep stratum of any organism. The basic dissimilarity between these two methods is that while the conventional massage is actually a reflex action, micro-massage may be described as an action that energizes the body. Like an electrologist arouses the muscles through the application of little electrodes to what is known as the 'motor points', a micro-masseur, working in the way an acupuncturist does, distinguishes the muscles' organic points, venter points, motor nerve or sensor points, insertion points, articular points, as well as the ligamentary points.

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The healing technique of micro-massage has progress to such an extent in China that it has become just right since long back. Not only experts use micro-massage, but it is also employed by acupuncturists when they have to deal with children or any easily upset patient who rejects the idea of being treated using acupuncture needles. In such instances, the acupuncturists will generally employ micro-massage for treating dermotopes. Moreover, acupuncturists have never believed that micro-massage is in any way second-rate to the healing technique that involves the use of needles. The sole dissimilarity between these two methods is that it requires approximately three micro-massage sessions to obtain the results achieved by a solitary acupuncture session. What is more, despite the impressive results of this healing technique, micro-massage practiced by the Chinese is absolutely safe.

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Peridromes

Keeping the basic principle that 'an organism is always in unison with its surroundings' in view, the Chinese researchers undertook a meticulous research relating to the skin, which is considered to be the border line separating two worlds. In effect, the skin is known to have a microcosmic side both internally as well as externally and, therefore, taking the importance of the synchronization mentioned above into account, it is necessary to describe every aspect of the life form in an attempt to help it to remain in touch with the heavens (cosmos). Hence, this gave rise to the conception of Tching (also called peridrome) - whose symbol hints that the peridrome is rather exceptionally slim and flows longitudinally and moves energy. Altogether, there are 12 pairs of such longitudinal lines arranged in a balanced manner on the body of humans. Every pair symbolizes each of the 12 key functions.

It may be noted that 'peridome' is a Greek word that denoted the parallel space between the columns and walls in ancient temples of Greece.

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All active organs, denoting each living organ, generate energy, whose chemical as well as electrical materialization we are familiar with. The fact that the Chinese have shown that every function transmits some portion of the organ's energy to the exterior channelling in its individual Tching pair is actually their novelty. Therefore, it appears that Tching is actually 'tracking energy' - something like a conductor that is not visible, following a highly accurate conduit.

The Chinese have depicted the internal conduits that are used by an organ or a function to transmit a part of its force to the outside or surface in details and it corresponds to the pathway of the central nervous system or the vegetative (pertaining to functions like blood circulation, digestion, growth and others, but not sexual) path, taking the shape of nodes that relate to a variety of plexi. As a result, the energy generated by any function initially pursues an internal path (also known as cryptodrome) and, subsequently, passes through the skin's surface alongside Tching, which possesses the specific function's name.

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In order to master the technique of acupuncture, it is necessary to be thoroughly acquainted with the topography or features of the peridromes, as these imaginary lines traverse the dermotopes that the acupuncturists as well as micro-masseurs deal with. In relation to something that would understandably be anticipated from the conjecture of Tao, this feature was corroborated shortly by means of therapeutic understanding.

As Yang symbolizes something which is outside or external and Yin represents something which is within, the rear surface will always be Yang, while the surface on the frontage will always be Yin. Embryology certainly inculcates that fetal morphology involves an outside (Yang) dorsal or posterior surface as well as an inner (Yin) ventral or anterior surface. As a result, the peridromes of Yang (associated with the functioning of the Fou) will be posterior, whereas the peridromes of Yin (associated with the Tsang) would be anterior.

Taoist ethics and practice enlighten us that the cosmos is Yang, while the earth (which is substantial and apparently motionless) is Yin. Therefore, the Chinese easily come to the conclusion that anything that is above us is Yang, while anything underneath us is Yin. Going by this concept, the parts located in the upper portion of our body, including the head as well as the thorax, and containing the gracious intermittent functions of the Tsang are further Yang compared to the lower body parts (including the abdomen as well as the digestive and excretory organs) are further Yin.

As a result, going by the concept of Tao, it is commonly accepted that adjacent extremities of Tching or the peridromes that enclose noble energy ought to be present at the body's upper portion. Besides this, two additional body parts that are differentiated in the top part of the body - the head (comprising the mind and brain) is further Yang compared to the thorax (including the heart and lungs). Therefore, the close extremity of the entire peridromes of Yang would be located in the head as well as the proximal extremities of the entire peridromes of Yin would be located in the thorax.

The Yin-Yang command functions have a role when you are detecting the terminal proximities of the 12 peridromes that are bilateral. The distal or terminal extremities of peridromes that are connected with the majority of Yang related to Tsang roles as well as those associated with the majority of Yang related to the Fou roles are located in one's hand and also involve the limb on the upper part of the body (which is further Yang). On the other hand, the terminal extremities of the peridromes that are linked to the majority of the Yin related to Tsang as well as Fou roles are located in one's foot and entails the body's lower limb (which is further Yin).

All peridromes have a specific direction that influences the manner in which the energy current passing through across it will flow. In addition, it also determines the dermotope amount it is made up of. Subsequently, it is able to differentiate the four groups belonging to the three peridromes. They are as follows:

  • The head-hand grouping consists of peridromes.
  • The hand-thorax grouping consists of peridromes.
  • The thorax-foot grouping consists of peridromes.
  • The foot-head grouping consists of peridromes.

The common micro-massage technique

In this article will shall refrain from talking about rotary massage, whose origin entails some doubt, as well as the contradictory methods. Hence, now we would be concentrating our focus on something that is proven as well as what has been believed to be true over the ages - action through the peridrome, being employed from the dermotope point outwards and ending some centimetres from it. Nevertheless, what is important is to identify whether or not the massage ought to be centrifugal (in circular outward motion) or centripetal (circular inward motion). This aspect is extremely vital because the direction in which the massage is given decides whether the result will be catatropic or anatropic.

For peridromes related to the thorax-hand group, the Yang to Yin ratio difference is between 1% (inside the thorax) and about 50% (within the head). As our action is supposed to follow the normal inclination of the difference in energy levels, anatropic massage would be performed outwardly (centrifugal) here with regard to the hand, towards an escalating Yang ratio; whereas catatropic massage would be performed inwardly (centripetal) with regard to the shoulder, towards a diminishing ratio of Yang. For peridrome related to the hand-head group, the difference in the ratio of Yang in relation to Yin is between 50% (within the hand) and about 99% (inside the head). Consequently, anatropic massage would be performed inwardly (centripetal) here with regard to the face, towards a rising ratio of Yang, while catatropic massage would be performed inwardly (centrifugal) with regard to the hand, towards a declining ratio of Yang.

For peridromes associated with the head-foot group, the difference in the proportion of Yang related to Ying declines between 99% (within the head) and about 50% (inside the feet). As a result, in this case anatropic massage would be performed inwardly (centripetal) towards the face, to an ascending Yang ratio, whereas catatropic massage would be performed inwardly (centrifugal) towards the feet, to a descending Yang proportion.

Similarly, in the case of the peridromes related to the thorax-foot group, the Yang's ratio in relation to Yin lessens from 50% (within the foot) close to 1% (inside the thorax). Therefore, in this case anatropic massage would be performed outwardly (centrifugal) to the foot, towards an enhancing Yang ratio, while catatropic massage would be performed inwardly (centripetal) to the thorax, towards a reducing proportion of Yang.

Determining the direction of passage

In Chinese, the principle that spells out the course of the dermotope massage is known as 'Yin-Souei', which translated literally into English denotes 'up-stream' or 'down-stream'.

While massaging, the masseur presses his right thumb pad into the peridrome at the specific dermotope, progresses in the indicated direction and releases the pressure after moving about one to two centimetres of distance. At that particular point, he places his left thumb at the dermotope (spot of leaving) and performs in turn, which required being followed again using the thumb of the right hand. This process is repeated quite a number of times. Therefore, the dermotope undergoes a constant action passed on by operating both thumbs alternately.

As this action will be repeated frequently, it may be reiterated that a rapid, but light massage (also called effleurage) produces an anatropic effect, whereas a vigorous, deep and measured massage results in a catatropic result.

Possibly, the declaration that anatropic massage is performed with the purpose of providing warmness to dermotopes having low energy levels will explain the above mentioned principle better. In the case of a catatropic massage, slow, but forceful pressure is applied to the dermotope with a view to disperse excessive energy from the spot of applying pressure towards a decreasing Yang ratio.

Instruments

Before concluding, it is important to discuss about the instruments used for acupuncture treatment. It is worth mentioning here that the real needle used by the Chinese to perform acupuncture treatment is not a small pin made from a precious metal that is being forced on the western nations. In fact, it is a bimetallic device made from steel (iron) with a copper handle. It is essential to use a bimetallic needle because it generates a combination of heat and electricity. According to the Hsueh state on which this works, the bimetallic needle provides electrons (which are negative electricity) in the case of presence of excess energy, which is actually positive electricity condition, for dispersal. Conversely, the same needle works to get rid of electrons at times when the energy levels are low (which is a negative electrical condition).

However, according to the principle demonstrated by rubbing amber rod on the surface of the skin or by a piece of cloth, an insulator (also called dielectric) as per the act of a friction, it contributes electrons to the substance or removes electron from the substance, with which the rod is being rubbed. It may be noted here that elektron (electron) is the Greek term for amber from which the English term 'electricity' has been derived. Moreover, it is worth mentioning here that many electrostatic machines operate under the principle mentioned above.

Considering the electrical features of dermotopes and peridromes, a principle like the one talked about here would make it considerably easier to understand the impacts of micro-massage practiced by the Chinese. It may be mentioned here once more that while peridromes are symmetrical longitudinal lines in the human body through which energy flows, dermotopes are centers within the peridromes where energy is concentrated.

As a result, it is always preferable to create a friction using a particular instrument than massaging manually, even when the masseur uses his nails to provide such manual massage. Initially, the instrument we are talking about here was a small ball made from ivory, to which a handle was provided afterward with a view to make it easier to control it. This is an instrument having a blunt tip and it is known as 'Yuan Tchen'.

In fact, micro-masseurs have especially adapted Yuan Tchen to perform catatropic treatments, which require the massage to be slow, but deep. Although this instrument is equally helpful for performing anatropic treatments requiring light and fast effleurage (massage using delicate stoking motions), masseurs prefer employing other techniques and instruments to reinstate the poor energy levels within dermotopes.

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