Traditional Chinese Therapies
The history of traditional Chinese therapies goes back many thousands of years. Herbology, acupuncture, moxibus- tion (applying heat to an acupuncture point), acupressure,massage therapy, body manipulation, physical and breathing exercises, cutaneous scraping therapy, vacuum cupping, and Qi Gong are some of the popular therapies included in traditional Chinese medicine. However, Chinese herbology is considered to be the main root.
The wealth of wisdom that springs from Chinese herbology is just as valuable today as it was to the ancient Chinese. It is essential to introduce the inherent philosophy of Chinese medicine to the West, and most importantly to interpret the almost incomprehensible antiquated Chinese classics into modern language and apply their knowledge in a practical and accessible way.
What are Chinese herbs? Some say they are barks and roots. However, the everyday term "Chinese herbs" is not limited just to barks and roots; this simple term has been broadened to encompass many other medicinal agents. In fact, it includes animal products (such as cicada and snake skin, pig's bile or skin, bovine hide, gecko, pearl and oyster shell) and minerals (such as talcum, kaolin, sodium sulphate and magnetic stone). They are all in the realm of Chinese herbology (and its bible, Ben Cao Pharmacopoeia or Materia Medicaj. The majority of herbal substances are prepared in special ways before ingestion in order to enhance their functions.
Herbs can also be characterized by their origin of growth. In the Chinese language, such herbs are known as "Di Dao" medicinal herbs. The term "Di Dao" literally means"down to earth”, and
is understood as the original source of the best growth. Certain areas of China are known for their special growing conditions, Herbs from these areas are Sandalwood bark,
considered to be superior in potency and effectiveness because the quality of the soil, the weather and the environment are particularly suitable for the growth of that particular species, just as certain special grapes are used in wine production.
However, with the increase in the world's population, and following the law of supply and demand, a shortage is developing of the Di Dao medicinal plants. The advancement of science makes large-scale production possible, which is able to fulfill the market demand.