As a travel agency specialised in Wellness holidays, every now and then, we get the opportunity to try out some of the programs or elements of the programs that we offer. We realise that this is definitely one of the perks of the job, however it is also an essential part of our job. We often get questions from clients, who are not so familiar with a specific wellness topic, wondering what certain therapies are, what they involve and how you can benefit from them. Recently we got a question about the Meridian therapies offered at Océano Hotel Health Spa in Tenerife and we thought, this is one of those therapies that is not widely known about and so is worth sharing the details.
Meridian therapy is an ancient healing art that is concerned with restoring proper energy flow within the body. In the ancient oriental healing arts, Qi, which stands for energy, moves throughout the whole body but in certain defined pathways it flows in a more concentrated manner. These pathways are known as ¨meridians¨ and which exist in everyone. The meridians form a continuous circuit of channels that allow the flow of different aspects of Qi all over the body. Each meridian is named after a physical organ and there are 12 in total for example, the Heart meridian, Lung meridian, and Bladder meridian.
The central concept in oriental medicine incorporates the belief that all physical problems are a result of an obstruction in this Qi energy flow. Each meridian therapy has a different approach, but they are all designed with the same purpose; to integrate the body and mind to strengthen Qi and restore the energy flow within their corresponding meridians and the entire body. And this they say can ‘cure’ diseases.
Each meridian has many pressure points along its path. And all Meridian therapies are based on stimulating these pressure points, but each in its own way. You should choose the type of therapy that fits you best and the one with which you feel most comfortable.
Acupuncture. The first of the 3 meridian therapies is Acupuncture. It is a 3,000-year-old healing technique of Traditional Chinese Medicine. Acupuncture improves the body’s functions and promotes the natural self-healing process by stimulating specific pressure points –commonly referred to as acupuncture points to influence the energy flow along the meridians. The most common method used to stimulate acupoints is the insertion of fine, sterile needles into the skin. Pressure, heat, or electrical stimulation may further enhance the effects.
Depending on the health issues the therapist will find the pressure points that need to be stimulated in order to treat the issue. He or she will probably place several needles. Some may be placed deeper than others, depending on what the provider believes is needed to restore the flow of Qi energy. In most cases treatment lasts for 15 minutes to an hour. You may have several visits to complete your treatment. Some people have ongoing visits, depending on their needs.
Shiatsu. Shiatsu could be considered a form of massage, which is often carried out through the clothes and incorporates simple points and holds. It supports and strengthens the body’s natural ability to heal and balance itself. It works on the whole person – not just with the physical body, but also with the psychological, emotional and spiritual aspects of being. Shiatsu means “finger pressure,” which describes the technique. In shiatsu therapy, pressure with thumbs, hands, elbows, knees or feet is applied to pressure points on the body. By massaging the pressure points, it helps remove the blockages by realigning the meridians, which balances the Qi energy and eases the body and mind.
Shiatsu includes awareness of body posture, breathing and exercise. It is calm and relaxing in nature, yet dynamic in effect; the body begins to re-adjust itself and healing takes place. It is a deeply relaxing experience, mostly performed on a comfortable mat on the floor. Regular treatments can alleviate stress, illness and maintain health and well-being.
Moxibustion. Moxibustion is the last of the 3 meridian therapies. It is a form of heat therapy in which dried plant materials called “moxa” are burned on or very near the surface of the skin. The intention is to warm and invigorate the flow of Qi energy along meridians in the body. Generally, therapists hold a burning moxa stick close to, but not touching, the surface of the skin.
In this method, the moxa material is compressed into a stick or pole, looking not unlike an oversized cigar that can be lit and allowed to smoulder, producing a unique form of very penetrating heat. The smouldering moxa stick is held over specific areas, often, though not always, corresponding to certain acupuncture points. The glowing end of the moxa stick is held about an inch or two above the surface of the skin until the area reddens and becomes suffused with warmth. Another form of indirect moxibustion uses both acupuncture needles and moxa. A needle is inserted into an acupoint then the needle is wrapped in moxa and lit. The needle heats up and so does the skin.
Moxibustion is often used to relieve pain due to injury or Arthritis, Digestive problems, irregular elimination, Gynaecological conditions and protection against cold and flu strains.
If this article has got you interested in experiencing Meridian therapies and you feel that you would benefit from restoring the balance of energy flow around your mind and body then check out the possibilities we offer at Océano Hotel Health Spa here.