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Asclepius' Ampoule - Cervical Pain

Tui Na for cervical tract

By Crisostomo Gervasi

The theory of Qi
The most ancient form of oriental energetic treatments is called Tui Na, which literally means: Tui = premere, push; Na = grab, pull. This kind of treatment was believed to help eliminate the stagnant residues of "vital energetic flow". Our organism is completely filled with this subtle energy, which to this day does not have a specific name. It is, nevertheless, classified as Qi (Vital Energy) and translated as "Blow", "Quintessence", in absence of which any living body simply dies. It relates to the Tao, two complementary yet interdependent forces that act without non-stop: Yin and Yang, Positive and Negative, Masculine and Feminine, Day and Night, etc.

The Yin-Yang theory is known as the law of harmony: we should be in harmony – and not in opposition – to strength. The efficiency of any treatment is linked to a deep energetic evaluation, which leads to the proper selection of points to be treated and the right way of acting upon them –by tonifying or dispersing. Tui Na is known as an energetic treatment: it acts on all meridians of the body by manipulating limbs and muscles.
All energetic points are found on very long tracks traced over the whole body – called meridians – which are vertical channels. Each channel has a few reference points; within these channels our Qi flows. When the flow gets stuck for whatever reason, it produces an "Energetic Block". Tui Na treatment helps unlock the channels and restore the normal circulation of energy, thanks to the different manipulations chosen during the energetic evaluation; this makes every treatment absolutely unique and personal.

Cervical pain: a seasonal or a behavioral issue?
Since ancient times, cervical pain was connected to disorders related to climatic change of seasons. Hot weather and cold weather were the two principal causes of muscular pains at the base of the neck. Traditional Chinese Medicine analyzes and develops in detail both these factors. We need to keep in mind that all symptoms connected to cervical pain are a sum of muscular contractions. Cervical and neck pain is connected to stress, muscular tensions, lack of physical exercise, wrong postures, sleeping on improper mattresses and pillows.

In Suwen1 is mentioned that Traditional Chinese Medicine contemplates four kinds of treatment.
Bian, healing through massage with hands and feet or with other instruments like cups and stones.
Zhen, needle therapy, acupuncture.
Jiu, moxa.
Yao, phytotherapy.

Tui Na
Let's go back to Traditional Chinese Medicine and Tui Na, whose main objective is to release the muscular contraction in the cervical area. Each different techniques focuses on a specific treatment:

Swellings at the base of the neck should be neglected. They might be the sign of an inflammation and a treatment, under these circumstances, would only worsen the situation. When a muscle is inflamed, any movement can be the cause of severe pain.

Nutrition holds a very important place in Traditional Chinese Medicine and it is based on the combination of foods. Nutrition can be used as a therapy in itself or to integrate other treatments. For example, Qi Gong and nutrition are two methods that go well together.

An ancient saying goes, "It is better to prevent than to cure", yet we do not always remember it because when we are well our mind does not worry about prevention. We only go to see the doctor when our physical issue is already in an advanced stage and we pretend to eliminate the problem by taking drugs.
It is a good advice to start a phytotherapic treatment to prevent cervical pain. A well known remedy consists in a pack with an ointment made of devil's claw2, highly anti-inflammator. Keep in mind, however, that results will be seen only after a few days of continuous treatment. Another option is a warm pack with salt.
In a saucer, heat up a bit of salt (better if cooking salt) without adding water and bring it to a certain temperature. Put it into a cloth and make a classic tampon. Place over the inflamed area without scrubbing, letting the heat come out and penetrate into the aching part. Salt has great anti-inflammatory properties that also help to reduce pain. Make sure to cover your head after this treatment.

Final thoughts
I wish to share with you the following message by the great spiritual master Omraam Mikhaël Aïvanhov:
"To feel is one thing, to think is quite another. Yet very often a certain feeling influences our thoughts. It may happen to feel exhausted, and there is nothing special about it. But then that feeling starts to set off thoughts and moods of sadness, depression, desperation. Well, that's wrong. In those moments thoughts have to control feelings: even though it cannot win over them, it has to remain present like a light, lake a lighthouse far away. Thoughts tell you to get up: that's when, in spite of your exhaustion, you must follow your thought and not your feelings. Isn't there a drop of energy left in your tank? Remember that the cosmic tank is always full: that's where you should go to draw energy through your thoughts. This is what thinking is for: just a few drops drawn from the cosmic tank will be enough for lighting back up the flame of your lamp – about to shut down."
What else can we say? Our life is beautiful and part of our duties is to remember it. The best moment of our day is when we wake up in the morning feeling ready to live our journey with dignity and awareness, without letting all the negative factors around affect us.

1. Suwen: Huang Ti Nei Ching Su Wen is an old treaty of Traditional Chinese Medicine where medicine is conceived as the relationship between man and nature. The treaty is divided into two books. The first one is called Suwen ("simple questions") where the celestial master Qi Bo gives answers to fundamental, basic, simple questions of the Yellow Emperor.
2. Devil's claw: a plant original of South Africa; it gets his name from the small claws on its fruit. This plant's properties seem to affect different conditions: from fever to rheumatic pains to gastrointestinal disorders.

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