Hand therapy for the treatment of general diseases of the body is a group of very convenient therapeutic methods applying different types of stimulation at various specific parts of the hand to promote circulation of qi and blood through meridians.
This therapy can improve life quality, maintain health, and prevent and cure many diseases. The specific parts of hand are classified as the regular, extra, and special acupoints of the hand, homographic reflective points, and a group of points beside the second metacarpal bone. Stimulating methods include massage, acupuncture, herbal bath, and qigong applied at hand. Although these methods vary, they are all applied to the hand, and are, therefore, all included under the general name of hand therapy.
1. Origin and Development of Hand Therapy
Hand therapy is a component of traditional Chinese medi-cine. According to the history of medicine, the origin of hand therapy was much earlier than that of medicinal therapy. In primitive times, human beings lived in caves in the open country and they would automatically rub their hands to promote blood circulation to prevent frostbite during the cold winter season; and rub or press painful areas to relieve their sufferings, resolve swelling and correct functional imbalances. Because pressure applied at Hegu (LI 4) acupoint of the hand could relieve toothache, people gradually found that stimulation applied at certain specific parts of the hand by pressing, rubbing, twisting and kneading, or by some tool, could produce certain therapeutic effects. This was none other than the primitive form of handtherapy.
In the ancient classic medical book the Yellow Emperor's Internal Classic, which was published during the Spring and Autumn and Warring States periods (770-221 B.C.), there are descriptions of the use of meridians and acupoints of the hand to diagnose and treat diseases. This shows that hand therapy is at least more than 2,000 years old.
Along with the increase of clinical practice and the accumulation of medical knowledge, and especially with the development of acupuncture, tuina (traditional Chinese massage), cfigong and the use of medicinal herbs, the contents of hand
therapy have greatly been enriched and expanded. The theoretical basis of hand therapy is the meridian theory. Together with meridian theory and acupuncture practice, the functions of meridians and regular, extra, and special acupoints
of the hand have been summarized and discussed in Chinese medical literature throughout different historical eras. The modern homographic theory of biology also substantiates the theories of hand therapy.
The development of tuina has also added to the contents of hand massage. In the Yellow Emperor's Internal Classic, the earliest tools of Chinese massage, such as round-tip needles and spoon needles, were first mentioned. The first book on tuina was published in the Qin and Han dynasties (221 B.C.-A.D. 220) 2,000 years ago. Since then, tuina has had a continuous development and has been spread to Japan, Korea, and India.
As an exercise for the body and mind, Chinese qigong exercises also have a long history and substantial content, and were developed by the Chinese people through the activities of their daily life to maintain health and treat diseases. Qigong of the hand is a modification of general qigong exercises.
I. Origin and Development of Hand Therapy
II. Hand Therapy Indications, Characteristics and
COMMON ACUPOINTS FOR HAND THERAPY
COMMON HAND THERAPY METHODS
I. Hand Therapy Massage
II. Hand Therapy Acupuncture
III. Hand Therapy Using Hand Bath
IV. Hand Therapy Using Hand Qigong
V. Hand Therapy Using Miscellaneous Methods
TREATMENT OF COMMON DISEASES
1. Common cold
3. Shortness of breath
5. Heart palpitations
6. Bi-syndrome of chest
II. Dermatological and Surgical Conditions
1. Stiff neck
3. Tuberculosis of cervical lymph nodes
4. Acute mastitis
5. Herpes zoster
9. Tinea manuum
III. Gynecological Diseases
2. Menstrual headache
4. Postpartum bleeding shock
5. Postpartum convulsions
6. Body pain after childbirth
8. Infertility in women
9. Abdominal mass
IV. Pediatric Diseases
3. Stagnation of food
4. Indigestive malnutrition
6. Retardation of development
7. General weakness
8. Scleroderma in newborns
V. Diseases of the Eye, Ear, Nose and Oral Cavity
1. Tinnitus and deafness
2. Nasal obstruction
3. Atrophic rhinitis
5. Acute laryngitis
6. Sore throat
7. Deviation of mouth
9. Pseudomembranous conjunctivitis
11. Paralytic strabismus
13. Optic nerve atrophy
14. Drooping upper eyelid