People often have questions about the kind of treatments we give at YUJI. Click on the questions below for further reading.
What does YUJI mean?
It literally means “something” in Mandarin. A thing. The reverse of nothing. A tangible entity. We like the word “tangible” as it sums up what we aim to do. Our treatments are not esoteric, they are firmly rooted in the ability to change the state of someone’s body and the course of their illness and their lives. We want our treatments to address problems directly and aim for at least good improvement or complete resolution in any condition presented to us.
What defines YUJI
Yuji is a Chinese medicine clinic committed to constantly refining the skills and services that we offer to those who need our help. We train and practice together daily so that we can improve our understanding, and we study with a handful of truly gifted practitioners from various disciplines around the world who have the knowledge and skill to raise the standard of medicine. We sometimes call what we do “classical Chinese medicine” or ”warm hand acupuncture”, but we also like to call it “tangible medicine”, because all our work is focussed to make you feel the improvements in your health.
How to use YUJI
Many of the people who come to us for treatment know us by reputation. We tend to attract patients who fall in to one of two categories; those who are unwell, or those who are very well but who are working hard towards something. This tends to mean that some people know YUJI for extremely gentle treatments, whilst others know us for very intense sensations that we can elicit with the work that we do.
Whichever category you fall in to, we really need to check you out thoroughly. If you are unwell, we need to know the state of your illness so that we can unlock it strategically. If you are in a really good state of health and training we need to get an understanding of what that means for you, so that we can enhance what you are doing.
Our approach to treatment
In wanting to take Chinese medicine forwards we look a long way backwards to what are known as the “Classics”. These texts originate from a time and a place when, of course, “Chinese medicine” was just called “medicine” and was the only thing around that could save your life from the various diseases and injuries rife in a era of continuous warfare which lasted for centuries. This terrible time for humanity was a “golden era” for medicine in China.
What we practice is certainly a modern interpretation of this written material which dates from 2000 years ago and more, but we strive for a deep level of understanding of the principles that they describe. We are unashamedly fascinated with modern findings and techniques, which help us to achieve our aims, but we find that truly great medicine never goes beyond the core principles described in these Classics.
Modern understanding fills in the details and that is what we strive to do, so that our thinking can translate to the patients that we see and the problems that we face in a modern urban setting. But we also want to acknowledge the source of our deeper understandings of the patterns that underlie everything we see in clinic and in life. Those happen to be Chinese and they happen to be from a very long time ago.
How does acupuncture work?
The first thing to say is that there is not a single disease, not one, that exists because of the lack of a needle. Acupuncture is far from natural in that sense. It took mankind a long time to develop the tools which make acupuncture possible, and acupuncture is just a tool with one purpose; to provoke a response from the human body. Or perhaps "responses" would be a better word to use, because the number of possible responses the body can make is large.
Without appropriate response the body cannot survive. Put another way, if a response can be provoked in the right way and in the right place, the body's natural ability to defend and repair itself can be stimulated to restore health. This is how acupuncture, bodywork, herbs, drugs or whatever else is used as medicine usually works; not by putting in something that was missing but by using effectively what was already there is the first place. If we can get the body to divert its attention, nerve activity, blood and/or fluids to address a problem it can almost always improve it, and very often resolve it completely.
Much of the way that we will describe that process to patients will be to talk about the physical structure of the body, muscle tension or blood flow. Whilst this may not fully describe everything we are considering in Chinese medicine theory, we find it an easily communicated and quite accurate description of how we are thinking.
Do you need to believe in acupuncture for it to work?
Only as much as you would have to believe in exercise for it to work. If you did not know much about weight training and you went for one session lifting weights you would get a strange impression. You might think that it was not a success. You would sweat, ache the next day, feel tired and you would probably not see even the slightest change in the shape of your biceps. BUT, if you mentioned this to anyone you would at least find someone who would slap you, tell you were stupid and that this it was how it was meant to feel and to go back and do it six more times at least before you decide on its value. The problem is that you might not know anyone who has had acupuncture, or at least acupuncture that was effective enough to give a “tangible” effect. At YUJI, we don’t “believe” in acupuncture, we believe in good quality and effective treatment and that is what we always aim to provide.
How We Assess
We take a lot of care to check how every aspect of your health impacts on the symptom you would like addressed. We do this by questioning, looking carefully at your physical structure, and observing how you operate when you go through basic movements like walking. We then carefully palpate the muscles and the limbs, check the abdomen for signs of organ and intestinal health and then assess the blood flow by taking your pulse.
We train to be able to use very strong techniques as well as very gentle techniques so that we can adjust what we do to suit you and the kind of stimulation your body needs. We tend to address problem areas directly (which we might describe as "blood moving work") but will also treat distally and obtain travelling sensations to reach the affected areas. Occasionally we will treat a completely different area on the limbs to draw your body’s nervous system and attention away from the affected area and to alter blood flow as a secondary response.
As with acupuncture, we train to be able to use very strong techniques as well as very gentle techniques so that we can adjust what we do to suit you and the kind of stimulation your body needs.
Much of what we do might seem like regular massage, with or without useful oils and liniments, but we also have ways of opening up joints and lengthening the muscles. We have specialist treatments where we massage the abdominal cavity (much like visceral osteopathy) and also where we mobilise the feet.
Finally "deep qi" treatments are very light, but deeply relaxing hands on sessions which can have a profound effect.
We have a powdered herb pharmacy and we can dispense formulas which are easy to prepare without the need for elaborate boiling. We also have a herbalist for one to one consultations to prescribe tailored prescriptions where required.
We will teach whichever breathing, stretching or strengthening exercises that are appropriate for you.
All YUJI practitioners practice qi gong (or dao yin) daily, but we usually only teach the form that we use to other practitioners. It is not that it is secret, just that it is designed to make our hands warm and sensitive and so it really is only of use to practitioners. We do, however have a morning Qi gong class which we run locally to the clinic which promotes general balance and good health.