The study of martial arts and medicine has always been interconnected in the East. Historically speaking, it impossible to separate their development for, as one may infer, doctors are indispensable in battlefields. Not only warriors needed medical support, but also the elaboration of medical knowledge, especially anatomy, can be traced back to the observation of corpses left behind in war zones.
It is interesting to notice, for instance, that the pressure points used in both Indian and Chinese medicine are also used in martial arts practice. The Sanskrit word for pressure points, marma, is also the verb to kill. Just as snake poison is used to create its antidote, the same can be said about pressure points – their proper application can either heal or kill.
Another crucial connecting point between the study of martial arts and oriental medicine is related to the concept of ki, defined as vital energy, vital power, universal breath, or even matter-energy. In Eastern philosophy, ki (ch’i in Chinese, prana in Sanskrit) is understood as the force that constitutes and pervades the universe, and the most fundamental natural phenomenon that spontaneously creates, sustains and annihilates everything that exists simultaneously.
According to oriental medicine, one’s internal energy is understood as the psycho-physiological force that spreads through the body giving us life, flowing down from the brain through the central nervous system, reaching all limbs, organs and body extremities. All motions of the body are ruled by this principle, from water to blood and gastric juices, to cardio-respiratory, brain function and limb movement, thus the comprehension of it as life force. The balanced, unobstructed and healthy functioning of one’s life force is the quintessential perception behind all oriental medicine traditions – healing happens from inside out.
Throughout eastern classical literature, it becomes quite evident that philosophy, medicine, martial arts and spirituality have always been associated themes, being ki the bond between them all. Through eastern philosophy, one is taught to ponder about one’s life – its source, sustenance, end, nature and qualities. Eastern medicine guides one to learn how ki is able to heal both the physical and the intangible realms of human beings, such as thoughts and emotions. The study of martial arts reveals how one may bring mental and physical health to its optimum state by cultivating and experiencing the flow of ki throughout the body. Martial arts are also a means to preserve one’s integrity, where life force is put into motion effectively in order to protect itself and loved ones, and also to promote peace and justice. Finally, the different spiritual traditions of the East revolve mainly around meditation techniques. As one’s awareness is withdrawn from the objects of the senses, one has a first account of ki – knowing, feeling and ultimately realising ki as being one’s innermost Self. Some traditions claim that, on a higher level, after many years of devoted practice, ki reveals itself and one is able to see it as the pure light of consciousness that shines within and without (hence the word enlightenment).
Alongside with the training in traditional Japanese arts, the Kokyu Dojo offers healing services provided by Paulo Tramujas, who is a certified counselor in oriental medicine, having graduated from Kerala Ayurveda Academy in Los Angeles, CA. Tramujas studied under two of the most prominent voices in holistic health in the U.S., Dr Jayarajan Kodikannath and Dr Suhas Kshirsagar.
Oriental Medicine provides a wide range of techniques to promote overall health, including:
- Dietary and nutritional guidance and education;
- Herbal therapies;
- Psychological guidance based on meditation techniques;
- Physiotherapy guidance based on martial arts and yoga postures;
- Pressure point stimulation and massage
The search for holistic treatments is on the rise, due to its gentle alternatives to current allopathy and its manifold collateral effects, and more specifically, for its very useful methods to combat the malady of our era – stress, an area that modern medicine clearly struggles to offer permanent solutions, and that now acknowledges the efficiency of these ancient approaches.
Tramujas thesis upon his graduation was on stress management procedures based on meditation practices derived from the Manasshastra, the immemorial Vedic text on psychology, developed by the rishis, or sages of ancient India.
Meditation techniques are highly regarded within the scientific and medical community as one of the most powerful stress management techniques available today, and are considered by psychologists worldwide as the art of emotional intelligence. Apart from stress, meditation is strikingly efficient in the management of anxiety, addictions, insomnia, blood pressure, lack of appetite, depression, among many other observed benefits.
All therapies offered are understood under the perspective of oriental medicine and its old philosophy, based on the 5 element theory and principles, therefore not to be presumed under the western, academic point of view. Those undergoing a current medical treatment must not stop it upon starting holistic counselling and treatment, rather, these practices should work concomitantly.
It should be pointed out though, that those who are on a healing journey usually find that holistic approaches quickens the process, and there is a substantial statistical number of people who gradually rid themselves from the use of heavy chemical drugs through holistic treatments. To book an appointment, please refer to out contact page.