Actions of Medicated Hot Compress
Medicated hot compress is based upon the Zang-fu theory and the theory of the meridians in TCM. The zang and fu organs are essential to the physiological function ofthe human body, and they control the normal life activities. The meridians are the passages of circulation of qi and blood, and the link associating the exterior and the interior, connecting the upper and the lower of the human body as well. Therefore, diseases, no matter they are caused by exogenous or endogenous factors, all occur only through attack at the body surface, the meridians and the zang and fu organs first. Medicated hot compress is to apply medicines close to the skin after heated, get them travel through the meridians to the viscera, then distribute all over the body to regulate the meridians and balance yin and yang. It also has the function of warming and activating the meridians, promoting blood circulation to re move blood stasis and relieving pain. Here its therapeutic principles are summarized in the following aspects.
Medicated Hot Compress Therapy
Medicated hot compress refers to fumigating, washing, ironing or to-and-fro rubbing the affected sites of patients' body surface in different ways with different Chinese medicines under the guidance of the basic theory of TCM. This therapy is an external treatment, and has the advantages of quick effects, simple methods, easy learning, convenient promotion, safe application and less side effects. Therefore, this method is not only applied in departments of surgery, orthopaedics and traumatology,dermatology and the eye, ear, nose and throat diseases, but also in internal medicine, gynecology, pediatrics often with satisfactory results. It is another auxiliary treatment in massotherapy.
Medicated hot compress has a long history and can trace back to the ancient time.
In medicated hot compress, medicines with stimulating effects are used to dilate local blood vessels, promote blood circulation and improve the supply of nutrients of the surrounding tissues so as to play the role of relieving swelling and subduing inflammation. For example, the application of warm and hot drugs in hot compress may produce the same stimulating effect as moxibustion does,which can achieve the result of warming and dredging themeridians, activating circulation of qi and blood, dispersing cold and expelling dampness. Moreover, nerve reflex caused by medicines acted on some local areas can stimulate the auto-regulation of the human body and promotethe formation of some antibodys, which improves the immunologic function of the body. In general, through its local stimulation medicated hot compress attains the object of regulating the function of zang and fu organs, and preventing and treating diseases.
Absorption of the Skin
This therapy relies upon the unity of osmosis of the medicines and absorption of the skin to make medicines get into the human body. Then through the regulation, balance and distribution of the meridians and zang and fu organs, medicines treat the general or local diseases. Or by directly acting on the foci of the skin, they take effect to treat diseases.
Direct Action of Medicines
Through the administration of fumigating, washing,ironing and to-and-fro rubbing, medicines can directlycontact the loci and play the role of clearing away heat, detumescence by detoxification, expelling wind and arresting itching, drawing out of the pus and removing the slough.
Regulating and balancing action of the meridians
Applied to the body surface, effective part of medicines with different property and actions is absorbed.Then through blood vessels and the meridians, the effective part passes to the zang and fu organs, activates me-ridian qi to distribute all over the body or directly reach the loci. By all the means, medicines function to replenish deficiency and purge excess, regulate yin and yang to treat diseases.
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