While practicing the fundamental techniques of chin na it is possible to receive various types of injuries. Through experience, these injuries can be divided into several groups. The injuries that a student receives during chin na practice can be cured if die proper procedures are followed. Administering first-aid to oneself and others is an important aspect of any martial art.
In general, the first type of aid usually to be administered is massage and then herbal treatments. Herbs, like massage, are a common way to cure various injuries.
In China, an herb is not necessarily a medicine derived from a plant. An herb can be anything of medicinal value which has been taken from animals, insects, minerals, etc. Most herbs reflect the properties of their environment; an herbal plant living in a cool-moving stream will display properties of coldness. Most Chinese herbs are mixtures of several elements. Herbs are used either for external or internal use. Herbs which are used on the outer or external portions of the body usually are meant to help cure bruises, cuts, sore spots, inflammation, and other disorders. The herbs used for external purposes can come in the form of ointments, liquids, alcohol suspen-sions, and powders.
Herbs used for internal pur-poses have as their goal the curing of more serious disorders such as ulcers, fevers, heart troubles and internal bleeding; for this reason, internal herbs must be taken directly into the body. For the martial artist, the use of internal herbs is very important. First, to get rid of bruises which are deep in the body, ingested herbs are necessary, because the techniques of massage are not effective on very deep bruises. Secondly, many internally taken herbs such as ginseng help the circulation of chi. Herbs that help the circulation of chi assist a martial artist in recovering from bruises which hinder his chi circulation.
Because the types and kinds of herbs are too numerous to list, it is a good policy for the martiai artist to find a good Chinese herbal store.
The owners of these stores are usually experienced herbalists who can prescribe the correct remedy. Many good herb stores are located in big cities where people of Chinese ancestry live.
The first type of injury which can occur in the practice of chin na is to the muscle. Because many fundamental chin na techniques require the twisting, grasping, and pulling of muscles, it is quite easy for muscles to receive some sort of injury. In this case, the injured spot is usually soft to the touch because some blood has accumulated around the injured section. With injured muscles, the best remedy is to massage the hurt area. Massage helps the healing to occur faster. Later, an herb can be used.
The next type of injury which may occur is a bruise. A bruised area, unlike that of an injured muscle, is hard to the touch because it has a high concentration of dead blood cells. Also, the pain from a bruise is localized in a very sensitive area. Most bruises can be located by the discoloration of the skin. To get rid of a bruise, the most-effective method is to use herbs in conjunction with massage.
The third type of injury common to the practice of chin na is to the ligaments. Injury to the ligaments can especially occur in misplacing the bone chin na because its whole purpose is to unhinge the bones at their joints. When unhinging occurs, the ligaments are overstretched. With this sort of injury, it is best to use herbal treatment with rest. In time the ligaments will return to their normal state. Massaging a ligament is not good because this will irritate or stretch it out even further.
The fourth type of injury, dislocation, can result in serious problems if it is not attended to immediately. With any dislocation the first priority is to relocate the joint. Usually, the areas most likely to get dislocated are fingers, hand, elbow, shoulder, and knee. Each one will be treated separately.
Relocating a finger can usually be accomplished by the practitioner himself, but it is better for someone else to.