In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) theory, the human body is an energetic system in which energy (QI) flows along defined pathways (meridians) throughout the body. When the body is in harmony and balance the flow is smooth. An imbalance disrupts the flow of QI and manifests as pain, dysfunction, injury, disease and/or disorders. Acupuncture is a therapy to restore the flow of Qi to promote health and balance.
The theories of Yin and Yang, the Five Elements, Qi and the Fundamental Substances, pathogenesis and differentiation of syndromes and meridians and points provide the framework for the fundamental understanding of human health and illness and for the use of needle acupuncture, herbs, moxibustion, cupping, acupressure and other TCM modalities. The main emphasis is prevention of illness by maintaining the balance of harmony within.
By correctly identifying the pattern of the disorder according to TCM and by applying the appropriate treatment to correct imbalance, the TCM Practitioner and Acupuncturist help the patient to regain health and balance naturally. The TCM Practitioner and Acupuncturist may combine treatment with other TCM modalities such as dietary considerations and cultivation of a positive life philosophy and life style to enhance vitality.
Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) treats a number of issues and approaches treating ailments from a holistic perspective. A variety of symptoms are treatable such as pain, IBS, colitis, infertility, neuropathy, arthritis, insomnia, stress and depression. TCM can treat chronic and/or acute problems as well.
Traditional Chinese Medicine TreatmentsOffered: Cupping
Cupping can be beneficial for anyone with joint, muscle pain and tension, headaches, frequent colds and flus. It is a good alternative to acupuncture for those with an aversion to needles. It is also ideal for those who are not getting the relief they need from massage alone.
Cupping is a therapy where glass or plastic cups are suctioned onto the skins surface through negative pressure. The suction and negative pressure stimulates the lymphatic system to drain excessive fluids and toxin. It then pulls fresh blood flow to stagnant muscles and skin. It helps to loosen adhesions and stubborn knots in muscle and myofascial tissue and stimulates the nervous system.
The goal of cupping is to activate the body's self-healing. The suction from the cups creates negative pressure. Which cause strong irritation to the area. This activates the bodies local and general healing powers, creating a anti-inflammatory effect which in turn supports rapid recovery from any disease caused by inflammation. This is stimulates the lymphatic system, increases blood flow to the muscles and skin to loosen adhesions. The increase in circulation to the area allows for a faster elimination of pain causing substances and as a result pain is reduced.
Moxibustion treatment is the application of heat therapy from the burning of an herb, Mugwort. In modern Traditional Chinese Medicine, you will find “Moxa” is typically an adjunct therapy to acupuncture, tuina, herbs etc. In Japan, moxibustion is often practiced as a standalone therapy. How Does Moxibustion Work? Moxibustion Therapy warms and promotes circulation. It treats root causes of disease, reinforces the body's resistance to pathogens, promotes rapid healing from injuries and rectifies imbalances. The Mugwort plant is of the Artemisia family, Artemisia Vulgaris. In Chinese Medicine we refer to Mugwort as Ai Ye. It has been said that the name Moxa is derived from the Japanese term mogusa, translating to the “herb that burns.” Mugwort grows as a bush and grows wild throughout many countries. There are many methods of Moxibustion. Indirect moxa is what is most commonly used in the USA however you will find direct moxa (non-scarring) method also performed by many providers. Moxa may be placed as a small refined piece then quickly removed from the body or placed on the acupuncture needle for “warming needle.” It may be performed on one point on the body or over an area of the body. We will find moxa in various forms, rolled in balls, shaped in cones or rolls, sticks or even placed in wooden boxes or metal delivery systems. Smokeless moxa can also be found.
Gua Sha might be all the rage on Instagram right now, but its origins date back thousands of years, originating in Chinese Medicine and spreading first to Vietnam and then throughout the rest of the world. What Is Gua Sha? Gua Sha is a modality used across the world in clinics and homes as self-care and continues to gain popularity in the West. Ask your acupuncturist! Gua Sha is a part of acupuncture therapy, but not limited to the Chinese Medicine scope of practice. Gua means "to rub" or "press stroke". Sha describes the blood congestion in tissues and for the red dots that are raised from applying Gua Sha. Gua Sha, scraping or coining, involves using a tool on parts of the body experiencing pain or stagnation specifically to create bruising and redness to promote healing. It can be done almost anywhere on the body but is typically applied at the back, neck or shoulders. As with other aspects of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Gua Sha works with the body, boosting its own healing.
How is Gua Sha Used in Chinese Medicine? Gua Sha is used whenever a patient has pain acute or chronic disorders. There may be aching, tenderness and or pain in the muscles. In addition to resolving pain, Gua Sha can improve movement in the joints by breaking down scar tissue and connective tissue. Gua Sha can also be implemented to treat a common cold, flu, asthma and other inflammatory disorders. The treatment involves using a tool to rub the skin in long strokes by applying pressure to create minor bruising. Your practitioner or you at home will use an oil or balm with a tool such as a lid, soup spoon, coin, horn, rose quartz, jade or wood. There are a variety of modern tools today. Today we find elegant facial flat grooved tools of polished stones for modern Gua Sha that is touted as soothing.
It is also recommended to moderate activity after treatment, even rest. After treatment the patient is advised to keep the area protected from cold or direct sun. It’s best to drink plenty of water and refrain from alcohol. Gua Sha is often done in combination with acupuncture and herbs for problems that acupuncture alone cannot address.