Traditional Chinese Medicine is a complete healing system, which can address all modern-day conditions. It may incorporate the use of acupuncture, moxibustion, tui na, cupping, gua sha, herbal remedies, and nutrition.
Acupuncture itself works by correcting imbalances of energy, or “qi,” in the body. When we are healthy, qi flows smoothly through our body’s meridians like water flowing along a riverbed.
Symptoms of ill health begin when the qi becomes blocked along its natural course. Injuries, pathogens, exposure to toxins, improper diet, and unhealthy emotions can all contribute to such blockages. The acupuncturist will assess how and where the qi has become blocked and assist the body to correct these blockages by gently inserting slender needles at specific points along the meridians of qi flow.
Initial acupuncture appointments are 90-minutes ($165) and follow-up sessions are typically 60-minutes ($110).
The number of treatments needed depends upon the duration, severity, and nature of each individual’s condition. You may need only a single treatment for an acute condition. A series of five to fifteen treatments may resolve many chronic problems. Some degenerative conditions may require many treatments over time. Based on the assessment of your individual condition, your acupuncturist will give you an estimate of your treatment program before starting treatment.
A typical treatment lasts approximately one hour. During the initial visit, a detailed health history will be taken and treatment will be conducted. The initial visit will typically last for an hour and a half.
Your practitioner will take your pulse, not to check your heart rate, but as a diagnostic tool to check for certain qualities relating to specific organs and meridians. She will also check the color and texture of your tongue, and then craft a customized treatment designed to enhance your overall health.
In most cases, your practitioner will use acupuncture to stimulate certain points along your meridians in order to bring your qi back into balance. But she might also apply small mounds of burning herbs (a technique called moxibustion) or suction cups (cupping), electro-acupuncture, or therapeutic massage. Then she may prescribe a combination of Chinese herbs and other ingredients designed to correct whatever imbalances are causing your troubles.
Your acupuncturist will help you understand your body, make suggestions for self-care, and guide you in maintaining optimum health.
Most patients find the treatment quite pleasurable inducing a deep state of relaxation, balance and a general sense of well being.
Your acupuncturist may also recommend supplemental therapies, such as herbal remedies, cupping, gua sha, moxibustion, or tui na:
Chinese Herbal Medicine
Chinese Herbal Medicine is a sophisticated and effective form of therapy that has been used for thousands of years. Chinese herbal formulas work not simply through chemical interactions, but also through subtle resonance with the person taking them. Herbs that strengthen and balance one another’s effects are combined into a single formula that addresses multiple symptoms. An herbal formula very often alleviates seemingly disconnected issues such as headaches, poor digestion, and depression.
Cupping is a traditional practice in many different cultures. In a cupping session, your practitioner suctions plastic or glass cups onto the body to help increase the flow of blood and Qi to an area and release tension and adhesions along tight muscle bands. Cupping also pulls stagnation and toxins out of the superficial layers of the body through the skin and can be an effective treatment for the common cold.
Like cupping, Gua Sha increases the flow of blood and Qi to tight areas of the body and effectively breaks up adhesions and knots within the muscles. Gua Sha is performed by using a tool (traditionally jade or animal horn) in a repetitive motion firmly across a tight area of musculature. Both cupping and Gua Sha are frequently combined with acupuncture in a single session.
Moxibustion is the technique of burning the herb mugwort near or on the body to stimulate circulation and induce a smoother flow of blood and qi.
This healing method is often used enhance fertility by stimulating blood flow in the pelvic area and uterus, to assist in turning breech babies, to mitigate cold and dampness in the body, and is effective in the treatment of chronic problems and weakness or “deficient conditions.”
Since 1700 BC, Tui Na has been an integral part of the traditional Chinese healing system, and is the parent of most modern Asian bodywork forms. Using rhythmic compression along energy meridians and direct pressure on acupressure points, Tui Na affects the flow of energy in the body.
By rebalancing the energy, Tui Na helps support healing. It is effective for joint pain, sciatica, muscle spasms, and pain in the back, neck, and shoulders. It also helps chronic conditions such as insomnia, constipation, headaches (including migraines), and tension associated with stress.
As with other styles of Asian bodywork, Tui Na is designed to prevent problems, not just correct them. By keeping the body’s energy in balance, health is maintained. This is true not just for physical health, but for mental and emotional well-being as well.