Traditional Chinese Medicine

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) today is a comprehensive system based on thousands of years of cross-cultural knowledge of the human body and mind. It is accepted around the globe as a safe, effective and holistic complement or alternative to contemporary western medicine.

All about balance

TCM is based primarily on a theory of balanced energy in the body. At the first visit, the Chinese Medicine practitioner will conduct a comprehensive intake to correctly diagnose the patient's pattern of energetic imbalance. TCM diagnosis involves listening to the patients complete health history as well as making observations of the tongue, and feeling the pulses at the wrist. After determining the imbalance, the practitioner uses acupuncture, herbal remedies, and various other modalities to restore balance.

Where do the meridians fit in?

TCM works on the premise of meridian theory: that there are patterns of energy flow called "Qi" (pronounced chee) throughout the body, which relate to organs and the tendino-muscular system. When the body is in good health, energy flow is balanced and consistent. However, when energy flow is disrupted due to trauma, poor diet, medications, stress, or other factors, pain and illness result.

Acupuncture

Acupuncture is one of the most effective ways to unblock energy flow and restore the body to a state of balanced "qi". Acupuncture is performed by inserting fine needles into carefully selected points along the body, corresponding directly to the energy meridians.

When the needle is correctly inserted in the proper location your body's energy will actually grab the needle and the needle will stand firm. Sometimes the patient will feel very little, sometimes he/she will feel a dull sensation, and sometimes the patient will literally feel an energetic sensation flow briefly through the meridian as a blockage is relieved. In fact, your ability to "sense" the acupuncture working may astonish you the first time.

Sensitive to needles?

Acupuncture needles are not hollow like hypodermic needles. Consequently, they are much thinner than you might imagine. In many cases, you will not feel the needle being inserted. Nonetheless, if you are sensitive to needles, you may choose from many other options including Acupressure, Herbs, Moxabustion, Gua Sha, Cupping, Nutritional Supplements, and Asian Bodywork.

Chinese Herbal Medicine

Herbal Medicine is a major component of Traditional Chinese Medicine and has been used for over 3,000 years in China and worldwide.

Before pharmaceuticals (and even the use of acupuncture needles) herbal remedies were used to heal and balance the human body. Chinese herbs have shown their effectiveness under the scrutiny of both empirical study and modern clinical trials. The herbs can be used to augment the treatment of a particular imbalance, working together or sometimes in place of acupuncture and other medicines. Unlike most pharmaceuticals, herbal prescriptions in Chinese Medicine are tailor-made for the individual.

Cupping

Cupping is an old technique performed in both China and the West. The process traditionally uses glass jars, heated to create a vacuum, and placed on the upper back to relieve acute illnesses such as colds and fevers. Cupping can also be done all over the body to invigorate the flow of Qi and to relieve tension and pain. It is often used for treating back- ache, chronic nausea and vomiting, sciatica, frozen shoulder, and more.

If cupping is deemed necessary for your condition, it is generally included in a private acupuncture visit. You may also come in for cupping in a separate treatment.

Moxibustion

Moxa is used by TCM practitioners for its warming and tonifying properties. Moxibustion (the process of burning Moxa) either on a needle, or directly on the skin helps build the Qi and rid the body of excess moisture. Patients usually enjoy this sensation of warmth and find it very relaxing. The heat never gets close enough to the skin to burn.

Where appropriate, Moxibustion is included in a private acupuncture visit. Moxibustion treatments without acupuncture are also available.

Gua Sha

Gua Sha is a Chinese treatment, similar in effect to cupping. Gua stands for rubbing or friction. Sha stands for congested or stagnant blood at the surface of the body. When friction is applied in repeated, even strokes, the sha surfaces as tiny red petechiae. Usually, a Chinese soup spoon is used to create this effect, but we like to use a special tool. This method is wonderful at treating stiff upper necks and backs and helping deal with everyday stress. Gua Sha is included in a private acupuncture appointment or can be done separately.

Nutritional Counseling

Everyone knows that diet and nutrition are instrumental in maintaining health! Dietary changes and nutrition are fully integrated into the theories of Chinese Medicine and are important factors in maintaining health and achieving success in Chinese Medicine treatment.

As such, Traditional Chinese dietary recommendations are given to patients throughout treatment. As needed we may also give advice about western nutritional supplements. Nutritional counseling is included in acupuncture treatments or can be given separately.

Asian Body Therapy

In addition to, or instead of using acupuncture needles, we use specialized massage techniques that stimulate the acupuncture meridians and points. Tui Na is Chinese Medical Massage that is used to stimulate the points and heal dysfunction. Shiatsu is a Japanese form of bodywork that uses pressure on the acupuncture points as well as stretching to help restore balance in the meridians.
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