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Traditional Chinese Medicine

What is Traditional Chinese Medicine?

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) is a 3,000 year old medicine originating in China. In this holistic approach to wellness, pain, illness and injury are viewed as a result of an imbalance in the body’s Qi (pronounced “Chee”, also translated as “life force” or “vital energy”).

We can think of Qi as a river of energy. If a dam is built across a river, downsteam of the dam, there is not enough water. Upstream of the dam, there is too much. This is what happens to our bodies’ Qi when we are out of balance. Traditional Chinese Medicine treatments assist in dispersing Qi where there’s too much and building up one’s Qi when there is too little.

Restoration of balance is achieved by numerous Chinese Medical techniques.  Acupuncture involves inserting fine needles in specific acupuncture points along channels or meridians throughout the body. Non needle techniques such as cupping, gua sha, moxibustion and magnets are also used in addition to Chinese herbal medicine, dietary advice, auricular therapy, Tui Na and acupressure.

Both needle and non-needle techniques for treatment are available.

Acupuncture

Acupuncture, which is one aspect of Chinese Medicine, is a treatment practice where very fine needles are inserted into specific acupuncture points on meridians or channels throughout the body. This encourages the body to come back into balance. Magnets (the size of a kernel of popcorn) can be used in lieu of needles. Acupuncture has been recognized by the World Health Organization and the National Institute of Health as an effective treatment for many different ailments. (Click here to see the WHO/NIH list of diseases and disorders that can be treated with acupuncture)

Cupping

Cupping is a healing practice that involves creating a suction in a round, glass cup, then applying it to the skin. Cupping is used to move Qi and Blood and increase circulation in the area. This method is very effective for patients suffering from pain, tension, a cold or upper respiratory infection and much more.

Moxibustion

Moxibustion, or moxa, is the herb artemesia vulgaris, or mugwort, which is dried and used in a variety of ways to increase circulation, bring warmth, and encourage movement of Qi. Moxibustion is an effective treatment for many things including various types of pain, digestive problems, nasal congestion and more.

Gua sha

Gua sha is similar to cupping. It involves using the rounded edge of a spoon-like tool to kneed an area where there is stagnation. Patients suffering from a cold, upper respiratory infection or muscle pain find this treatment comforting and beneficial. Gua sha can also be used to increase ones’ energy and feeling of vitality.