Acupuncture & Chinese Medicine
Chinese Medicine: It's Not Just Acupuncture
Oriental medicine is a very broad and complete system of holistic healthcare. Acupuncture is the most famous technique, but when you bring your healthcare needs to our offices, we apply this complete system of medicine to make sure that you gain the most from your treatments.
Acupuncture is the technique of inserting thin, metal needles into specific points on the body for therapeutic effect. It has a long lineage of use in China, with references to its practice dating back over 2500 years. These points are arranged in lines and patterns on the surface of the body, following energetic pathways of Qi (also rendered as Chi or Ki). These pathways are called Meridians or Channels (Mai in Chinese). Acupuncture points, though located on the surface of the body, connect to deep patterns of Qi within the body. Through insertion and manipulation of acupuncture needles, an art form in itself, disharmonies in the flow of Qi may be influenced and changed. We only use disposable needles in our practice, so that you can be assured of getting brand new, prepackaged and sterile needles each time.
Cupping is the technique of using brief heat to create a vacuum in a glass cup and placing the cup over acupuncture points. The suction created by the cooling air within the cup creates a "pulling" effect, said in Chinese medicine to extract Wind and Dampness. Cups are also used to break up stagnation of energy, and to treat sports and accident related soft tissue injuries. Patients have told us that cupping is a like "getting a massage backwards."
Tui Na Massage
Tui Na is a Chinese system of massage and physical therapy. Using many of the basic principles of acupuncture, combined with modern knowledge of body mechanics, Tui Na is used extensively in China for the treatment of injuries. It is also used frequently with athletes for injury recovery. Martial artists, gymnasts, dancers and others engage in activities requiring extreme flexibility especially benefit from acupuncture and Tui Na.
Moxibustion is the process of burning an herb over specific acupuncture points and channels, or over a needle inserted in an acupuncture point. It is an art and science in itself, brought to its heights in Korea and Japan. You are not burned in this process and most people find moxibustion very warming and relaxing. Many people do this for themselves at home, supporting their treatments between visits. In fact, in some cases there are points you can moxa at home to support your treatments. Don't be surprised if you're sent home with a moxa stick.
In the last 1500 years the Chinese and others developed very logical, sophisticated and effective models for using herbs in the treatment of disease and promotion of health. Chinese herbal medical theory and practice is much more developed and sophisticated than most Western herbal traditions, and relies on carefully balanced formulas. These formulas are combined in ways that are simple in principle yet show a remarkable sophistication behind their construction methods. Formulas are made up of individual herbal substances with complementary (or sometimes antagonistic) properties to achieve what are often complex therapeutic goals. Some ancient herbal formulas have stood the test of use over hundreds of years and millions of patients.
Nutritional and Lifestyle Counseling
Diet and lifestyle play an important role in Chinese medicine. Chinese dietary therapy is very different from Western nutrition, and is fully integrated with acupuncture, herbs and other therapies. The old rule of computers, "Garbage In, Garbage Out" applies to your body as well: food is the foundation upon which your body rebuilds itself each day, and can influence the direction of one's health. With the thousands upon thousands of cells in your body that will be replaced today, are you simply recreating disease, or growing toward health? Chinese dietary therapy is based on simple prinicples that allow you to get your health back on track.
Qi Gong, Tai Chi Chuan and Yoga are lifestyle additions that can make a tremendous difference in your health. Research has shown that seniors who practice Tai Chi daily have fewer falls, and maintain greater flexibility and balance. Tai Chi and Yoga have played a part in the healing process for cancer patients, chronic headache sufferers, patients with post-traumatic stress disorder, and many others.
What Can Be Treated With Traditional Chinese Medicine?
Acupuncture and Oriental medicine is best known as an effective treatment for pain, but it is actually an entire professional system of healthcare and can treat a wide range of chronic and acute health conditions including, but not limited to:
Addictions Fatigue Allergies Fibromyalgia Arthritis Flu Asthma Headaches Back Pain Hypertension Carpal Tunnel Immune Disorderes Chemotherapy Nausea Insomnia Chronic Pain Joint Pain Colds Menopause Depression Muscle Pain Digestive Problems PMS Ear Problems Urinary Problems
Based on research and clinical experience, the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the World Health Organization (WHO) have declared acupuncture effective for these and more than 200 other conditions:
- Circulatory disorders -- Hypertension, palpitations, heart disease
- Disorders of the bones, muscles, and joints -- Headaches, low back pain, neck and shoulder pain, joint pains, injuries, numbness and tingling, muscular aches and pains, osteoarthritis
- Disorders of the nervous system-- Multiple sclerosis, post-stroke conditions
- Emotional and psychological disorders --Depression, anxiety
- Gastrointestinal disorders--Indigestion, pain, nausea/vomiting, diarrhea constipation, eating disorders
- Gynecological disorders-- Irregular, heavy, or painful menstruation, premenstrual syndrome, menopausal problems, fertility issues
- Immune disorders--Chronic fatigue, HIV/AIDS
- Pregnancy-related complaints--Morning sickness, edema, fatigue
- Respiratory disorders--Chronic colds, coughs, asthma, allergies
- Sleep and stress disorders--Nervous tension, insomnia, low energy
- Urogenital disorders--Urinary tract problems, sexual dysfunction
You can learn more by visiting The NIH's MedlinePlus: Acupuncture
© Copyright 2007, Norman Kraft, L.Ac. The above text is extracted from Frequently Asked Questions about Oriental Medicine by Norman Kraft, L.Ac. and it is copyrighted material. All rights reserved.