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TRADITIONAL
CHINESE MEDICINE


Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM),includes a range of traditional medicine practices originating in China. TCM practices include such treatments as Chinese herbal medicine, acupuncture, food therapy, Tui Na and Gua Sha.


Chinese herbal medicine is a major aspect of Traditional Chinese Medicine, which focuses on restoring and maintaining health. Herbs are used with the goal of restoring balance by nourishing the body, adding what the body does not have or prompting the body to produce what it needs in order to heal. Chinese herbal medicine is not based on conventional Western concepts of medical diagnosis and treatment. It treats a patient's main complaints or the patterns of their symptoms and what causes the health imbalance. Practitioners prevent and treat imbalances caused by diseases with complex combinations of herbs, minerals, and plant extracts.

Acupuncture. Research has shown that acupuncture increases blood circulation, production of neurotransmitters and some hormones and biochemical substances in the body. Acupuncture increases oxygenation of the tissues which helps to flush toxins, waste products, and other accumulated particles and chemicals from tissues, improving their overall function. Therefore, the small stimulus generated by the insertion of a needle into the fascia or connective tissues can have beneficial effects in the whole body (locally and in distance). Acupuncture works by stimulating nerve fibers in the muscles, which send impulses to the spinal cord, midbrain and hypothalamus-pituitary axis, inducing neuro-endocrine-immune responses. This has proven very effective for pain relief. We cannot say that an exact mechanism or that a precise Western description of acupuncture function has been discovered, but we can say that many phenomena that could play a part in such a definitive description have been demonstrated. Western science is beginning to accept that needling of a specific point directly stimulates certain responsive parts of the nervous system, thereby initiating or inhibiting a biochemical cascade which enhances healing. Many of the ideas in classical Chinese texts may be justified by Western theories and methods.

Electro-acupuncture is quite similar to traditional acupuncture but provides stronger effect. As with traditional acupuncture, needles are inserted on specific points along the body. The needles are then attached to a device that generates continuous electric pulses using small clips.  More about this method you can learn from the links block.

Tui Na is a manual therapy based on traditional meridian concepts. Tui Na applies massage techniques and body work modalities that are closer to the work of chiropractors, osteopaths and physical therapists. Tui Na is a very specific and focused approach and is not a substitute for a general full or partial body massage. Tui Na is well suited for the treatment of specific musculoskeletal disorders and chronic stress-related disorders of the digestive, respiratory and reproductive systems.

Tui Na is contraindicated in the treatment of fractures, infections, phlebitis, bleeding disorders, open wounds or unexplained lesions.

Gua Sha is a healing technique used in Asia by practitioners of traditional medicine. Gua means to rub or friction. Sha is the term used to describe congestion of blood at the surface of the body.  Gua Sha promotes normal circulation to the muscles, tissues, and organs directly beneath the surface treated. The patient experiences immediate changes in stiffness, pain and mobility. Normal metabolic processes are restored by the movement of the body blood and fluids, nutrients are carried to the tissues and metabolic wastes are carried away. We consider applying Gua Sha in any case of pain or discomfort, stiffness, for upper respiratory or digestive problems and for any condition where palpation indicates there is Sha.

Contraindications to Gua Sha includes inflammation of the skin, bleeding disorders, open wounds, phlebitis or unexplained lesions.

Moxibustion is a Traditional Chinese Medicine supplementary treatment that involves the burning of mugwort herb small cones or sticks to achieve deep heat penetration and facilitate healing. Moxibustion has been used throughout Asia for thousands of years. The purpose of moxibustion, as in other forms of traditional Chinese medicine, is to strengthen the blood, stimulate the flow of Qi, and maintain general health.

Cupping refers to an ancient art in which cups are applied to the acupuncture points/skin and the pressure inside the cup is reduced. In some cases the cup may be moved while the suction is applied causing a regional pulling of the skin and muscle. This is accomplished by the addition of lubricating agent such as herbal oil and is often referred to "gliding cupping". The result is a reddened area which subsides following treatment. Some bruising can occur. Cups are usually left in place for 5 to 15 minutes. Cupping is used for the treatment of gastrointestinal disorders, lung conditions such as chronic cough and bronchitis, paralysis, and pain. It can also be used for many other disorders.

Contraindications to cupping includes inflammation of the skin, high fever, cramping, bleeding disorders, open wounds, phlebitis, application over the low back or abdomen during pregnancy, or unexplained lesions.

 
Qi logo / TCM in Chinese




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