“Chinese medicine is guided by a fundamental belief in the whole body concept of health, which involves the inseparable relationships of the body, spirit, emotions, and mind.”
There are no age restrictions to persons that can be treated by acupuncture. We treat everyone from infants to seniors, and even small pets.
Traditional Chinese Medicine
Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) is a unique and complete system of healing which has proven its effectiveness in eastern Asia for over 5000 years. While it has only recently reached Europe and North America, it has already gained considerable recognition in the western world. In the United States, TCM is recognized not only for treating existing conditions, but also for preventing the onset of disease and life-threatening illness.
Each individual is an organic whole, composed of the physical body, mind, emotions and spirit. Disease occurs and develops when the balance within the individual is lost. Poor constitutional factors, stress, emotional instability, improper diet and overwork can all affect this balance negatively. A TCM professional acknowledges this connection by conducting a consultation that goes far beyond one’s medical history, examining the whole person and not just the symptoms of the illness in order to design a specific treatment program unique to the patient’s clinical profile. TCM treatment helps return a person to health by restoring harmony to the whole, helping the body heal itself.
Acupuncture is part of TCM, which includes herbal medicine, exercise, massage and diet. Acupuncture is a method of using fine, hair-thin needles to stimulate invisible lines of energy running beneath the surface of the skin, by inserting them into particular points on the meridians. This affects a change in the energy balance of the body and works to restore health and well being, as the flow of Qi is corrected and returns to normal.
Scientific research shows that acupuncture points display a variety of unique bioelectrical properties, and that stimulating the points causes definite physiological reactions, which affect the activities of the brain, blood pressure, heart rate and the immune system. Acupuncture triggers the production of endorphins, the body’s natural painkillers, and positively affects the endocrine and nervous system, helping the body to achieve a state of balance.
Because of the thinness and flexibility of acupuncture needles, insertion is nearly painless. Acupuncturists attain a high level of skill in gently placing these tiny needles, and often insertion is barely perceptible. You may feel a vague numbness, “heaviness” or slight tingling. After treatment, almost all patients feel a significantly high level of relaxation. Experiencing euphoria due to body changes is also possible. Some patients may fall asleep during treatment.
Chinese believe that there is a universal life energy called “Qi” (pronounced “chee”) in every living creature. It keeps the blood circulating, warms the body and fights disease. Qi circulates throughout the body along pathways called “Meridians”, which surface on the skin at specific points. Each point is connected to specific internal organs. Good health depends on the smooth flow of Qi, and when the flow is blocked or disrupted, pain and illness will result. The aim of TCM is to correct the flow of Qi. Changes in Qi precede physical change, so acupuncture can act as preventive medicine, correcting the energy before a serious illness can occur. If physical change has already occurred it can be reversed by adjusting the Qi.
Moxibustion is the stimulation of energy by the use of focused heat from slow-burning herbs. It is often a supplement to acupuncture, but is also effective on its own. It may be used to relieve traumatic pain or alleviate debilitating conditions such as weakness and fatigue.
This method of treatment involves the use of glass cups to apply vacuum suction to the skin of an acupuncture point or affected area of the body. The feeling of cupping is comparable to deep tissue massage. It increases blood circulation and heightens the flow of Qi. Cupping is use for conditions such as muscle injury, joint pain, headaches, infection and acute upper respiratory problems.
For thousands of years, TCM practitioners have known of and employed a vast array of herbs with medicinal properties. Western pharmacology is now beginning to acknowledge these natural counterparts that don’t have the side effects of processed pharmaceuticals. In TCM, herbs are almost always prescribed in conjunction with acupuncture and other treatments. Medical herbs are dispensed to each patient in a formula based on the individual’s constitution and current medical condition, in the form of tea, pills, poultices or tinctures. Herbal formulas are extremely effective in encouraging the healthy flow of Qi and helping to restore and rebalance the organs.
Nutrition, Meditation and Exercise
The origins of many common physical illnesses can be traced to improper eating habits, such as eating too quickly, too much or too little, or irregularly, or eating too late in the evening. Practitioners of TCM suggest appropriate changes in eating habits and food choices, and guide patients in proper food intake.
Lifestyle plays an important role in problems such as weight, diabetes, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, headaches, depression, anxiety and stress. These problems can be detected through the TCM examination and guidance toward proper management can be given. Mild but energy enhancing exercises and meditation can be practiced daily as a treatment and preventative method, with very little time and/or space required.