Chinese medicine – there’s more to it than just the needles. Read on to learn about the different therapies that Chinese medicine offers.
Acupuncture is the insertion of very fine, solid, sterile needles into specific acupoints. These points lie along anatomical and energetic pathways of the body that act as a web of interconnections between the organ systems. Stimulating these points corrects imbalances and promotes healing processes.
Moxibustion is the burning of the herb mugwort (“moxa”) to warm areas and promote healing and circulation. The moxa is burnt is various different ways depending on the condition being treated and can be used for cold conditions, painful conditions, arthritis, digestive problems, weakened immune systems, and most famously, to turn breech babies.
Unlike the singular use of Western herbs, Chinese herbs are usually combined into formulas. Leaves, flowers, fruits, stems, barks, roots, seeds, minerals, and even some animal products are considered Chinese “herbs” and are used to treat a wide range of health problems.
Herbal formulas are personalized to each patient’s unique presentation. Formulas may be used for internal consumption or for external topical use.
EASTERN DIETARY THERAPY
One of the great, ancient Chinese doctors and philosophers, Sun SiMiao, once said, “Medicine should only be used if diet fails.” Today, diet and medicinal foods are often used in China to prevent and treat health issues. Eastern dietary therapy can help to correct health problems on a daily basis by transforming the root of the problem.
Gua sha is a technique that uses a smooth rounded edge to “scrape” along areas of the body where stagnation of blood or body fluids is present to release tension and relieve pain.
Tui Na is a type of Chinese bodywork, or medical massage. There are several techniques that are used to improve musculo-skeletal pain or even internal problems such as headaches or painful menstruation.
QI GONG & TAI CHI
Qi Gong, meaning “Qi Work,” is a healing system that integrates physical postures, breathing exercises, and mental intent. It can be used to treat various health problems to general health promotion and maintenance. Tai Chi is similar to Qi Gong with smooth flowing movements and sequences.
Attending a multi-disciplinary graduate school allowed me to witness first-hand the importance and power of integrative medicine. I am happy to communicate with other members of your health care team to best understand you. I may also recommend other types of healing modalities such as chiropractic, massage, physical therapy, psychotherapy, and other healing avenues as they fit in your wellness plan.