Traditional Chinese Medicine is based on an ancient philosophy that describes the outside world and the inside world, in terms of two opposing forces: yin and yang. When these forces are in balance, the body is healthy. Vital energy, called "chi" or "qi" (pronounced "chee") flows along specific pathways, called meridians, throughout the body. This constant flow of energy helps the yin and yang forces remain balanced. However, if the flow of energy gets blocked, the disruption can lead to pain, lack of function, or illness. Acupuncture therapy can release blocked qi in the body and stimulate activity, evoking the body’s natural healing response through various physiological systems. Modern research has demonstrated acupuncture’s effects on the nervous, cardiovascular, digestive, endocrine and immune systems. By stimulating the body’s various systems, acupuncture can help to resolve pain, and improve sleep, digestive function, and sense of well-being.
At East Wellbeing, Traditional Chinese Medicine is practiced by Licensed Acupuncturists in four forms: Acupuncture Needle Technique, Herbal Remedies, Tui na and Cupping. These treatments are used to balance the body, promote self healing and help you maintain optimal health.
Traditional Chinese Medicine
Acupuncturists undergo extensive study of herbs (otherwise known as botanicals) and their many medicinal properties. Botanicals differ from pharmaceuticals greatly. Although drugs may be based on herbs, they usually rely on singular molecular compounds of herbs. Many are derived from isolated extracts of the plants’ active ingredients. Alternatively, herbal medicine uses the whole plant which creates a more balanced effect and is less likely to cause side effects. Chinese herbs are usually prescribed in combination to increase the efficacy of the formula and help decrease any possible side effects. Most importantly, for an herbalist, the goal of treatment is not to simply relieve symptoms but to treat the internal imbalance at the root of the problem.
Your acupuncturist may prescribe cupping to treat you in an acupuncture session. Through suction, the skin is drawn into a glass or plastic cup by creating a vacuum in the cup placed on the skin over the targeted area. Suction can be created either by the heating and subsequent cooling of the air in the cup, or via a mechanical pump. The cup is often moved to break up deep scar tissues and adhesions in the fascia around the muscles and to relieve muscle knots. Often the cups are left in place anywhere between five and ten minutes.
Tui na (pronounced "Twee Naw") literally means "pinch, pull" which refers to the massage and bodywork therapy of the Traditional Chinese Medicine system. This method of massage is therapeutic rather than for relaxation purposes. In the course of treatment, the acupuncturist may use a "gua sha" tool. This is a smooth tool used with or without massage oil on the body to scrape the skin to produce petechiae (pronounced "pa teak E ah") which is believed to release toxins and move new blood flow to the area.