One of the most common modalities of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Acupuncture, has been used for over 2500 years. Acupuncture involves the insertion of fine filiform needles into specific points along defined channels/meridians on the body. The needles alone achieve the desired therapeutic effect, there is no injection of any drug. Needles are usually made of stainless steel but may also be gold or silver and are single use. They are designed to slide through the skin and tissues making bleeding or any damage unlikely.
Acupuncture is used to promote healing naturally. Common uses are to reduce or alleviate pain, improve mood, to improve body function in affected areas. Acupuncture is often a successful alternative to conventional medicine or used as an adjunct to it.
Over 2500 years ago the Chinese mapped pathways through the body where they believe the body's energy, Qi, flows. It is along these pathways, called Meridians or Channels, that the Acupuncture Points are located. These acupoints have a lower level of resistance to the passage of energy. Once a needle is inserted into an acupoint a patient is likely to feel a dull, achy and/or heavy sensation. This is called 'de Qi'. It is not always necessary to experience this sensation to achieve a positive result.
Many people are concerned that acupuncture is going to be painful. For the most part acupuncture produces only brief, mild discomfort as the needles are inserted followed by the dull, heavy ache of de Qi being achieved.
There are occasions where an electrical source is attached to the needles. This is to achieve a stronger effect than the needle produces alone. The sensation that comes with electrical acupuncture is generally described as pulsing or muscle contraction.
Auricular Acupuncture is acupuncture applied directly to the ear. The entire body is mapped out on the ear alone and applying acupuncture needles to these points have a beneficial effect to the body. There are also specific points that have a specific desired effect.
Herbal therapy has been used as long as, if not longer, than acupuncture. Herbal therapies are teas, pills or decoctions of different herbs. These herbs are the Internal Medicine of Traditional Chinese Medicine. There are hundred of different herbs that used alone or in combination achieve a desired therapeutic affect. The formulas can be modified to treat specific needs of individual patients and the condition being treated.
Cupping involves the heating of glass cups that are then applied to specific acupoints or areas of the body. Cupping moves the blood and Qi to remove stagnation and toxins. Cupping is often used in conjunction with acupuncture.
Tuina massage is a form of massage that is based upon the principles of Traditional Chinese Medicine and with emphasis being at specific acupoints. It is commonly used in conjunction with acupuncture, cupping, moxibustion and other TCM modalities. The practitioner utilizes different techniques to achieve movement of the blood and Qi(energy) through the muscles and meridians of the body. Acupressure at specific points may also be used. Tuina is commonly used to treat internal as well as musculoskeletal conditions.