What is Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine?

January 24, 2008 at 1:48 am Leave a comment

Traditional Chinese Medicine, which includes both acupuncture and herbs, is a complete system of medicine that has been practiced for over 3000 years. Today it is widely used in China, Japan, Korea, Europe, and the United States, and is being continuously refined and modernized through the experience and innovations of its many practitioners worldwide. Chinese Medicine is a natural and gentle way to enhance the body’s ability to cope with stress and heal from injury or illness.

Acupuncture works with a complex system of channels in the body called meridians. The energy that flows through these meridians is referred to as Qi (pronounced “chee”). When the Qi is not vigorous, or does not flow, or is not evenly distributed in the body, illness results. Acupuncture corrects this flow by stimulating key points along the channels.

Chinese Herbal formulas are based on a sophisticated system of internal medicine. Prescriptions are developed specifically for each individual, to relieve symptoms and address their underlying causes. Formulas are also designed to predict and minimize the side effects that are common with Western medications.

What is an Acupuncture Treatment Like?

Each session begins with asking a series of questions, including your reasons for seeking treatment, health history and current symptoms. Along with information from reading your pulse and tongue, your answers are used to develop an individual diagnosis and treatment plan.

Treatments usually last about one hour, and involve insertion of acupuncture needles at specific points on the body. These needles are extremely fine and can be inserted painlessly. For your safety, most acupuncturists use only sterilized, single-use, disposable needles. Your treatment may also include non-needle therapies such as heat therapy, massage, or herbs.

Most patients find acupuncture very relaxing, and use it as an opportunity to rest and clear the mind. In addition to relief of specific symptoms, many report an increase in energy, calmness, and overall well-being as a result of treatment.

How does Chinese Herbal Medicine work?

Chinese herbal formulas are prescribed based on the same diagnosis as your acupuncture treatment. Your formula will be individually tailored to your situation, and will be reviewed and updated on a regular basis. Herbal therapy supports your body’s healing process between sessions, and helps acupuncture treatment work more quickly and effectively. Herbs are available in pill, powder, or tea form.

Changes in diet, exercise, or daily habits may also be recommended. These are intended to help you positively affect your own health, and to increase the effectiveness of your acupuncture and herbal treatments.

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