Our clinic utilizes the philosophies, insights, and tools of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) as a basis of healing and recovery for our patients ...but what is it?
Traditional Chinese Medicine is a comprehensive system of healing, with origins of the modern structure dating back thousands of years; and as such, it is able to address most health concerns commonly experienced today.
Many people are unfamiliar with the wide variety of treatments available within the modality of Chinese medicine. Some of the most common of those treatments are briefly described on this page, starting with the most widely known, acupuncture. There are also links to each of the descriptions in case you want to jump ahead.
Chinese Herbal Medicine
Acupuncture treatments consist of the insertion and manipulation of small, thin, solid (filiform) needles in specific points around the body.
In order to determine which points would be most effective for the patient, the intake process involves a detailed discussion of current and past conditions as well as modern and traditional diagnostic methods including tongue diagnosis, pulse diagnosis, blood pressure, temperature, ear diagnosis and others as the practitioner sees fit.
Acupuncture is a process, and a course of treatment is suggested in order to achieve the greatest results. The frequency and length of the treatment course is determined by your practitioner based on your individual condition and manifestation.
Chinese Herbal Medicine
Proficiency in herbal medicine is often the measure for a TCM doctor in China. To be considered a great, or even good TCM doctor, you must be able to prescribe the proper herbs, in proper dosages, and then successfully modify that prescription based on the changing condition of the patient.
Several preparation types are available, the most common of which are pills or tablets due to their convenience of administration and lower cost, however, depending on your condition, powdered herbs as well as whole raw herbs may be recommended.
We are happy to provide herbal consultations, which consist of an intake and development of a personalized herbal formula. The herbalist is also able, should it be necessary, to suggest other forms of treatment that would benefit your condition as well.
Electrostimulation, electrostim, e-stim, electroacupuncture, or percutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (PENS) is a modern method of passing a micro current between a pair of acupuncture needles inserted into various points around the body. Oftentimes this method is employed when a severe stagnation is present, or when stimulation at a much higher frequency than able to be performed manually by an acupuncturist, is needed.
The sensation of E-stim is not as dramatic as one might think, it basically feels like a persistent muscle twitch or a tapping that slowly fades away through the course of the treatment.
Cosmetic acupuncture is a broad term describing acupuncture methods aimed at beautifying and enhancing the appearance, while improving the health of the individual. Cosmetic acupuncture can include facial rejuvenation, weight loss (for those within acceptable BMI and body fat % ranges), neck rejuvenation or “neck lift”, breast enhancement, and scar removal, among others.
Beauty is a reflection of our state of health in general, and so the effects of acupuncture on the complection and overall appearance has been noted for generations. Even through traditional acupuncture treatments you will notice a "beautifying" effect many times, however some may choose to work on the asesthetics of their body more specifically. Cosmetic acupuncture treatments seek to address both the root cause of the issue, as well as its outward expression in the appearance.
Cupping is a treatment method meant to target deep stagnation and is highly effective at treating conditions where such stagnation is an issue. The practitioner uses various means to apply a mild vacuum to the surface of the skin. Fire cupping is the traditional, and most dramatic method, however there are many devices available today which work on the same basic principle. In fire cupping, a flame is briefly introduced into the cups, which are typically glass, in order warm the air and create a vacuum, causing suction when the cup is applied to the skin. Cups can be left stationary or moved around the body.
Many times when cupping is applied, the skin will bruise. This is an expected side effect of the treatment in cases of deep stagnation, but the patient should be aware of the high chance of coming away from the treatment with several well-defined, circular bruises of varying degrees in the case of stationary cupping, or more drawn out bruising in the case of sliding cupping.
Cupping may be utilized as an adjunct to your acupuncture treatment or as stand alone therapeutic method depending on your condition.
Moxibustion, or Moxa, consists of burning dried herbs over various areas of the body. Ai Ye, or artemesia, is commonly used, either alone or along with other herbs tailored for the given condition.
In TCM, moxa is considered more tonifying than using needles, and is therefore indicated in conditions of deficiency, especially if cold is involved. Several forms can be employed when utilizing moxibustion; moxa sticks are often the simplest and most common form dispensed to patients.
In clinical settings moxa can be applied to acupuncture needles, applied directly to the skin or placed on top of various herbal mediators in order to enhance various effects; ginger, aconite and salt are the most commonly used mediating substances.
As with all situations involving hot materials, there is a risk of minor burns with this technique; however, by ensuring the treatment is performed by a licensed acupuncturist, the risks are minimized significantly.
Gua sha is a very powerful technique in which a smooth edged tool is employed to break up and release stagnation in more superficial areas of the body than would be targeted by cupping. It is an incredibly effective technique for many pain conditions, as well as recently developed cold or flu like symptoms.
Like cupping, this therapy will often times result in bruising or marking to various degrees; it is contained in the name in fact. Gua refers to the scraping action and sha refers to the markings left behind. The bruises are less defined than with cupping and usually resemble an area of small dots or drawn out swaths of discoloration.