Acupuncture is the primary treatment method in Chinese Medicine for pain. By stimulating acupuncture points along the pathway of the area affected, the normal function of channels/meridians as well as organs is restored. Too, acupuncture is used to address many general medical conditions. Please see “Commonly Treated Conditions” under the website heading “Patient Resources.”
Cupping is often used for lung diseases such as asthma and gastrointestinal disorders such as acid reflux. It is often applied with acupuncture for any chronic aching and pain due to traumatic injury or prolonged overuse of any part of the body. With this therapy, glass cups are applied by a vacuum created by heat. The cups are moved over the affected area or left in place for a prescribed time. The cups do leave marks on the skin, but any discoloration is temporary. Often cupping provides significant relief of pain.
Gua sha is another technique used in a similar way to cupping. A specialized tool is used to gently rub over the skin around the affected area. Once there is surface “expression” like a rash, the pathogenic excess is said to have been brought to the surface of the skin and eliminated. Gua sha is used to combat colds and flus, especially in early stages. Like cupping, it, offers significant pain relief. Gua sha’s physiological effect has been demonstrated through its ability to increase surface microperfusion. Its immune and anti-inflammatory effect is attributed to its upregulation of heme-oxygenase-1, an enzyme that is an anti-oxidant and cytoprotectant. In clinical trials, it has been shown to be effective for chronic diseases such as hepatitis as well as headaches, earaches, asthma, bronchitis, etc.
TUI NA/SWEDISH MASSAGE
Tui Na translates as “push grasp.” It is a massage technique that moves Qi and Blood in various parts of the body. It is used to relieve muscle pain and tension. It is also used to heal musculoskeletal injuries by reducing inflammation. Any massage method improves circulation and therefore improves function.
Reflexology is both the application of specific reflex points on the foot to relieve certain conditions as well as a general massage to improve circulatory or neurological impairments. It is based on the concept of microsystems, a single part of the body like the foot reflecting the state of health of the entire body, the whole. For example, if someone suffers from reoccurring sinus infections, the area around the toes is stimulated. If there is lower back pain, areas around the heel are massaged. Any anomalies are noted such as discolorations and deformities as well as sensitivities in a region to determine where there may be a loss of function or impairment.
Moxibustion is a treatment using an herb called mugwort applied in a certain way depending on the condition. It is generally intended to warm the meridians and promote the circulation of qi and blood. It expels pathogenic factors and strengthens the resistance to disease. It is the primary modality in certain extremely cold regions in China.
Herbs are often used as an adjunct to acupuncture care. They are needed in order to enhance treatment and, thereby, resolve a medical problem. Herbs are used to strengthen and nourish the body or to relieve excess conditions such as a cold, fever, or acute pain. They may be prescribed initially in certain conditions such as gallstones before any acupuncture treatments are rendered.
“Food Cures” or Chinese Dietary Therapy was always an integral branch of Chinese Medicine. Often a food remedy for a particular malady was prescribed before other interventions such as acupuncture or herbal medicine were administered. Specific foods are selected based on an illness as well as individual constitution to improve health and prevent illness.
Evaluating diet is essential especially when addressing chronic health conditions. Recommendations are tailored to individual needs. Foods selected may be based on Chinese and Ayurvedic dietary principles, ones which address temperature, flavor, and food preparation. Or basic dietary guidelines are provided based on general nutritional principles from whole food nutritional approaches.
Recommending and reviewing laboratory tests may be needed in order to determine whether there is a specific disorder, i.e., blood sugar handling issues or endocrine dysfunction causing sleep deprivation for example implicated in inflammatory conditions.