Chinese Medicine is a complete medical system and has been used successfully for over 2,000 years to treat a wide variety of conditions. Chinese medicine understands the body to be much like the natural world. In the natural world, one ecosystem is interdependent on another. Just as rivers create fertile valleys and strong forests hold landslides at bay, our body is made of interconnected systems supporting the whole. And just like the natural world’s astounding ability to regenerate after damage or disaster, so too can the body gain rebalance from illness. Chinese medicine is not about forcing unnatural conditions. It is about reminding the body of its own natural healing capacity, and providing the tools that it needs to best enact this.
What began over 2,000 years ago in China is now a vast, multi-disciplinary system of medicine that includes techniques honed and developed in dozens of countries, including, China, Japan, Korea, France, and the United States. At the heart of this medicine is a central belief in the body’s ability to heal itself. Using five main branches, Acupuncture, Herbal Medicine, Nutrition, Tui Na and Qi Gong, Chinese medicine is a complete medical system that is safe, gentle, effective and time-tested.
The five primary branches of Chinese Medicine are:
Acupuncture: According to Chinese medicine, qi (“chee”) or energy, flows through the body on specific pathways. When the energy in these pathways is blocked, blood and fluids may become blocked as well. There can be pain, discomfort, tissue and organ dysfunction. Acupuncture is the insertion of super-fine, sterile needles into specific points along these energy channels. Needles allow the body to unblock congestion and allow for smooth flow and rebalancing of qi and fluids through the body. An acupuncturist may use tools other than or in addition to needles to help balance the body’s qi and fluids, including acupressure, cupping (the creation of suction using glass or plastic cups to release adhesions and re-nourish tissues), moxibustion (the burning of moxa, or Chinese mugwort, near acupuncture points to increase circulation) and gua sha (the application of friction and pressure designed to increase blood flow and move stagnation in congested tissues).
Herbal Medicine: Chinese medicine uses over 350 plants, minerals and other organic materials to address the underlying causes of disease. Herbs with different properties are combined into formulas specifically tailored to the unique condition and constitution of each patient. Herbs can be taken as teas made from raw, powdered or granular herbs, or as teapills. Herbal medicine plays a significant role in the treatment of certain conditions.
Nutrition: Food is medicine, and different foods affect the body in different ways . In some cases, it may be necessary to modify one’s diet to achieve a long-term health goal, including the removal or addition of certain foods within the diet. Some conditions can be addressed by food alone, without the use of additional medicine.
Tui Na: Tui Na is a form of therapeutic massage based on the chinese concept of energy pathways or “meridians.” Using knowledge of energy meridians, tui na helps restore proper flow of energy and fluid to the muscles, tendons, ligaments, and joints.
Qi Gong: As in any system of medicine, exercise is an important aspect of generating and maintaining health. Qi Gong, which literally means to “cultivate energy,” is an ancient set of movements, breathing techniques and focused intention designed to promote natural energy, or qi, flow, develop strength, focus and flexibility. Chinese Medical practitioners may prescribe qi gong exercises as part of a treatment strategy to address specific health complaints.
The National Institute of Health (NIH) and World Health Organization (WHO) recognize acupuncture as effective for treating the following conditions:
- Ear, Eye, Nose, Throat Disorders: Sinusitis • Sore throat• Hay fever • Earache • Nerve deafness• Ringing in the ears • Dizziness • Poor eyesight
- Circulatory Disorders: High blood pressure • Angina pectoris • Arteriosclerosis • Anemia
- Gastrointestinal Disorders: Irritable bowel syndrome • Spastic colon • Colitis • Constipation • Diarrhea • Food Allergies • Ulcers • Gastritis • Abdominal bloating • Hemorrhoids
- Gynecological and Genitourinary Disorders: Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) • Irregular, heavy, or painful menstruation • Endometriosis • Menopause • Fibroids • Chronic bladder infection • Complications in pregnancy • Morning sickness • Kidney stones • Impotence • Infertility in men and women • Sexual dysfunction
- Immune Disorders: Candida • Chronic fatigue • HIV and AIDS • Epstein Barr virus • Allergies • Lupus • MS • Hepatitis
- Addiction: Smoking Cessation • Drugs • Alcohol
- Emotional and Psychological Disorders: Anxiety • Insomnia • Depression • Stress
- Musculoskeletal and Neurological Disorders: Arthritis • Neuralgia • Sciatica • Back pain • Bursitis • Tendonitis • Stiff neck • Bell’s palsy • Trigeminal Neuralgia • Headaches and Migraines • Stroke • Cerebral palsy • Polio • Sprains • Muscle spasms • Shingles
- Respiratory Disorders: Asthma • Emphysema • Bronchitis • Colds and flu
- Miscellaneous: Chemotherapy and radiation side effects • Diabetes • Dermatological disorders • Weight control