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Traditional Chinese Medicine and Acupuncture

Traditional Chinese Medicine & Acupuncture

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What is Traditional Chinese Medicine?

Traditional Chinese medicine is one of the earliest form of natural and holistic approaches to health.  It is a style of traditional Asian medicine now informed by modern medicine but built on a foundation of more than 2,500 years of Chinese medical practice.  It is based on the belief that restoration and maintenance of harmony, balance and order is essential to a persons good health.  Its focus is on restoring and maintaining the body and mind to good health. It is both curative and preventative.

The discipline of traditional Chinese medicine focuses on a supply and flow of a person's life force known as qi (, pronounced chee) through the networks within the body, known as the meridians, which affect every part of a persons body and being. If the qi is unable to flow through the meridians because of lack of supply or blockage, harmony, balance and order is disrupted allowing for disease and illness. The lack of supply or blockage of the qi can occur from:

  • life style factors including stress, overwork, poor diet,
  • disease and pathogens
  • weather and environmental conditions

A Traditional Chinese Practitioner will look carefully for these signs taking into account both your current health symptoms, your medical history, general constitution, and examine the pulse and tongue.

Chinese Traditional Treatments

Acupuncture and electro acupuncture - insertion of fine sterile needles into specific points the body (acupuncture points) to remove blockages of the qi and help the qi flow to all parts of the body. According to the AACMM, as the qi flows to all parts of the body it assists in the following :

Neurological conditions -headaches, migraines, difficulty sleeping, nervous tension, stroke, some forms of deafness, facial and inter-costal neuralgia, trigeminal neuralgia, some forms of paralysis, sequelae of poliomyelitis, peripheral neuropathy, noises in the ears, dizziness, and Meniere's disease.
 

  • Cardiovascular disorders -high or low blood pressure, fluid retention, chest pain, angina pectoris, poor circulation, cold hands and feet, and muscle cramps.
     
  • Respiratory conditions -bronchial asthma, acute and chronic bronchitis, acute tonsillitis, rhinitis, sinusitis, hay fever, chronic cough, laryngitis, sore throat, influenza and the common cold.
  • Digestive system disorders -toothache, post-extraction pain, gingivitis, mouth ulcers, hiccough, spasms of the oesophagus, gastric and duodenal ulcers, gastric hyperacidity, gastritis, heartburn, hiatus hernia syndrome, flatulence, paralytic ileus, colitis, diarrhoea, constipation, haemorrhoids, liver and gall bladder disorders, and weight control.
     
  • Urogenital disorders -cystitis, prostatitis, orchitis, low sexual vitality, urinary retention, kidney disorders, nocturnal enuresis, and neurogenic bladder dysfunction.
     
  • Gynaecological and obstetric disorders -premenstrual tension, painful, heavy or irregular, or the absence of periods, abnormal uterine bleeding or discharge, hormonal disturbances, disorders associated with menopause, prolapse of the uterus or bladder, difficulty with conception, and morning sickness.
     
  • Skin conditions -eczema, dermatitis, psoriasis, nerve rash, herpes zoster, acne, scar tissue and resultant adhesions, hair loss and dandruff.
     
  • Eye conditions -visual disorders, red, sore, itchy or watery eyes, conjunctivitis, simple cataracts, myopia in children, and central retinitis.

  • Musculoskeletal disorders - osteoarthritis, sciatica, lumbago, weak back, low back pain, rheumatoid arthritis, gout, tenosynovitis, shoulder and neck pain, cervicobrachial syndrome, 'frozen shoulder', and 'tennis elbow'.

  • Sporting injuries - sprained ankles and knees, cartilage problems, corking and tearing of muscles, torn ligaments and bruises.

  • Psychological conditions - depression, phobias, emotional disturbances, anxiety, nervousness and addictions such as smoking.                                                               

For muscle tissue it breaks up the accumulation of lactic acid & carbon monoxide which cause stiffness and stagnation of the blood. The abnormal pressure on blood vessels, lymph nodes & nerves adversely effects the function of internal organs & the muscular & skeletal systems.

Chinese herbal medicine - Chinese herbal medicines assist in the both prevention and cure of ailments using over 450 substances primarily from plants.  According to AACMA, Chinese herbal medicine assists in many disorders including:

  • insomnia and fatigue
  • loss of appetite and common digestive disorders
  • constipation and diarrhea
  • irritable bowel syndrome
  • common cold and influenza
  • chronic headaches
  • skin disorders
  • fluid retention
  • anxiety, depression and stress
  • allergies
  • rheumatoid and osteoarthritis
  • premenstrual syndrome and painful menstruation
  • excessive menstruation
  • infertility
  • impotence and prostate disorders
  • disorders associated with menopause

Anmo tuina ( remedial massage)

Tui na (Acupressure)-application of pressure to the acupoints to remove blockages to the muscles and nerves.  Assists in treatment of acute & chronic pain, stress management, musculoskeletal disorders, digestive & respiratory conditions, sciatica, tennis elbow, rotator cuff injuries, frozen neck and back pain.

Gua Sha -encourages blood flow, reducing heat and inflammation, pain relief and wind. Using a lubricant and a smooth edged tool, the affected areas are rubbed until red to break up the stagnation and restore the free flow of blood. Assists in many ailments including fibromyalgia, colds & flus, fevers & respiratory conditions such as asthma & bronchitis.

qigong (exercise and breathing therapy)

Diet and Lifestyle advice

Cupping - sterile glass heated cups which act as suction cups when placed on the body.  They are placed on meridian or acupuncture points of the body. This treatment is not only practiced in China and other Asian countries but also in Europe. It helps with treatments of tight muscles, neck and back pain, anxiety and stimulation of the blood flow.