While the entire Chinese Medical system encompasses a vast array of modalities, there are a few that I have chosen to focus upon based upon the therapeutic benefits and the respective ways in which they address the different systems/structures of the body. Please click through for more detail.
Acupuncture, though it has been developing in theory and practice for thousands of years, has recently begun to receive much wider recognition in the West as a safe, effective, non-invasive, and drug-free solution to an increasingly wide range of health care issues. Oriental Medicine has long practiced a system of healing that holds as a central principle that when the body’s functions are working in the correct balance, it can flourish, maintain its structure, respond effectively to disease and stress, and weather the changes of life with relative ease.
Acupuncture works by regulating the body’s natural functions, thus creating a more balanced environment within the body and stimulating the body’s innate capacity to heal itself without requiring dramatic procedures or concentrated pharmaceutical solutions with a wide range of side-effects.
Acupuncture can be a great option for many people who have had difficulty getting relief by other means. Because through acupuncture treatment the body is being stimulated to correct the issue within the capacity of its own resources, it is often able to make the changes that are best suited for it without being forcefully pulled in one direction or another. The body is an extremely complex environment, but often all it needs is a gentle push in the right direction and it can begin to recover it’s own natural functions of self-regulation.
Basically, acupuncture helps create the right conditions; the body itself does the healing. This can often result in relief that is extremely effective, long-lasting, and facilitative of a greater state of overall health and well-being.
Gua Sha is a medical modality that has been practiced for thousands of years in China. While it was initially regarded as “folk medicine” during the consolidation of Traditional Chinese Medicine that occurred during the Cultural Revolution in China, the Chinese government later revised its assessment and began to expand its investigation into its health promoting possibilities. It has since been promoted widely in China and throughout the East as a solution for everything from the common cold and musculo-skeletal pain, to skin toning and even cancer prevention. Similar to acupuncture, the range of possible health benefits is extremely wide with gua sha.
Through injury, tension, illness, organ imbalance, improper diet, or other causes, the circulation through our muscles, lipid layers, myofascial planes, and skin can be inhibited, resulting in sub-optimal circulation. This can cause a build up of stagnant blood and metabolites in these, and other tissues. When stagnant blood builds up, healthy blood flowcan be further inhibited, resulting in further stagnation.
Eventually, similarly to how a kink in a garden hose can cause an increase in pressure, the poor circulation and blood stagnation can cause tissue adhesion, poor movement and pain. Gua Sha is essentially a massage technique that opens up the intercellular spaces,
promotes capillary blood flow, and releases stored toxins and stagnant blood from the tissues and muscles. When the stored toxins and stagnant blood are finally freed from the tissues, healthy circulation is allowed to reach these areas and the body can heal more effectively.
The symptomatic relief from gua sha treatment can often be immediate and long-lasting.
Gua Sha treatment can produce some very distinctive markings on the skin, which are a result of the stagnant blood and stored metabolites being released from the tissues. The markings only result when there is stagnant blood and inhibited circulation in the tissues. If nothing needs to be released from the tissue, the skin usually just turns a light shade of pink and returns to normal within an hour or so after treatment. The “sha” markings are an exceptionally good sign that the body needed some assistance and will benefit greatly from the treatment, and though they can at times be somewhat dramatic, they will generally fade within 2-3 days. While these “sha” markings may sometimes “look painful,” gua sha treatment is quite painless and most people remark that it is very relaxing.
Cupping is often referred to as “negative pressure massage.” Fire is used to heat the air inside of glass cups which creates a momentary vacuum. The cups are then applied to the skin, where the negative pressure can work to separate tissue adhesions and facilitate healthy blood flow to painful areas of the body. This can help to relieve pain in the body and can promote the healing of injured areas.
Tui Na is Chinese therapeutic massage. The words “Tui Na” literally mean “pushing and grasping.” Various techniques are used to facilitate proper movement and function of the meridians, which can be helpful for a number of conditions. Meridian points are emphasized in Tui Na treatment and the results can often be dynamic and lasting.