What Is Chinese Medicine?
Chinese Medicine (CM) is an ancient method of healing. Derived from China, it is a form of medicine that has been practice for more than 4,000 years. It consists of several methods, including:
- Chinese herbal medicine
- Cupping therapy
- Moxibustion (or Moxa)
- Oriental massage—Tuina and Shiatsu
Chinese Medicine is rooted in the natural phenomena understood as Yin and Yang. When these two are in balance, the outcome is good health. When there is imbalance, health concerns and disease can develop in a variety of ways—from sleep problems, to infertility, to back pain.
Understanding Acupuncture and Qi
Acupuncture is the foundation of CM. Using sterile, ultra-thin needles, Amorette LaFranchi, L.Ac., will insert them gently into your skin in order to obtain Qi (pronounced “chee”). Qi is energy that flows throughout the body’s meridians, or channels. When there is a health concern, Qi is not flowing properly through these meridians. But by needling certain points along the body, the meridians open up and Qi is allowed to flow freely again. This balances the energy between all the internal organs, thus promoting the body’s natural ability to heal itself.
Other Methods Used in CM
In addition to acupuncture, you may receive other therapies to enhance your treatment. Most of the techniques below are mainly used for pain management, as well as certain musculoskeletal disorders (such as joint, tendon, and nerve issues). These include:
Chinese Herbal Medicine
In Chinese Medicine, food is medicine. What we eat, how we prepare it, and when we eat it can all impact the balance—or imbalance—between Yin and Yang. Simple and convenient dietary guidance can be provided to help you manage and control many health concerns, including diabetes and digestive problems. Learn more about Chinese Herbal Medicine.
Just as it sounds, cup-like devices are used to create suction on the skin. This helps to increase blood flow and encourage healing. Oftentimes this method is used along the back to assist with pain.
Also called Moxa, this method provides heat to the body. A small ball of mugwort is placed on top of an acupuncture needle and lit. The warmth of the smoldering mugwort travels down the needle into the body.
Oriental Massage techniques, such as Tuina (pronounced too-e-nah) and Shiatsu
Tuina is a Chinese hands-on therapy using rolling, pushing, rubbing, kneading, and grasping. In contrast, Shiatsu is a Japanese-based therapy that uses palm and finger pressure. However, both help you to relax and release stress, relieve muscle pain and anxiety, and open the meridians to assist in the better flow of QI.