Yin and Yang
The ancient Chinese proposed that every living thing is sustained by a balance of two opposing forces of energy, called Yin and Yang. Together, they make up the life essence, or Qi – a type of energy that flows through the body via invisible channels called meridians. Half of certain organs and meridians are governed by Yin and the other half by Yang. When Yin and Yang are out of balance in the body, this causes a blockage of Qi and a subsequent illness. Yin and Yang imbalances can be caused by stress, pollution, poor diet, emotional upsets, or infection. For diagnostic purposes, Yin and Yang are further subdivided into interior and exterior, hot and cold, deficiency and excess.
The five elements in Chinese herbal medicine
The TCM philosophy proposes that everything, including organs of the body – is composed of the five elements: fire, earth, metal, water, and wood. The herbs are similarly classified into the five tastes – sweet, salty, bitter, pungent, and sour – which correspond to the five elements. For example, since the skin is a metal element Yang organ, it would be treated with a pungent herb.
TCM treatment principles:
Prevent first before a disease is formed
Treat before a problem occurs
Prevent transmission after a problem is formed
Prevent recurrence after recovery
The Traditional Chinese Medicine approach
Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) is about bringing balance back to the body through a holistic approach. TCM provides acupuncture, Tuina, cupping, Guasha, herbal supplements, and lifestyle advice to help our clients achieve optimal overall health. The practitioner will work with the patient to determine the most appropriate techniques. A management plan will be discussed and agreed to with the patient. If you are uncomfortable with needles your practioner can discuss other therapeutic techniques.
ACC service: will only cover acupuncture and electrical acupuncture.
Non-ACC service: acupuncture, Tuina, Cupping, herbal supplements, and lifestyle advice
What is acupuncture?
Acupuncture is one of the key components of Traditional Chinese medicine, which has been around over 2500 years. It is based on stimulating the points on “channels and collaterals” that lie throughout the body.
Acupuncture is an effective, drug-free practice. It is safe when practiced by trained professionals offering physical and emotional healing and support. It involves inserting extremely thin, single-use needles into precise points around the body. This allows the rebalancing of Qi that flows around your body.
What TCM can assist with the following conditions:
- Musculoskeletal: neck pain, cervical spondylosis, frozen shoulder, acute lumbar sprain, sciatica, chronic low back pain, tennis elbow, ankle sprain, wrist pain, tenosynovitis, and various postpartum pain.
- Gynaecological: irregular and painful period, menopause syndrome, pelvic floor dysfunction.
- Neurological: headache, migraine, vertigo, stroke sequela, facial paralysis.
- Mental health: anxiety, depression, insomnia.
- Gastrointestinal: irritable bowel syndrome, indigestion, acute and chronic gastritis, constipation and diarrhea,
- Respiratory: sinusitis, common cold, COPD.
- Toothache, pain after tooth extraction.
Your first appointment will be an hour, but subsequent visits may take 30 to 45 minutes. Your practitioner will discuss your management plan with you in your initial consultation. During the session, the patient sits on a chair or lies down on a massage table.
If you agree to acupuncture the practioner will insert needles at pressure points that may or may not be close to where the patient is actually experiencing the pain or discomfort. The acupuncturist may move, twirl, heat, or apply electric pulses to the needles, depending on your conditions. The acupuncturist may assist you with some movement if your condition requires it. Or the patient simply lies still while the needles remain in place for up to 20 minutes, at which point the acupuncturist will painlessly remove them.
What does the needle feel like?
Most people report feeling minimal pain as the needle is inserted.
The needle is inserted to the point that produces a sensation of pressure or ache. You may feel a small prick with each needle. The needles may cause some muscle sensations, such as dull ache or tingling.
Needles may be heated during the treatment, or a mild electric current may be applied to them. Some people report acupuncture makes them feel energized. However, the needles can cause temporary soreness like post-massage.
Studies have found that electroacupuncture may help your body release mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) into your bloodstream. MSCs are adult stem cells mostly found in your bone marrow. MSCs help your body create different types of tissues. They also have healing properties
The electrode gives off the effect of your acupuncturist activating the acupuncture point with their hands. This provides the right amount of stimulation during the treatment. The treatment is shorter as the electrodes activate the acupuncture points quicker.
Electroacupuncture activates your sympathetic nerve fibers. By activating these fibers, your body releases endogenous opioids such as endorphins, which help to reduce inflammation. The activated nerve fibers may also help to reduce feelings of persistent pain. This makes it an appropriate treatment option for chronic pain and stress.
Tuina (Therapeutic Massage)
Tuina therapy is an external therapy in Chinese medicine.
Guided by the basic theory of traditional Chinese medicine, various standard manual techniques of Tuina therapy are used as the therapeutic means to function on the acupoints or regions of the body to realise the goals of preventing and treating diseases.
In Chinese literature of the ancient and modern times that there are more than three hundred types of written manual techniques.
Benefit of Tuina
- Musculoskeletal: stiff neck, cervical spondylopathy, frozen shoulder, acute lumbar sprain, chronic low back pain, tennis elbow, ankle sprain, and various joint pain.
- Internal: facial paralysis, stroke sequela, insomnia, stomach pain, constipation common cold, COPD.
- Gynaecological:, irregular and painful period, menopause syndrome,
- Neurological: headache, migraine, vertigo.
Cupping, or cupping therapy, is when glass, plastic, or silicone suction cups are applied to various parts of the body. The cups create a vacuum that gently suctions up the skin, lifting connective tissues. The cups can be left in specific positions, or oil can be applied to the skin, and the cups can be glided over the area, having a very relaxing massage effect. With static cupping, you will often get circular marks that resemble bruises due to the increased blood flow to the area. This is a normal part of cupping therapy and helps with the rehabilitation of the site by bringing nutrients for healing. The marks are not painful like normal bruises, and they will disappear within a few days. It is recommended not to take a bath/shower for 4-6 hours after cupping.
Benenfits of Cupping
- Increased circulation: it encourages the flow of blood and lymph to the area, bringing with it essential minerals and nutrients. This may help with healing, numbness, and possibly scar tissue appearance and lack of sensation.
- Relax tight muscles and help loosen myofascial adhesions.
- Reduce stress: cupping therapy allows the person’s parasympathetic nervous system to take over and helps reduce stress and tension.
Gua sha is a traditional Chinese healing method in which a trained professional uses a smooth-edged tool to stroke your skin while they press on it. This motion raises small, red, rash-like dots that show under your skin called petechiae.
Gua Sha is usually used when a patient has pain or is associated with an acute or chronic disorder. There may be aching, tenderness and/or a knotty feeling in the muscles. Palpation reveals Sha when normal finger pressure on a patient’s skin causes blanching that is slow to fade. In addition to helping resolve musculoskeletal pain, Gua Sha is used to treat any acute or chronic disorder involving pain, congestion of Qi, and blood. Gua Sha is usually used in conjunction with TCM Tuina, acupuncture, and cupping therapy.
Benefits of Gua Sha
Is Gua Sha Safe?
Gua Sha is a safe technique. Knowing when to use it and what to expect from the technique is important. After treatment, it is best to be moderate your activity and or rest. It is recommended not to take a bath/shower for 4-6 hours after Gua Sha.
Herb, diet, and lifestyle advice
Chinese herbs are prescribed to normalise imbalanced Qi that runs through invisible meridians in the body. Whether or not the philosophy is believed, the studies have shown Chinese herbal medicines to be successful in assisting in treating a range of disorders, particularly gynaecological and gastrointestinal disorders.