About Chinese Medicine
Chinese medicine, and Chinese philosophy, strongly promote the idea of balance. Achieving and maintaining balance is the goal of life. Imbalance gives rise to symptoms and disease. Rectifying the imbalance alleviates the symptoms. Many western medicine suppress symptoms but do nothing to address the cause. Chinese medicine treats both the root and branch of disease. It is a holistic approach to healing; understanding the patient in relation to his or her environment, not apart from it.
Chinese Medicine incorporates acupuncture, herbology, Chinese massage (tuina- pronounced tway-nah), lifestyle counseling, and other traditional modalities to help patients achieve balance.
Over the past 4,000 years, Asian physicians have mapped the flow of energy in the body. They call the energy “Qi” (pronounced chee) and found it flows around the body in vessels; similar to blood; with one channel leading into the next and so on. When the Qi is flowing in harmony, the body is naturally in a state of good health: the organ systems function well, sleep is restful, moods are stable, the body is resistant to disease, and it recovers quickly from injury. For a variety of reasons, however, the flow of Qi can become obstructed, throwing the whole system out of balance. Acupuncture uses very thin needles to affect and balance the flow of Qi in the body, correcting the cause and relieving the symptoms. Best known for its ability to treat pain, it is an effective modality to treat many other trypes of conditions as well. It is a very safe procedure with minimal possible side effects when performed by a qualified practitioner. The World Health Organization and The National Institute of Health recognize Acupuncture as a valid and effective form of medicine.
Food medicine is the oldest type of medicine. Years ago, humans ate things and noticed that some foods made them feel better, some foods made them worse; some foods caused diarrhea, others helped it, etc. Everything has energetic properties; cooling, warming, moistening, drying, tonifying, sedating, etc. In Asia, physicians have studied and documented the properties of most organic substances; both alone and in combination with other ingredients. When properly prescribed, herbs can bring the body back into balance. Many western drugs are synthesized from natural sources. Herbs can be more natural and have fewer side effects than drugs, but they should not be taken without proper knowledge. The herbs available at “A Center for Acupuncture” are of the highest quality and safety standards.
Tuina (Chinese Bodywork)
Tuina therapy is an acupressure based treatment; incorporating stretching, rubbing, kneading, deep tissue work, and other types of manual touch-therapy. Half-hour sessions can address a specific body part; 1 hour sessions can treat the whole body.
Other therapeutic modalities may be employed, such as fire-cupping, moxibustion, and gua sha. Fire cupping is the practice of putting suction cups on the back, abdomen, or other body parts, to pull out environmental evils and stagnant qi. Moxibustion is the practice of burning Chinese herbs over specific acupuncture points to add energy directly into a specific meridian or area. Gua sha is the practice of rubbing the skin over the back or any strained muscle in such a manner as to cause redness and painless bruising in order to mobilize the body’s healing response. For the needle phobic, a low intensity laser may be used to stimulate acupuncture points without the use of needles; this tends to be somewhat less effective though.
Once thought to be rooted in superstition, Chinese Medicine is actually an empirical science. The written record goes back 2,000 years with no dark ages. Techniques that worked were recorded and passed down, interventions that did not work were also recorded and abandoned. The written record of Chinese medicine predates paper. Ancient turtle shells have been found with acupuncture points and herbal prescriptions written on them. Rooted deep in tradition, Chinese medicine is a dynamic and ever-evolving science and art.
A Center for Acupuncture 415 1/2 Fourth St, Wilmette, IL 60091 847-251-5225