Chinese medicine encompasses more than just acupuncture. Chinese medicine includes different modalities such as acupuncture, herbal therapy, dietary therapy, cupping and tuina, moxabustion, electro-acupuncture, auricular and scalp acupuncture just to name a few.
- Acupuncture works by inserting needles into specific points of the body. These points lie along the meridians, or channels that run throughout and over the body. Meridians are responsible for the movement of the body’s energy, or qi. Whenever there is a disturbance of the energy in the body, pain, disease or discomfort may occur. Acupuncture works by regulating the energy flow and function with the use of needles to stimulate and balance the qi along the meridians.
- Herbal formulas are used and prescribed either alone or with acupuncture to supplement treatment. The properties of each herb in a formula is considered and used in a manner that will bring about balance to the body. Many herbs are safe and can be used along with western medications. It is important to inform your practitioner of any medications you are taking or are allergic to.
- Cupping is a method that uses cups that are mainly placed on the back, but can be placed on other parts of the body. A flame is put under the cup to create a vacuum so that it can be applied to the skin. This suction is used for various reasons, but pain management and muscle relaxation is most common. Different techniques with cupping may be used.
- Tuina can be compared to a type of therapeutic massage based on different “massage” techniques that is administered along the different energy pathways or meridians, that acupuncture points lie along. Many different ailments can be treated with this hands on technique. Pediatric care in Chinese medicine often relies on this therapy as it is non-invasive and easier for children to tolerate.
- Moxibustion or Moxa is an herb or a combination of herbs that is used as as an exterior treatment. The smoke created from the burning of a moxa roll or a moxa bunch treats many different disorders. It can warm the body, treat certain pain conditions and can even be used to turn breached babies.
- Electro-therapy is the use of electrical stimulation. Leads are placed on needles and stimulation is applied. This sends a constant pulse to the point so that stronger stimulation is achieved.
- Gua Sha is a form of cutaneous pressure applied in strokes with a smooth edged tool. Used for many things, this is a very gentle but useful modality. This is commonly used in pain disorders, as well as reducing fever in children.
- Ear seeds or beads are placed in the ear similar to that of a bandaid, but with a little seed or a bead on it. This is left in the ear for a couple days allowing you to press the point whenever you want.