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  • Writer's pictureDr Samantha Law

Know Nothing About Chinese Medicine? This is what you need to know.

Chinese medicine is an ancient medical system based on over 3000 years of observation, theoretical knowledge, and clinical case studies. That's a long time!

Chinese medicine studies the internal functioning and interactions of organs, qi and blood with each other and with its environment. This allows practitioners to understand how positive interactions prolongs good health, and how negative interactions causes sickness.

What treatment modalities are a part of Chinese medicine?

  • Acupuncture: the gentle insertion of single-use, sterile, fine needles into specific acupuncture points based on the meridian system and Chinese medicine theory. The aim of acupuncture to stimulate the body to go back to homeostasis

  • Chinese herbal medicine: natural medicine comprised of dried leaves, fruits, seeds, peels, shells, bark, roots, flowers or minerals. Herbs are either dried into their raw form, or further processed to be powder, granules, capsules or tablets.

  • Cupping therapy: utilises a negative pressure generated from heat for glass cups or suction pumps for plastic cups to help the body detox, surface stagnant blood, lymph, and congestion to give space for healthy new blood flow to affected areas to promote healing

  • Electroacupuncture: involves the passing of small electric currents through already inserted acupuncture needles to increase the stimulation and therapeutic effects of acupuncture.

  • Gua sha: involves scraping your skin with a massage tool to improve your circulation. The tools used can be from a Chinese soup spoon, to proper gua sha tools made out of jade, rose quartz or buffalo horn.

  • Moxibustion: involves the burning of dried Mugwort (Ai Ye) over certain areas of the body. Mugwort is a warming herb that promotes the circulation of qi and blood. This technique is used to alleviate conditions which are aggravated by cold and caused by a lack of warmth in the body.

  • TCM diet therapy: is a practice that identifies and treats the underlying patterns of imbalance that are driving your health issues with your diet. TCM diet therapy studies the energetics of food, food preparation and storage and how consuming these foods can have positive and negative effects on the body.

  • Tuina (Chinese medicial massage): is a form of bodywork based on the principles of Traditional Chinese Medicine.

Acupuncture, Chinese herbal medicine, cupping therapy and gua sha are the more common treatment methods known to today's society.

Acupuncture vs. Dry Needling: Have you technically had acupuncture before?

Dry needling is a "needling technique" used by many health practitioners from physiotherapists, osteopaths, chiropractors, podiatrists and even acupuncturists to stimulate trigger points on muscles to release tension and knots. It is NOT acupuncture.

Dry needling is a localised treatment, limited to treating conditions related to your muscle tightness. Unlike dry needling, acupuncture, being based on the Chinese medicine system, can work on all sorts of internal health issues as well as your aches and pains.

It is also important for you to know that a dry needling qualification can require as little as 16 hours of training which contrasts an acupuncturists 1000+ hours of training. There are good non-acupuncturist dry needlers out there despite this fact. Please just make sure you do your research!

Treatments are Tailored to YOU

Chinese medicine investigates all the different symptoms and signs that you experience, connecting all the dots to find the patterns of imbalance. This is how we come up with your individually customised diagnosis, acupuncture treatments, and herbal medicines. Your treatments are unique to you because how you experience your illness and life differs to every other person.

Chinese medicine can be used in Integrative Care

Just like “it takes a village to raise a child", sometimes it requires a whole team of health professionals to get on top of your health issues. Chinese medicine works synergistically with other modalities like osteopathy, chiropractic, counselling, psychology and integrative GP's.

To find out more about about how Chinese medicine can help you, please click here to get in touch!


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