What is Acupuncture?
Acupuncture is a primary modality in Chinese medicine that uses thin hair-fine needles at acupuncture points to directly access qi within the channels of the body.
Qi is loosely translated to energy or life force. It is the air we breath, the nutrition we extract and utilize from food, our immune system, and so much more.
- Channels? This may be through connective tissue, through the blood, through internal organs, through nerve pathways, or a combination of any of the above.
These are 3-D holes or divots where energy in the body can enter or exit the channel. They are points that have the least resistance to electricity – like the way water and metals are as opposed to rubbers and plastics that have high resistance to electricity.
These are hair-fine metal conductors. There may be a slight and momentary prickling sensation at the insertion. Once the needles are in the proper place, patients may report feeling a numb, heavy, or tingling sensation. If there is one feeling that is unanimous among patients, it is that acupuncture sure is relaxing!
What is Chinese herbal medicine?
Chinese herbal medicine (CHM), along with acupuncture, has been used for thousands of years as a primary form of medicine to treat virtually any disease.
- Convenient. Teapills, powered granules, or loose available.
- Effective. Thousands of years of history documenting its use. Also hundreds of modern scientific studies.
- Safe. CHM has received some bad reputation for dangerous side effects in the past – but because they were being abused. When properly prescribed by a trained herbalist, Chinese herbs are very safe and should have no side effects. Many US companies use well regulated herbs, that though originate from China, go through extensive testing in house and by 3rd parties to test for heavy metals and other contaminants.
Sometimes needles are unfitting, or not enough. Depending on you and your condition, here are some other possible modalities:
Moxibustion – the burning of the plant, Artemsia vulgaris (mugwort), on or near the body. This is often used to warm the body, increase energy and relieve pain.
- Cupping – glass cups are suctioned onto large muscular areas of the body. This increases qi and blood flow to the area and relieves symptoms.
- Gua sha – scraping an area of the body with a smooth round-edged instrument. This is often used for common colds, other respiratory conditions, or pain.