Oriental Medicine

Acupuncture

Acupuncture is a medical therapy developed over 2000 years ago in Asia. Acupuncture stimulates specific points beneath the skin by the insertion of acupuncture needles. This process restores the balance of the body’s energy, also knows as “Qi” (pronounced chi). Acupuncture combined with the following are essential elements of traditional Chinese medicine. Click here to read more about acupuncture.

Herbal Therapy

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Also known as phytotherapy, is folk and traditional medicinal practice based on the use of plants and plant extracts.  Plants have an almost limitless ability to synthesize aromatic substances, most of which are phenols or their oxygen-substituted derivatives such as tannins. Most are secondary metabolites, of which at least 12,000 have been isolated, a number estimated to be less than 10% of the total. In many cases, these substances (esp. alkaloids) serve as plant defense mechanisms against predation by microorganisms, insects, and herbivores. Many of the herbs and spices used by humans to season food yield useful medicinal compounds.  The use of and search for drugs and dietary supplements derived from plants have accelerated in recent years. Pharmacologists, microbiologists, botanists, and natural-products chemists are combing the Earth for phytochemicals and leads that could be developed for treatment of various diseases. In fact, many modern drugs have been derived from plants.  The use of the pharmaceuticals currently available to Western physicians have a long history of use as herbal remedies, including opium, aspirin, digitalis, and quinine.

Gua Sha

Gua sha involves firmly rubbing a person’s skin with a ceramic soup spoon or large coin. The goal is to relieve stagnation, or in other words, to clear some illness from the body by getting it to move. Gua sha is used commonly on respiratory illnesses, for example, where the skin of the upper back, neck, and chest may be rubbed.

Moxibustion

Moxa is also known as mugwort, an herb that is warmed over acupuncture points to warm regions and acupuncture points with the intention of stimulating circulation through the points and inducing a smoother flow of blood and qi. Scientific research has shown that mugwort acts as an emmenagogue, meaning that it stimulates blood-flow in the pelvic area and uterus. It is claimed that moxibustion militates against cold and dampness in the body and can serve to turn breech babies.  Practitioners consider moxibustion to be especially effective in the treatment of chronic problems, “deficient conditions” (weakness), and gerontology. It is said that moxibustion can add new energy to the body and treat both excess and deficient conditions.

Cupping

Cupping is a therapy involving the placement of glass, plastic, or bamboo cups on the skin with a vacuum. The therapy is used to relieve what is called “stagnation” in Traditional Chinese Medicine terms, and is used in the treatment of respiratory diseases such as the common cold, pneumonia, and bronchitis. Cupping is also used to treat back, neck, shoulder, and other musculoskeletal pain. Its advocates claim it has other applications as well.

Tui Na

Tui na is a form of Chinese manipulative therapy often used in conjunction with acupuncture, moxibustion, Chinese herbalism and qigong.  Tui Na uses traction, massage and manipulation in conjunction with the stimulation of acupressure points and is used for both acute or chronic musculoskeletal conditions, as well as certain non-musculoskeletal conditions. It is an integral part of traditional Chinese medicine

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