Traditional Chinese Medicine
Traditional Chinese medicine evolved over thousands of years, and is based on Daoist philosophy. The main premise of Daoist philosophy is that we live in a universe where everything is connected, and that an individual’s body is a microcosm of larger surroundings within the universe. What happens to one part of the body affects every other part of the body. Consider the metaphor of a drop of water creating concentric circles, and even ripples to the furthest shore. From this perspective, the mind, body and emotions cannot be separate from one another; they are portions of an energetic system. This energy is called Qi, the life force that protects the body from illness and disease as well as animates the body. Qi flows throughout the body via meridians, or energy pathways. In TCM treatments, acupuncture and other modalities are used to adjust and maintain balance.
Acupuncture is the stimulation of specific points on the body using thin filiform needles to create a therapeutic effect.
Modern research has demonstrated acupuncture's effects on the nervous system, endocrine and immune function and immune function, the cardiovascular system and digestive system. It releases endorphins, which are the body's natural killer cells (defensive mechanisms). By activating the body's inherent ability to heal, acupuncture can help to resolve pain, improve sleep, support digestive function, and improve overall mental and emotional well being.
Most people feel minimal discomfort upon needle insertion, and most patients feel a sense of calm and relaxation during and after treatments, regardless of what kind of issue has brought them to the treatment table.
I often incorporate cupping into my treatment sessions. Cupping aids in decompressing fascia (connective tissue) and surrounding muscles, also stretching tight areas. It also encourages movement to flush toxins and increase blood flow, which means that more nutrients and oxygen are more readily available to the cupped areas.
Most people really enjoy cupping, despite the marks that are so distinctive; these are metabolic byproducts that inhibit healing and cause inflammation. Over time, with treatment, healthy circulation is restored and the marks become less and less.
During a treatment I may also give possibilities of diet shifts, beneficial movement and stretches, mindfulness techniques, and the occasional supplements or western herbal suggestions.