More than simply needles:
Most people have heard about the field of acupuncture now. Still, have you realised the scope of practice encompasses Chinese medicine, which involves much more than needles? Let's explore this ancient therapy.
First and foremost, the practice of Chinese medicine begins with diagnosis. The practitioner asks many questions to establish a history, including responses to digestion, appetite, diet, sleep habits, intestinal circulation, urination, pain, lifestyle and stress level. Acupuncturists will also note the height of the voice, the lustre of the hair, the skin's colour and tone, the patient's posture and mood, and any significant odour. After that, there is a diagnosis of pulse to determine where the model and root causes are. In addition, other applicable tests may be performed, such as palpation of the body. Upon completion of this history, a diagnosis and treatment plan are established.
Acupuncture needles are disposal, sterile, painless and safe. They are, of course, the essential elements of the treatment plan. They are placed at specified acupuncture points on the body, either locally (at the end of pain) or distally (away from pain). The needles are held for between 20 and 40 minutes, and mostly people find the experience is relaxing and soothing.
Chinese medicine consists mainly of herbal formulas. Herbs and acupuncture needles work together to provide the body naturally in harmony. Herbal formulations are derived from patented formulations, or the practitioner will make them for you. What is unique about recipes is that they are designed not to overestimate the amount of a herb that could cause damage to another part of the body. For example, let's assume you try to get rid of the heat. In this case, there will be herbs to dissipate heat (by promoting urination, perhaps) and herbs to attenuate the strong effects a heat dissipating herb might have on other organs. Therefore, a balance is always reached. Herbal formulas do not only treat symptoms but also the root cause.
Nutrition is a medicine from the standpoint of Chinese medicine. If you don't get a herbal remedy, you will probably get dietary advice tailored to your specific constitution. For example, suppose someone has diarrhoea or stomach pain and feels better with a heating pad. In that case, this might indicate that the stomach has too much cold, impeding the digestive fire. Chinese medicine classifies food according to its temperature, season, colour and whether it's suitable for your body. Cold foods include too many raw vegetables, iced drinks and smoothies. In this case, food such as ginger might be an excellent addition to one's diet.
Cupping uses glass cups heated with a small flame to create a suction on the skin. This dissipates blood, and the stagnation of lymph fluids promotes blood circulation, relieves stiffness, promotes better circulation to muscles and tissues, and feels good. All it leaves is a purple-blue and a "c" p" mark.
Gua sha uses a tool with flat edges scratched in one direction on the skin, generally on large areas such as the back. Gua sha is used for many ailments, above all pain and rigidity. This eliminates blood stagnation and promotes the regular flow of oxygen and blood. Waste and toxins are eliminated, and scraping helps to circulate fluids and nutrients, encouraging microcirculation into soft tissues. Gua sha can also be used on the face to promote health and beauty.
Moxibustion is warm sagebrush and comes in several shapes. Usually, this smoked grass is held on an area of the body to keep warm, and circulation circulates. It's great for menstrual cramps and chronic pain. The smoky moxibustion is less used today because of the shared office space and its smoking quality. Yet, in the rainbow medical clinic, we use smokeless Moxa sticks as an alternative.
As you can see, acupuncture's general practice goes far beyond needles.