WHERE DID IT BEGIN?
The origin of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) pre-dates written recorded history. Texts about Chinese Medicine extend back in time over 2,000 years. During the Chou Dynasty (1122-403 BCE), one of he first major medical texts the “Huangdi Neijing”, or “The Yellow Emperor’s Inner Classic”. The Neijing moves away from Shamanistic beliefs that disease was caused by demonic influences, and instead writes on the natural effects of diet, lifestyle, emotions, age, and environment as cause of disease.
The Neijing proposes that the universe is composed of various forces and principles, including Yin, Yang, Qi, and the Five Elements (Fire, Earth, Metal, Water, Wood). These forces are logically understood and may stay balanced or become balanced to return to health by understanding these forces.
In traditional Chinese Medicine a practitioner uses questioning, observation, listening, and palpation to diagnose a patient using Chinese Medical theory. By questioning the patient about symptoms, listening to the chest or abdomen, palpating the meridians of the body, looking at face color, skin quality, the tongue, and feeling the pulse a correct diagnosis can be made. Chinese medical theory categorizes 12 Chinese organs by their functions. They are all given established channels on the body based on the cycle of qi flow through the organs. These channels are where acupuncture points are located. By stimulating these points and channels using acupuncture and other modalities along with good diet and lifestyle one can balance the forces in the body and one can return to health.
HOW DOES IT WORK
Acupuncture stimulates acupoints on the body by inserting very fine, single-use, sterile needles into the skin. This technique regulates qi flow. In some cases acupuncture is used in conjunction with moxabustion. Moxabustion is the use of aged, dried, mugwort leaf that is burned on top of needles, directly on the skin, near acupoints. Fire cupping may also be used on the body. Glass cups are suctioned on to the body using a flame and used to manipulate qi flow in the channels. Guasha is a similar technique in which the body is scraped gently with a glass or stone tool. Tuina is a type of gentle acupressure on specific points. Chinese herbs are taken in conjunction with acupuncture treatments in some cases to facilitate the progress of patient health by treating the root or internal cause in Chinese medical theory. Herbs may be given in bulk for the patient to simmer in water to make a decoction. The patient divides the tea that is made from strained decoction and drinks in prescribed doses. An alternative to cooking herbs is granular herbs. These are concentrated single herb powders that can be mixed into warm water in single doses. The benefit of granular and bulk herbs is that the practitioner may make a formula specific to the patient. The final herbal option is premade capsules and tablets of certain classic formulas. These are the easiest to take, but not always the cheapest method.
HOW CAN TCM HELP ME?
The question is how can it not? Some general symptoms treated with acupuncture include:
-acute and chronic pain
-cold/flu symptoms (achy, sneezing, fatigue)
-may benefit asthma
-benefit skin disorders (acne, eczema, redness, etc.)
-benefit digestive issues
-relieve stress and anxiety
– may relieve menstrual symptoms (PMS, dysmenorrhea, irregular menses)
-benefit chronic fatigue
Here at Palo Duro Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine we want you to feel in control of your health. Allow us to help you on your journey! See the links below for some acupuncture and TCM resources for some more information.