Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine

What is Acupuncture?

It is the one of the oldest forms of therapy. Traditional Chinese Medicine is based on the concept that disease arises from an imbalance of Ying and Yang; two energy forces within the body. This vital energy circulates through the body along the meridians. According to traditional Chinese Medicine Acupuncture promotes the flow of qi (pronounced chee) and brings balance to the human body. Modern or Western Medicine often focuses more on the trigger points called Ah Shi points in Chinese. Out of the original 361 points of TCM 71% of these corresponds to trigger points.

What do you feel when you have acupuncture?

When needles have been placed successfully, the patient will feel a sensation known as De Chi. De Chi is described as a subjective feeling of fullness, tingling, warmth with some local soreness and a feeling of distension around the acupuncture point.

How does it work?

Western scientific research has proposed that acupuncture might relive pain based on the premise of gate control theory of pain. This means that one type of sensory input (example low back pain) could be inhibited in the central nervous system by another type of input (acupuncture needling). There is also evidence that acupuncture may stimulate the production of endorphins, serotonin, opioid peptides and acetylcholine within the central nervous system, enhancing analgesia (reduced pain).

Is acupuncture safe?

Acupuncture has considerably lower incidence of adverse side effects when compared to many western interventions like pharmaceutical drugs. With any intervention there are risks associated with a procedure. Minor adverse reactions include tissue trauma like bruising and bleeding, vasovagal effects like nausea or fainting, broken needles, transient worsening of symptoms. Serious adverse effects are infection or perforation or organs which are very rare and do not occur often.

Safety precautions are taken to provide the utmost care these include;

  • The practitioner will wash his or her hands before and after the procedure.
  • Alcohol to clean the skin will be used; on occasion the alcohol residue may result in a stinging or burning sensation during insertion.
  • Needles are held only by the handle when inserted and removed.
  • Needles are NEVER re-used, single use disposable sterile needles are used at all times.
  • Used needles are disposed in appropriate safety containers.

What is Traditional Chinese Medicine?

Traditional Chinese Medicine is a regulated health profession recognized by The World Health Organization for treating many diseases. As you may know Chinese medicine is an ancient health care practice used for over three thousand years with great results. Traditional Chinese Medicine can be effectively applied to help heal anyone and any health issue no matter what year it is because it’s rooted in unchanging natural law, which has its source beyond time. The focus behind traditional Chinese medicine is preventative maintenance by maintaining the delicate balance of the mind, body and spirit. When the body is not in balance there is no harmony thus illness arises.

Chinese Medicine is more than just sticking needles into a body. It starts with a very specific Traditional Chinese Medical Diagnosis and Individual Treatment Plan because every body is different.
It may include practices such as;

  • Cupping (moving cupping and fire cupping)
  • Tuina (Chinese massage and skin rolling
  • Guasha ( skin scraping... not like scraping your knee, this feels good)
  • Moxibustion (warming herbs)
  • Qi Gong (mindful movement)
  • As well as acupuncture and acupressure.

Why would I see a Traditional Chinese Medicine Practitioner?

Just to name a few of the many diseases acupuncture can treat: pain management both acute and chronic including arthritis and sciatica, high blood pressure, fibromyalgia, acne, weight loss, diabetes management, addiction, insomnia, mental health including post traumatic stress disorder, depression, anxiety and stress, menstrual issues, infertility, and labor, nausea/vomiting, improves the immune system, post stroke rehabilitation, cancer recuperation.

Traditional Chinese Medicine teaches you how to live a life of balance, wellness, and harmony, empowering each person with a way to unite body, mind, and spirit—the foundation for lasting, optimal health. It’s a medicine of extraordinary relationships. Every traditional Chinese medical
principle, theory, and healing practice reflects and harmonizes with the relationships that exist within natural law. (Traditional Chinese Medicine World). Balancing yin & yang, dark & light, heat & cold, spring & fall, male & female, interior & exterior.

 Dr. Julie Callan is a medical acupuncture provider trained in an evidence based approach to traditional chines medicine. Dr. Casey Gall has recently completed her acupuncture provider certificate as well. 

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