East Asian Medicine

 
 


Originating in Asia thousands of years ago Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine uses systematic correspondences between the natural world and our body's internal environment to diagnose, differentiate, and treat disease. Theories based on yin and yang, the five phases, the 10 stems and 12 branches, and the three treasures serve as foundations for determining pathology and appropriate treatment.


Acupuncture

Acupuncture is a technique in which fine needles are inserted into specific points along “meridians” or “channels” on the patient's body. The intended effect is to increase circulation and balance the Ki or Qi within the body. Acupuncture helps to ensure that a person's Ki or Qi is moving properly and efficiently to bring a person to their optimal health. The number of needles used may range anywhere from just one or two to 20 or more. Sensations vary depending on the type of treatment, specific pathology, and an individual's constitution.

 

Moxabustion

"Moxa," often used in conjunction with acupuncture, consists in burning of dried Chinese mugwort (Artemisia vulgaris) on acupoints. "Direct Moxa" involves the pinching of clumps of the herb into cones that are placed on acupoints and lit until warm to help increase circulation. Moxa can also be rolled into tubes and held over an acupuncture point, or rolled into a ball and stuck onto the back end of an inserted needle for warming effect.

 

Cupping

Cupping consists of placing several glass "cups" on the body. A vacuum is created within the cup and it is placed on the skin. This vacuum is created either via a pump or by heating the inside of the cup. The suction created is intended to draw the pathological influences to the surface and to move Ki/Qi and blood below the point. Cups can either be left stationary or moved around certain areas (often the back and legs) using massage oil to help loosen muscles and break up stagnation.

 

Tui Na (Chinese Therapeutic Massage)

Tui Na is typically administered with the patient fully clothed, without the application of grease or oils. It is designed to stimulate the Ki/Qi and Blood to move and stimulate the healing process. Treatment often involves thumb presses similar to acupressure, rubbing, shaking, grasping, percussion, passive and active stretches, and can be more aggressive than a conventional european-style massage.


Herbal Medicine

Eastern Herbal Medicine uses plants, mineral, and a few animal products to address a patient's individual complaints or illness. By combining herbs with various properties and actions a doctor can address both the cause of a patient's illness and also address the symptoms that have arisen. This allows not only for the treatment of the current problem, but also lays stabilizes the foundation of health to prevent reoccurrence. Though there are many substances used in both Eastern and Western Herbal medicine, the diagnostic approach and preparations are often different.

 

Dietary Therapy

Dietary recommendations are usually made according to the patient's individual condition in relation to Oriental Medicine Theories of the five phases, and balancing yin and yang. This is an important part of medicine that is often neglected, but serves as the foundation of treatment for both current symptoms, but more importantly prevention.


 

In China, and other parts of Asia, herbal medicine is considered a primary therapeutic modality of internal medicine. Of the approximately 500 herbs that are in use today, 250 or so are very commonly used. Rather than being prescribed individually, single herbs are often combined into formulas that are designed to adapt to the specific needs of individual patients. An herbal formula can contain anywhere from 2 to 20 herbs. In addition, minerals and occasionally, animal products are used in formulas depending on the illness or injury being treated. Though there are patented medicines that can be used for short term, most herbal prescriptions are tailored specifically for the individual patient.

East Asian Medicine Modalities