Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine

Chinese Medicine is the oldest continually practiced and documented medical system in the world.  It views health in a holistic way and sees an illness as an imbalance caused by external and external factors influencing mind and body.  The Chinese Medicine practitioner reviews patient’s health history, lifestyle, pulse, tongue, other body vital signs, and identifies patterns of imbalances.  The goal of treatment is to reverse and prevent these imbalances.  Main Chinese Medical therapies are food therapy, acupuncture, herbal medicine, massage, movement therapies, breathing practices, visualization, and meditation.

Acupuncture is a family of safe procedures that can be used by adults and children alike.  10-20 stainless steel sterile needles are inserted into acupuncture points and left in the body for up to 25 min to stimulate specific acupuncture points.  Other techniques can be offered during an acupuncture session when indicated.  These may include moxibustion (heat therapy), cupping, guasha, micro bloodletting, electric stimulation (to provide needle vibration), topical creams, liniments, plasters, massage, and acupressure

There are different schools of acupuncture such as TCM, 5 Elements, Classical Chinese Medicine, Japanese, Korean, ear and scalp acupuncture to name a few, all are rooted  in 2,000+ years old Chinese Medical principles and informed by modern biomedicine.  Acupuncturists at GWCIM have knowledge of most acupuncture styles and are proficient in most of acupuncture techniques.  All our practitioners have more than 10 years of experience.

Acupuncture is used to treat many health issues.  There is limited but solid evidence that acupuncture is effective in a number of health conditions (read more). Among the most common conditions are acute and chronic pain, injuries, headaches, arthritis, GI functional disorders, GYN/OB care, infertility, stress-related illness, anxiety and depression, pediatric and geriatric care, chemotherapy induced nausea, facial and other paralysis, dental pain and substance dependance.  Acupuncture is gaining attention as an alternative therapy for pain in the wake of the opioid crisis.

Acupuncture has very few side effects (minor bruising is rare but possible) and can be combined with any other health care therapy.  The number of treatments needed depends on the individual. A person with a chronic condition may need one to two treatments a week over several months. An acute problem normally improves after 4 to 8 sessions.

Herbal medicine is another important CM therapy.  The Chinese Materia Medica (a pharmacological reference book used by TCM practitioners) describes thousands of medicinal substances—primarily plants, but also some minerals and animal products. Different parts of plants, such as the leaves, roots, stems, flowers, and seeds, are used. In TCM, herbs are often combined in formulas and given as teas, capsules, liquid extracts, granules, or powders.

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Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine