Traditional Chinese Medicine

What can Acupuncture & Chinese Medicine treat?

The list is huge! It is also interesting to note that Chinese Medicine can treat conditions that may not have a Western diagnosis. It is not unusual for people to visit their MD for a general feeling of un-wellness but still walk out of the office without a specific diagnosis. This can be frustrating since the patient feels unwell but does not have any direction in terms of diagnosis. Acupuncture is part of Traditional Chinese Medicine and offers a different outlook to Western medicine. Chinese Medicine identifies patterns of disharmony that explain what is going on from a Chinese Medical perspective. In cases, it may be possible to identify a disharmony and correct it before it develops into something more serious that is identifiable within Western medicine. This is the essence of preventable medicine.

-click here for a comprehensive list of all the treatable acupuncture conditions

How can Acupuncture treat so many different types of problems?

Acupuncture helps relax muscles and promote blood circulation in areas of stress, tension, and pain. It stimulates the release of natural opiates in the body which relieve pain, enhance mood, and reduce stress. It appears to improve hormonal balance and to reduce inappropriate inflammatory responses in the body. It also appears to improve digestive function, which helps the body to assimilate necessary nutrients. It seems to have an influence on the nervous system, and recent studies using MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) show an immediate change in brain activity in patients receiving acupuncture.

As a result, acupuncture appears to positively influence most systems in the body.  This is why it can treat so many different types of problems, particularly when it is used in conjunction with herbal medicine and other TCM modalities.

-click here for a comprehensive list of all the treatable acupuncture conditions

So what is Chinese Medicine anyway?

Chinese Medicine, also known as Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), is a system of Medicine that has been in existence for at least 3,000 years. Since TCM has been around for such a long time, it has evolved in many ways, taking on slightly different forms as it has made its way through the various cultures of the world. The #1 philosophy in Chinese Medicine is to help keep the body, mind and spirit in balance.  The interconnectedness of the human being with the environment and the changing of seasons is also taken into account. There are channels of energy (“chi”) that run throughout the body called Meridians.  If an area on one or more of these Meridian channels become stuck or “stagnated” then disease or pain may result and an imbalance will occur.  Once the stuck energy is freed, disease/pain may decrease or cease to exist altogether. This concept can be visualized as a river that has been dammed up by stuck debris.  The water becomes discolored and not free flowing.  Once the debris gets removed, the water becomes clear again and the river can move without restraint. A practitioner of Chinese Medicine may work with many modalities including Acupuncture, Herbs, or Massage in order to un-jam blockages or imbalances.

How does Chinese Medicine compare to Western Medical Treatment?

At first glance Chinese Medicine may seem like a foreign language when compared to Western Medical Philosophy.  The difference between Chinese Medical Philosophy and Western Medical Philosophy is that in Western Medicine, doctors mainly focus on diagnosing a specific disease or symptom and then basing their treatment strategy on that particular symptom/disease.  In Chinese Medical Philosophy, the doctor looks at the entire body/mind connection, all of your symptoms/diseases’ in order to come up with what’s referred to as your individual “constitutional” diagnosis.  This means that for example, if two people were both diagnosed with depression, they would be treated completely different based on their own unique “constitution”. Originally, Chinese doctors were paid when the patient stayed well, not when they got sick.

Can Western Medicine and Chinese Medicine work in Conjunction with each other?

Yes, most Chinese practitioners are trained in Western Medical Diagnosis, Pathology and Anatomy, so they can communicate well with those doctors trained in Western Medicine.  If you are seeking medical help from more than one type of doctor or practitioner, it is advisable to notify all of them on the treatments you are receiving.  This way, they can have the chance to communicate with each other, in order to provide you with the best of care.  Many insurance companies are now also offering Acupuncture coverage.  Check with your insurance carrier for more information.

What Treatment Modalities are used in Chinese Medicine?

Almost all practitioners of Chinese Medicine use Acupuncture in their treatments. Alysia  also incorporates a number of other modalities into her practice such as:  Herbal Medicine, Nutrition/Dietary Counseling, Massage, Reflexology, Pediatric Tuina, Facial Rejuvenation, Cupping, Moxibustion, Electro-Acupuncture, and TDP Mineral Light Therapy etc. – all with the aim of bringing the body/mind back into balance!

Acupuncture is the process of inserting ultra-fine needles (the diameter of a needle can be as fine as a strand of your hair) into specific locations on the skin, called acupuncture points. Acupuncture can treat a wide variety of conditions. Acupuncture brings balance to the body & mind!  There are over 2,000 acupuncture points on the human body! Most patients that are new to Acupuncture, or are scared of needles, actually find that they barely feel the needles, and that their acupuncture session is really quite relaxing. The needles are sterile, used only once, and then disposed of.

Herbal Medicine There are many forms of administration of herbal medicine such as bulk, tonics, granules, or tea-pills.  Bulk herbs are cooked to make a tea decoction to drink.  Tonics are herbs that may be soaked for longer periods of time in alcohol, vinegar, or glycerin.  This process over time extracts the essence of the herbs into the liquid that is used, which can be taken internally or sometimes used for external purposes. Granules are a powder version of the herbs which can be mixed in warm water to make a tea, or swallowed and then chased with water. Tea-Pills are very small pills that were originally made from a bulk tea and then combined with a hardening substance in order to shape them.  These are usually the most compliant form of medicinal administration, as they are easy to swallow, and the patient does not have to endure the taste of the herbs.

Nutrition/Dietary Counseling will most likely be a part of your treatment.  Based on Traditional Chinese Medical concepts, the seasons, and your “constitutional diagnosis”, Nutrition/Dietary or cleansing recommendations may be made to supplement your treatments.

Massage consists of Acupressure and other special techniques in relation to the Meridians.  Massage consists of Tuina or Shiatsu.  Sometimes treatments are based soley on massage and other times massage is incorporated with Acupuncture sessions.

Reflexology is the process of stimulating Acupressure points on the bottom of the feet.  The feet are a micro-system or map of the entire body, its glands, and organs.  The philosophy of reflexology is to break up the crystalline deposits at the bottom of the feet which is caused by gravity and stuck energy.  Massaging these specific tender points help increase circulation and energy flow to the rest of the body, as well as aid in clearing out toxins.

Pediatric Tuina is a version of Chinese Therapeutic Massage that is capable of influencing the energetic flow in a child in much the same way as acupuncture does in adult patients.  It is particularly beneficial for children from birth to 6 years of age.  It can be used for a variety of childhood complaints and illnesses.

Facial Rejuvenation incorporates a whole body/facial ‘constitutional’ Acupuncture treatment. ‘Constitutional’ means YOU!  What characteristics/symptoms are you experiencing? Although you may be coming in for wrinkles, so is the next person, but your wrinkles are in different places and are caused by different emotions. You may also be experiencing night sweats, or constipation.  Well these problems are all taken into account, and all you have to do is lay there and relax!  Facial Rejuvenation incorporates an exfoliation, individualized herbal mask, toner, and aromatherapy moisturizer. This treatment truly bridges the gap between spa and clinical, for it treats the individual, can work on fine lines and wrinkles, dry or oily skin, redness & puffiness, and is oh so pampering

Cupping, Gua Sha,  Moxibustion, Electro Acupuncture, tdp mineral light therapy, Cupping is a technique using warm glass cups on the skin which create a type of suction.  They are used to remove stagnation from an area of the body as well as making for a nice massage technique.

Gua sha is another massage procedure whereby, a tool is used to increase circulation and bring a stagnation that may lie deeper within the body to the surface where it can be expelled.

Moxibustion is the process of burning the herb Ai Ye-Mugwort to warm an area of the body or Acupuncture point to increase circulation locally and/or tonify the body.  Electro Acupuncture uses a small electric current stream that can be connected to Acupuncture needles which increases circulation and used especially if stronger stimulation of the needles is required.  It is often used for musculoskeletal issues and/or sports injuries.

TDP Mineral Lamps are a type of heating lamp that is placed over the skin. TDP mineral lamps coincide with theintensity of electromagnetic wavelengths that are released by human body.  Through a mineral plate, the TDP lamp emits 33 essential minerals which are vital to our cells and tissues.  Through these processes, the lamp has been known to promote metabolism, regulate physiological deficiency, diminish inflammation and ease pain, help heal muscle and soft tissue injuries, arthritis and various skin conditions.

Relaxation and/or Exercise techniques may be recommended for you including, QiGong, Tai Chi, Pilates, Yoga, meditation & breathing exercises-in order to help you in your healing journey!

What should I expect from Treatment and how many Treatments will I need?

Treatment sessions vary from person to person and their condition.  Usually chronic conditions require longer treatment than acute conditions, as it may take a little longer to get the body back into balance. Your practitioner will discuss treatment goals with you and give you a general idea of the number of treatments they think you might require.  Many times, after patients get relief from a series of treatments, they benefit from supplemental treatments every once in a while so they can keep themselves in tune with their bodies.  For instance, many find regular acupuncture treatments very helpful with their management of stress, and for preventative care-even if they don’t have any serious health problems.
**In general, conditions treated with Acupuncture require an average of 6-12 treatments, although many will respond well within 4-6 visits, and others may require a longer series.

-click here for a comprehensive list of all the treatable acupuncture conditions

You will be asked to fill out a Medical History form before coming in for your initial consultation.  During your first treatment session, your Medical History Form will be looked at.  You will also be asked many questions by your practitioner so that they can get as much information as possible in order to develop your treatment strategy and assess your treatment goals. These Questions are commonly referred to as the “10 Questions” because they address all the systems of the body/mind.  For instance, even if you are coming in for knee pain, you will still be asked questions regarding things such as digestion, sleep habits, or urinary function-etc. You will also have your pulses read and your tongue looked at.  All of this information is put together in order to come up with your “Constitutional Diagnosis”. Your first treatment session usually lasts about 90 minutes.  Subsequent treatment sessions are usually about 60 minutes in length.