Other treatment methods
Cupping is a TCM therapy that is especially useful when treating arthritis, musculoskeletal pain, headache, common cold, and cough. Small glass vacuum cups are placed over specific body acupuncture points, but they treat a much larger area. The cupping vacuum drawsup the skin beneath the cup, so that patients experience a non-painful tugging sensation on their skin. The vacuum stimulates circulation within the superficial muscle layers, encourages the flow of Qi and Blood and the release of any local stagnation or toxins.
Cupping results in decreased muscle stiffness, improved circulation through the local soft tissues, and reduced pain. The cups are left in place for 3-15 minutes. The suction effect sometimes leaves a harmless red mark for several days. The marks, while sometimes itchy, are not painful. Overall, most people consider cupping pleasurable and therapeutic.
Moxibustion is the process whereby moxa – a dried herb, usually mugwort (Artemisia vulgaris) is burned close to or over acupuncture points. Moxa is available either in loose form, sticks or cones. When lit, moxa smolders and provides a penetrating heat that enters the channels to influence the flow of Qi and Blood. Moxibustion is used for a wide array of disorders and is effective with many pain conditions including arthritis and menstrual cramps. Patients comment that Moxa often has a relaxing effect.
Qualifications: Registered Acupuncturists (R.Ac), Traditional Chinese Medicine Practitioners (R.TCM.P) and Doctors of Traditional Chinese Medicine (Dr.TCM) are all legally qualified to treat using moxibustion or cupping therapy according the the College of Traditional Chinese Medicine and Acupuncturists of BC (CTCMA) and the Health Professions Act (HPA).
Herbal Medicine and Topical Liniments
Herbal medicine is one of the major pillars of Traditional Chinese Medicine. Over 2500 years of empirical evidence has established a comprehensive “materia medica”. This extensive library of medicines features over 20,000 substances from nature that have been extensively studied and documented throughout millennial of clinical practice.
One of the major strengths of Chinese herbs and formulas is their focus on treating the “root” or underlying cause of disease and not just the symptoms. Conventional drugs, by comparison, are often aimed at controlling symptoms but may not alter the causative disease process.
Traditionally, Chinese herbal formulas have been designed and compounded for each individual – another strength of TCM. Herbal medicines are still prepared in a variety of ways, depending on the practitioner and each patients preferences. Traditional herbal “soup” is made from raw herbs cooked in water to form a “decoction”. For modern convenience, many herbalists use standardized powdered extracts or tinctures which may still be blended to suit the needs of each person. Capsules and tablets can also be prepared where appropriate. Topical liniments, applied externally, can help in the reduction of pain, inflammation and swelling, this speeds the healing process.
Safety is paramount in all medicines – ask your practitioner about the origin and safety testing of his/her products. Also always be sure to disclose to you TCM herbalist or practitioner, all medications or supplements you are taking.
Qualifications: Traditional Chinese Medicine Herbalists (R.TCM.H), Traditional Chinese Medicine Practitioners (R.TCM.P) and Doctors of Traditional Chinese Medicine (Dr.TCM) are all legally qualified to prescribe TCM herbal remedies according the the College of Traditional Chinese Medicine and Acupuncturists of BC (CTCMA) and the Health Professions Act (HPA).
TCM Nutritional Therapy
Traditional Chinese Medicine takes food very seriously, treating it in the same manner as Chinese herbs and formulas. The balance of food energies and flavours reflects the same philosophy and attention to detail that is apparent in all TCM therapies. This dietary system differs significantly from conventional western diets and nutritional therapies.
Particular combinations of foods are matched to a diagnosis based on each food’s unique qualities and healing properties. TCM’s approach to food selection, preparation, and consumption can be of tremendous benefit in working toward a healthy lifestyle.
Chinese Massage Therapy (Tuina)
Tuina Massage uses a variety of hand techniques to encourage the healthy flow of Qi and Blood, which facilitates improvements in the physical and energetic systems of the body. In China, medical doctors who treat orthopedic injuries commonly use Tuina to relieve muscle pain, inflammation, and ease tension to speed the healing of injuries.
Here in BC, TCM practitioners use Tuina to relieve headaches, promote bowel movements, reduce muscles tension, promote sleep, restore movement to stiff or frozen joints, aid in recovery from injuries, or calm the spirit.
Qualifications: Registered Acupuncturists (R.Ac), Registered Traditional Chinese Medicine Practitioners (R.TCM.P) and Doctors of Traditional Chinese Medicine (Dr.TCM) are all legally qualified to treat using Tuina therapy according the the College of Traditional Chinese Medicine and Acupuncturists of BC (CTCMA) and the Health Professions Act (HPA).
Qi Gong and Tai Chi
Qi Gong, which literally means “ working with the energy of life” is an integrated mind-body healing method that, together with Tai Chi, has been practiced effectively in China for thousands of years. “Stillness within movement” describes the mental mediation achieved while practicing the smooth movements of Tai Chi. “ Movement within stillness” describes the health promoting movement of breath and Qi achieved during the more tranquil stances of Qi Gong.
Medical Qi Gong is specialized knowledge where an expert practitioner moves the clients Qi with healing intention in order to relieve pain or help restore proper function to the body or spirit. Some treatments incorporate movement, sound, and various meditation techniques designed to help you restore wellness by shifting your focus and bodily processes to a more balanced state.