Traditional Chinese Medicine
TCM stands for Traditional Chinese Medicine. This includes Acupuncture, Chinese Herbology, Tui Na Massage, Cupping, Gua Sha / rubbing therapy, and Tai Chi exercise along with breathing techniques called Qi Gong. It originated in China thousands of years ago and has been used continuously throughout Asia both as a general healthcare system and by the elite for longevity and beauty. The Asian philosophy of medicine has its primary focus on prevention.
In ancient times you did not pay a doctor if you got sick, as it was the doctor's job to help the village stay healthy. Doctors were paid as long as you were healthy and if the villagers got sick the doctor was often run out of town.
In TCM disease is theorized to be caused by imbalance among the body's systems. TCM focuses on first finding the root causes of the imbalance and then harmonizing the flow of energy in our bodies, to tonify the deficiency or reduce the excess. According to TCM Acupuncture modulates the flow of energy in its pathways or meridians, which restores the body to harmonious balance. It is used in conjunction with herbal pharmacology, combined with diet, Chinese massage (TuiNa), and breathing techniques and exercise therapies (Qi Gong, Tai Chi, Nei Gung) to maximize health, prevent illness and treat disease.
Since 1970, following the opening of China to the West, Acupuncture is now accepted by insurance carriers, used in hospitals and a respected form of treatment for many diseases.
In TCM there are many approaches to treatment of disease. Many patients that come to see Acupuncturists may have inexplicable pains, or signs and symptoms that are real to the patient but for which there is no significant diagnosis in western medicine. Many other patients are referred to acupuncturists by M.D.'s in order to help enhance the effects of their western treatments. More and more there is a coming together of east and west in a combination of treatments that is very valuable to patients seeking better results and a higher level of health care.
Although one may feel significantly better after one session, especially in cases of acute pain or injury, in most cases the best results are achieved in an 8 to12 treatment program. Treatments are scheduled once or twice a week depending on the issues being addressed. There are also many who come once a week or twice a month to maintain a healthy lifestyle, reduce stress and tension and optimize energy and vitality.
How Acupuncture Works: The Western Perspective
According to Western medicine, the effects of Acupuncture are most likely the result of stimulating the nervous system to override other nerve impulses (gate control theory) so as to reduce pain, as well as by causing the release of certain hormones which affect other bodily functions.
In studies supported by research from the National Institute of Health and the World Health Organization it has been shown that acupuncture has effects on ACTH, insulin, thyroid hormones, growth stimulating hormone, beta-endorphin (which reduces pain), neurotransmitters such as noradrenaline and endogenous opioid peptides, white blood cell production and plasma cholesterol levels.
Acupuncture also stimulates the release of a variety of other hormones that help the body to respond to injury and stress; stimulate the immune system; improve circulation, blood pressure, rhythm and stroke volume of the heart; foster smooth muscle relaxation; reduce inflammation and promote feelings of well-being. It has bioelectric effects as well, especially with the use of electro-acupuncture, which can stimulate cells for tissue growth and repair, hasten motor recovery from paralysis and improve peripheral nerve activity.
Scientists have documented these results using blood chemistry analysis, functional MRI's and thermography.
For more information visit the NIH website: http://nccam.nih.gov/health/acupuncture/
Back pain, sciatica, frozen shoulder, tennis golfers elbow, knee pain, ankle pain, neck pain, whip lash, arthritis, carpal tunnel sydrome and fibromyalgia.
Headaches of all types
Bells Palsy, TMJ,
Upper Respiratory Tract Disorders
Acute/chronic sinusitis, rhinitis, common cold, sore throat, allergies, asmtha.
Nausea, acid regurgitation, belching, gas, distention, fullness, constipation, diarrhea and IBS, duodenal ulcer, diverticulosis.
Reproductive System & Hormone Disorders
Menstrual problems, PMS, menopause, infertility.
Stress & Tension
Side Effects from Chemotherpay or radiation
Pre & Post Operation therapy to reduce recovery time and pain relief
Anti Aging, Longevity
Preventative Medicine, Immune System strengthening
Basic studies have probed local effects of traditional acupuncture, electroacupuncture, and also laser acupuncture, as well as exploited brain imaging techniques to show, for example, that acupuncture affects structures of the limbic system involved in the affective/suffering components of pain. Neurochemical studies are revealing the effects of acupuncture on neurotransmitters such as noradrenaline and endogenous opioid peptides, that are associated with descending endogenous pain-modulating systems. Other neurochemical studies are exploring whether acupuncture increases nonenzymatic nitric oxide generation and the role that may play in acupuncture effects, such as inducing noradrenaline release.
Clinical research is also keeping, if not increasing in pace. For instance, a systematic review of randomized controlled clinical trials of acupuncture for postoperative pain, published in the August 2008 issue of the British Journal of Anaesthesia, demonstrated that acupuncture had clear value, that it decreased pain intensity and lowered opioid side effects. Recently, the American Pain Society and the American College of Physicians published new clinical treatment guidelines for persistent back pain that now include acupuncture as a treatment option.
For Up to Date research