Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine

Posted by Dr. Leia Melead on Sep 30, 2008 in Healing Modalities |

Acupuncture is practiced in virtually every part of the world. Originally it is thought to have its beginnings in China well over 5000 years ago. It is the practice of inserting small, fine gauge needles into the body along designated meridians or channels which function to move Qi (Chi) and blood throughout the body connecting to its organs and tissues.

It is unknown how the practice first originated, and of what substances the original needles consisted, although they might have been rough-hewn wooden needles and other implements. Today, however, the acupuncture needles are metal, usually stainless steel, sterile wrapped and packaged, and made expressly for one-time use only. It is important that the patient makes sure that the acupuncturist uses only sterile disposable one-time use needles.

Chinese medicine is a collective system of varied procedures and techniques. It consists of a unique method of diagnosing imbalances and disharmonies in the body by way of tongue and pulse diagnosis.

The varied techniques and procedures include:

  1. Tongue diagnosis – the acupuncturist uses this method to help diagnose the state of balance and disharmony within the body. The shape, the color, the size, the coating of the tongue, the moistness and the dryness all are important clues to the state of the health of the patient.
  2. Pulse diagnosis – may take years to master because of the uniquely minute differences and subtle nuances of each individual pulse. Instead of just one pulse, the acupuncturist can detect six unique pulses on each wrist. Using words such as choppy, slow, rapid, weak, full, thin, wiry, big, empty, slippery, and deep or superficial, the acupuncturist can determine the state of the health of the internal organs and meridian systems.
  3. Cupping – is the practice of using suction cups on different parts of the body, in order to relax the muscles, to draw out stagnation from a particular area, and to allow the blood and Chi to flow and move more freely, and to release tension.
  4. Magnet Therapy – small round magnets may be placed on strategic acupuncture points on the meridians to balance and direct the flow of Chi and blood throughout the body. Usually these magnets are left on the patient, and the acupuncturist will tell the person to gently press upon these magnets throughout the day, to activate and strengthen the therapeutic effects.
  5. Plum blossom therapy – is a method of using a unique instrument which has many pointed semi-sharp spikes and a long handle. The acupuncturist will then lightly tap on different areas of the body using the long handle of this instrument. The result is a gentle stimulation to the skin and body resulting in an increased circulation at that area. The head of this instrument containing the gentle spikes is disposable and should be replaced with each new patient. There is no piercing of the skin with this technique.
  6. Chinese herbs – these herbs or plant materials are usually combined in an elaborate herbal formula specifically formulated for one’s individual constitution and malady. These variations and formulae are thousands of years old, having withstood the ravages of time. The formulae are effective and powerful allies for self-healing. We endeavor to use only herbs which have been tested for contaminants and heavy metals and are packaged in the United States under strict manufacturing guidelines.
  7. Tui na – is a powerful form of Chinese massage utilizing various techniques of tapping, rolling, kneading, rolling and rubbing the muscles on different parts of the body. It can be relaxing, invigorating, stimulating, and enjoyable. Knowledge of the meridian system is imperative to direct and correct the natural flow of the Qi throughout the body.

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