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Traditional Chinese Medicine

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) and acupuncture have been used for over 5,000 years as a holistic approach to treating various illnesses and diseases of the mind, body and spirit. The focus of Chinese Medicine is to promote and maintain harmonious balance between the internal body organs and the external elements of earth, fire, wood, water and metal.

The mind, body and spirit are intimately connected. It’s a dynamic loop where emotions (anger, fear, joy, sadness, grief and worry) impact the health of your organs and vice versa.

Qi, our vital source of life/energy circulates through our body with our Blood, and when Qi becomes stagnant (through trauma), deficient (through diet and lifestyle habits) or rebels, this manifests as dysfunction.

Throughout an assessment you’ll answer a series of organ related questions. Your tongue will be analyzed and your pulse will be felt. Diagnosis is individualized based on the impaired organ system, emotional imbalance and unique symptoms presented. The treatment will be discussed with you and to your comfort level, TCM treatments include:

Acupuncture

Acupuncture consists of .25mm needles being gently inserted to specific points along the body. There are over 2,000 acupuncture points that are connected by the 12 organ meridians. These meridians are pathways that conduct Qi from the surface of the body to our internal organs. At times the needles are manipulated (using electro acupuncture or manually) to further stimulate that acupuncture points specific function. Needles are left in for 15-20 minutes while the patient is left to relax. During the time some patients nap, some meditate and some focus on taking deep breaths while in this ‘Zen Zone’, a place of relaxation where healing occurs.

Cupping

Cupping is a form of Chinese massage that involves placing ‘cups’ on the body. The glass cups are warmed using an open flame which eliminates oxygen inside the cup and creates negative pressure (vacuum like suction) to allow the cup to stick to the skin. Cups draw stagnant/old blood to the surface of your skin (hence the red and purple marks you may see on athletes). This allows for new circulation of ‘fresh’ blood and Qi to the area, breaks up stagnation and creates an avenue for toxins to be drawn out of the body. Contrary to how it may look, cupping is not painful and is effective for pain relief and muscle tightness.

Tuina Massage

The name of this TCM modality comes from two main actions of the therapy: Tui means ‘push’, and na means ‘lift and squeeze’. Tuina is a combination of massage techniques, acupressure and body manipulation to promote free flow of Qi. This form of therapy is best suited for chronic pain and musculoskeletal conditions.

Gua Sha Scraping

Gua Sha therapy involves scraping the skin (along a meridian or muscle fibres) with short or long strokes in a downward motion. The scraping stimulates microcirculation of stagnant Qi and Blood, which reduces inflammation by stimulating the production of HO1 (Heme-Oxygenase-1) and promotes healing. Gua Sha is used to relieve colds, fever and cough, headaches, scar tissue and wrinkles and muscle and joint pain.

Moxibustion

Moxibustion (moxa) is a therapy that involves burning mugwort root (Artemisia Vulgaris), a warm herb used to promote healing. Burning moxa is used to warm and invigorate Blood, simulate Qi flow, disperse cold and dissolve stagnation. The practitioner will light one end of a moxa stick and hold it close to the area being treated or over the acupuncture needle (this is referred to as the warm needling technique). The patient will experience a pleasant heating sensation that penetrates deep into the skin. Alternatively, a Teding Diancibo Pu (TDP) lamp is used to promote the same warming therapy.

Qi Gong

Qi Gong is seen as a lifestyle practice as recreation exercise, meditation, relaxation, preventative medicine, self-healing and martial arts training. Similar to yoga, Qi Gong is a system of coordinated body-postures, movements and breathing which cultivates and balances your Qi. The combination of movement patterns and breathing techniques have a very calming and balancing effect on the mind, which helps to counteract the effects of everyday worry and stress.

It’s simply ancient wisdom brought to our modern world.

What to expect.

After collecting your health history we’ll discuss your reasons for treatment. I’ll analyze your tongue and feel your pulse to further identify which organ systems or energy channels need support or unblocking. I’ll have you lay on the treatment table in the best position suited for you. A typical treatment will include acupuncture and/or cupping.

*Other modalities may be incorporated depending on the TCM pattern you present with.

A typical acupuncture treatment will involve 10-20 needles placed into strategic points. For the following 20 minutes I will leave the room to let you rest while gentle music plays in the background.

Some patients nap, some meditate, some focus on deep breathing, regardless you’ll find yourself in the Zen Zone –  a deep state of relaxation where healing occurs.

Acupuncture needles are thinner than human hair and techniques are applied to minimize discomfort. All acupuncture needles are sterile, single use and are disposed into biomedical sharps containers after use.

A typical cupping treatment will involve glass cups being suctioned over areas of discomfort to promote circulation of Qi and Blood and eliminate stagnation. An open flame is used to create the suction within the glass cup, but don’t worry you won’t feel any heat. You may be left with cupping marks (not bruises) that will subside within a couple days. Contrary to how it may appear, cupping is not painful.

All instruments used throughout treatment are washed and soaked in medical grade disinfectants after each use.