Oriental Medicine is not just acupuncture. Most Americans are familiar with what acupuncture is, while the term “Oriental Medicine” gets lost.
Oriental Medicine is the whole practice of modalities: Acupuncture, Chinese Herbal Formulas, Tuina, Cupping, Gua Sha, Moxibustion, Oriental Nutrition, Tai Chi and Qi Gong. A practitioner that is licensed in Oriental Medicine is able to look at the whole picture of a person and
correct illness from its origins with these numerous tools. Oriental Medicine is the oldest and most comprehensive health care system ever developed. It takes into consideration the whole person and no two treatments are the same.
The goal is not perfection but balance. The body has the innate wisdom and ability to heal itself if we give it the oppertunity.
A practitioner of Oriental Medicine is able to look at the WHOLE person and distinguish what is connected and how. We look at the following factors for diagnosis:
• Physical Constitution (are you thin or heavier, are you quiet or loud) • Genetic Disposition (chromosomal deficiency,addiction)
• Physical Health (thin hair or nails, posture, gait, dry or oily skin) • Lifestyle (diet, substance usage, medications, sleep)
• Emotional Health (anxiety, panic attacks, fear, guilt, depression) • Environment (climate, indoors/outdoors)
• Ailments (how often and how long) • Organ Function (bowel movements, pulses, digestion)
A partial vacuum is created in cups placed on the skin either by means of heat or suction. This draws up the underlying tissues. When the cup is left in place on the skin for a few minutes, blood stasis is formed and localized healing takes place.
Cupping has been found to affect the body up to four inches into the tissues, causing tissues to release toxins, activate the lymphatic system, clear colon blockages, help activate and clear the veins, arteries and capillaries, activate the skin, clear stretch marks and improve varicose veins.
Cupping is the best deep tissue massage available and is able to give instant
relief for muscle tightness. The main side effects of fire cupping are the unsightly marks left behind by the cups. Similar to a hickey, this is caused by the pooling of blood in the cupped areasAlthough the marks left by cupping may look alarming, they heal usually anywhere from a few days to a week. In general, the longer a cup is left on, the more of a circular mark is created. Most patients report a pulling sensation when the cups are used and the marks feel more like mild sunburns. Cupping is effective and very safe when preformed by a licensed acupuncturist.
Usually used in conjunction to cupping therapy, gua sha is used on smaller areas of the body (forearms, hands or neck). This technique promotes normal circulation to painful areas of the body. Gua Sha (pronounced GWA SHAW) is a traditional Chinese method of increasing blood circulation and removing toxins and lymph fluid from the body. Because these toxic substances are the major cause of discomfort in our bodies, Gua Sha is a tremendous, almost miracle method of improving health.
Gua Sha has been used in China for as many as two thousand years. The simple method of applying Gua Sha involves first spreading a thin layer of oil on the skin, and then scraping the area with the Gua Sha tool. The scraping required is more like stroking. Herbs are often added to the oil to penetrate into the body to open pores and promote circulation of stagnant blood and relieve pain.
The process of performing Gua Sha, similar to cupping and often combined with cupping, leaves superficial marks on the body. The amount of markings depends on how many toxins are in the body. The more someone receives gua sha and cupping treatments, the less the marks. Similar to a deep tissue massage, there can be intensity involved with cupping and/or gua sha. Likewise, the therapeutic benefit is immense. A lot of people carry toxins in their tissues and have issues with blood circulation. These need to come to the surface for conditions to resolve properly.
The discomfort from these methods far out ways the discomfort, which is only temporary. As always, your comfort is the most important factor. You will always be checked with to make sure the process isn't too intense, and that you're able to relax. In fact, most people do feel very relaxed after receiving these treatments.
Moxibustion is the application of heat to a specific area or point on the body. Along with acupuncture needles or solo, the purpose of moxa is to warm the body and stimulate blood circulation. Moxa is a plant (Mugwort) that is used as a heat source to stimulate acupuncture points. Although acupuncture is better known in the West, moxibustion has also been used in traditional treatments for over 2000 years in China.
Moxibustion is particularly effective in treating infertility, arthritis, asthma, fatigue and chronic pain. Moxibustion has the function of warming, clearing the meridians and increasing the body’s energy. It strengthens the immune and circulatory system. Moxibustion is safe and effective when applied by a licensed acupuncturist that has specific training in this modality.
Tuina is considered a form a massage. This treatment uses the hands to massage the soft tissue (muscles and tendons) of the body, acupressure techniques which directly affect the flow of the meridians, and manipulation techniques to realign the muscles and ligaments. As such, the experience of Tuina could be described as a cross between physiotherapy, shiatsu and acupressure. Tuina prevents and treats external and internal disease. It is commonly used to treat muscle/joint pain, stiffness and immobility. It can also be used to treat internal problems such as digestive, menstrual and respiratory disorders. Tuina helps to promote blood circulation, alleviate pain, relax muscles, soften swellings, improve joint mobility, and improve immunity and well-being.
The acupuncturist may brush, knead, roll/press, and rub the areas between each of the joints to increase circulation. We can then use range of motion, traction, and massage, with the stimulation of acupressure points. Tuina is completely safe and effective when performed by a licensed acupuncturist.
Food is a cure but can also be the reason for disease. Herbs are mainly food elements that when consumed in proper dosages can alleviate symptoms and heal the body. We severely underestimate the power that food has to bring the body back to balance. Oriental Medicine provides us with a structure for viewing nutrition which is above all of the debates and choices which we will still have to make for ourselves.
The eastern view of nutrition works in the same way that the eastern view of medicine works. That is to provide balance to the body. For instance, if the body catches a “cold”, if we eat hot and nurturing foods such as chicken soup, we are able to be nursed back to health. If the body is too hot, such as having a fever, cold and raw foods can be used to cool the system down.
While Western diets are based on calorie counts, carbohydrates, proteins and fats; Oriental Nutrition focuses on a more balanced combination. The 5 flavors (or temperatures, i.e. spicy, pungent, salty, sour and sweet) that different foods provide can balance, stimulate and heal the body completely.
Different temperatues and flavors influence the body in very specific ways. Too much of anything, good or bad, overtaxes certain functions while deprieving others. This will lead to food cravings and create issues from everything from skin to digestion to sleep. Oriental Nutrition can be applied to patients in adition to acupuncture, herbal medicines and bodywork.
Vitamin therapy is not a part of Oriental Medicine. Perhaps if food sources thousands of years ago were as poor as they are today, it would have been included.
The big debate that has expanded decades is “If I eat a well, have a balanced diet, why do I need vitamins?” Unfortunately, the composition of food has been altered throughout the years with chemicals, hormones, pesticides and antibiotics. Even if you eat a balanced diet, you are not getting enough of what the body needs to thrive. This unfortunate fact begins with the inadequate soil the crops are grown in, to the pesticides used, the processing and the transportation of food. Simply put, spinach in the 1950’s had 75% more nutritional value compared to our organic spinach today.
Another amazing ability that vitamins offer is the capability to heal illnesses. When given doses of singular vitamins, the body can resolve numerous issues such as: digestive problems, headaches, acne, depression, anxiety, cardiovascular troubles, addictions, mental illnesses, inadequate sleep, constipation to name a few.
Vitamin therapy is safe and effective when guided by a licensed practitioner. There are many sources that stress that vitamin therapy is dangerous, has numerous side effects and risks of overdosing. In fact, there has not been a single case of vitamins causing death in the past 50 years.
The quality of vitamins is the biggest factor to complete health. Most brands that you get at your local grocer are inadequate and cheaply made, having no nutritional value at all. Retailers of vitamins that offer higher quality vitamins also offer these at higher prices and usually are synthetic vitamins (made in a lab). Emerge offers plant based vitamins derived from actual foods at reasonable prices. Plant based vitamins have no side effects and are gentler on the body, as it is like digesting a apple or orange.
Please know that we are here to answer your questions and want to assist you in finding the proper treatment that will benefit you the most. We offer free phone consultations to those whom have questions about what we do.
Please don't hesitate to contact us at 480-238-1252.