About Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM)
The history of TCM is more than 3,000 years old and is still used as a daily regimen in China today. Its modalities include acupuncture, herbal medicine (prepared as teas, pills, powders, liniments and exterior washes), moxibustion, cupping, guasha, electric stimulation, massage, nutritional counseling and martial or meditative arts (Tai Chi and Qigong).
Acupuncture can be practiced in various ways around the world, but in the U.S. it includes the insertion of sterile individually packaged stainless steel needles along multiple meridians in your body. Meridians are described as pathways where vital energy called Qi (“chee”) can flow and circulate, encompassing all depths of the human form. Qi exists everywhere, in every cell, and its purpose is to provide all living objects the power to grow, move, maintain body temperature, and protect us from disease. It does so by creating a balance between the intimate forces of yin and yang. Qi can be disrupted in many ways, including diet, emotions, stress, lack of exercise, overexertion, and changes in the seasons. When its flow is obstructed, nourishment is diminished and the body becomes weak, which may lead to pain, illness, or disease. In the Western concepts of neuroscience, acupuncture has shown to produce endorphins the body’s natural painkiller, while also increasing blood circulation and decreasing inflammation. Utilizing acupuncture for numerous ailments can assist your body to naturally return to a state of homeostasis and good health.
Depending on the sensitivity of the person, one may or may not feel the very thin needles as they penetrate the skin. Full body acupuncture should not hurt or have a quality of sharpness, and the patient will feel little to no pain. The response to acupuncture varies among people and may consist of a heavy or dull pressure, numbness, aching, warming, or tingling sensations. Sometimes the patient may feel waves, which means that qi is moving. In other cases, such as weakness or qi deficiency, the patient may not feel much at all. Occasionally swelling or bruising may occur, but applying pressure and an ice pack for 10-15 minutes should help. It will not negatively affect the outcome of your treatment. Please inform your practitioner if you are experiencing faintness or discomfort at any time. Following a thorough consultation (including pulse and tongue diagnosis, symptoms an signs, physical examination), an acupuncture session can last 20-45 minutes in order to balance yin and yang and restore energy within the body. During this time, it is not uncommon for patients to fall asleep. It is normal to feel the relaxing effects of the treatment after the needles have been removed and many people look forward to sessions because the symptoms, along with their spirit, have improved.
The Balance Method TM was developed by Dr. Richard Teh-Fu Tan, who has devoted his life's work towards revolutionizing acupuncture. His techniques produce immediate results, especially in regard to treating pain. The main difference between this method and other forms of acupuncture is that the corresponding body part is needled and not the affected area (i.e. the knee for elbow pain, ankle for wrist pain). This allows the patient to move the affected area and communicate characteristics to the practitioner while the needles are in. It is applicable for acute or chronic pain and is unlikely to cause soreness post-treatment. His point combinations can also be used for internal conditions, such as respiratory issues, gastrointestinal, hormonal balancing, gynecological and emotional issues.
Kim Nguyen, L.Ac. has had success in treating the following conditions:
- Muscle, joint and tendon pain, arthritis, sciatica
- Common Cold/Allergies/Flu
- Menopausal Syndrome
- Irregular Menstruation and other Gynecological issues
- Infertility, Preparation for Pregnancy
- Anxiety/Stress/Emotional Issues
The World Health Organization (WHO) and the National Institute of Health (NIH) lists other conditions that acupuncture may help, including: Internal-asthma, bronchitis, colds and flu, diabetes, hepatitis, ulcers, colitis, irritable bowel syndrome, hiccup, incontinence Musculo-skeletal-pain, arthritis, sciatica, carpal tunnel, tendonitis, facial palsy, headache, toothache, sprains Head-blurry vision, deafness, earaches, hay fever, rhinitis, sinusitis, dizziness, sore throat Other-premenstrual syndrome, urinary tract infection, anxiety, depression, insomnia, stress, nausea and vomiting
Using herbal medicine with regular acupuncture treatments increases the efficacy and prolongs the benefits associated with Chinese Medicine. With acupuncture, an external force is applied to balance the body’s energy, but herbal medicine provides supplementary aid by adjusting one’s internal energies. Each herb contains natural substances that function to strengthen the various systems of the body, or to unblock stagnation when deemed necessary. Although science has done extensive research on these products alone, it is their combined effect in traditional formulas that produces the desired outcome based upon the diagnosis and treatment principle of the practitioner. Taken on a daily basis, Chinese herbal medicine can also help with health maintenance and prevention. Common side effects may include stomach upset or diarrhea, and in such cases you should contact your practitioner immediately.