Acupuncture: Acupuncture is the main modality of Oriental medicine. It consists of the insertion of fine needles into the body at specific points. Acupuncture is based on ancient theories of the flow of qi through distinct channels that cover the body somewhat like the nerves and blood vessels. Oriental medicine has described in detail the pathways of the wide variety of channels that serve to circulate the qi and blood to every part of the body.
The channels penetrate the organs and intestines, connects with the skin, muscles, flesh, tendons, and bones; linking all the tissues and structures of the body into an integrated whole.
Qi can be defined as a fine essential substance/energy which nourishes and constructs the body. According to this theory, acupuncture adjusts the flow of qi in the body, leading qi to areas where it is insufficient and draining it from areas where it is stuck and/or super abundant. In this way, acupuncture restores the harmonious balance of the body and its parts. Acupuncture is effective in quickening the blood, transforming blood stasis, clearing heat internally and externally, resolving toxins, dispersing swelling and nodulation, and stopping pain. The acupuncturist accesses the energy through points that have been researched and mapped over thousands of years ago. The 300 plus points have individual qualities and are selected for specific treatment actions and indications. These points are located by anatomical landmarks, body measurement, and palpation.
Auricular Acupuncture: Auricular acupuncture has undergone an evolution. Mention of needling the ears was found in a number of old Chinese medical classics, but it was not until modern times that it has come into wide use. Dr. Paul Nogier, a physician from Lyon, France developed the somatic map of the ear, based upon the concept of an inverted fetus orientation. Its scope of clinical application encompasses many categories of internal disease, such as mental disorders, as well as external diseases, including dermatoses such as hives, acne, vitiligo, eczema, and psoriasis. In addition, nearly all pain conditions fall within the scope of its indications as well as stress reduction. Auricular therapy has been an effective for withdrawing addicts from narcotics, alcohol, and nicotine. In auricular-therapy, an active reflex point only shows up when there is some pathology, pain, or dysfunction in the anatomically corresponding part of the body. If there is no bodily problem, there is no ear reflex point. An active reflex point is identified as an area of the ear which exhibits increased sensitivity to applied pressure and increased electro-dermal skin conductivity.
Cupping: Cupping is a simple and effective therapeutic technique which can be used alone or in combination with acupuncture or moxibustion to enhance the treatment. The function of cupping is to warm and move qi and blood in the channels and surrounding tissue. The method typically utilizes a glass or porcelain cup. Heat is introduced into the cup in order to reduce the internal pressure, thereby producing a vacuum. When the cup is then inverted onto the skin surface, the skin will be drawn up by suction forming a firm grip around the rim of the cup causing a congestion of the blood and lymph, bring white blood cells to an affected area. Cupping in the beginning, was use do help remove pus when treating sores and swellings. Now it is also used for arthritis, common cold, acute sprains, cough, asthma, and other illnesses.
Scalp Acupuncture: Scalp acupuncture is one of several specialized acupuncture techniques with a specific body location, such as the ear. Although the scalp has numerous traditionally identified acupuncture points, scalp acupuncture differs from traditional acupuncture therapy. The origin of modern scalp acupuncture is 1935, when the concept of a relationship between the scalp and the cerebral cortex. Several acupuncturists pursued this line, seeking points and zones on the scalp that would treat diseases of the brain. Initial results of clinical work indicated that acupuncture applied to the scalp had good effect on diseases that were associated with cerebral damage, such as stroke. Its applications were then extended to virtually all other diseases, but a focus on the nervous system disorders is dominant. Treatment zones have been mapped onto the scalp and are associated with body functions and broad body region. The needles are inserted to the aerial tissue layer beneath the scalp surface, at a low angle of 15-30 degrees. The needles are stimulated by various needle techniques or electro-stimulation.
Moxibustion: Moxibustion is often used in conjunction with acupuncture. It uses heat to warm the channels, scatter cold, and harmonize qi and blood. Clinically, moxibustion has a very broad scope of application, including internal diseases, external conditions, gynecology, pediatrics, and dermatology. It utilizes an herb in Latin called folium artemisiae argyii.
It is used both internally in herbology as well as externally in moxibustion. In Chinese it is called ai ye and in Western herbology it is called mugwort. It is used primarily because it doesn’t ignite into flames, but rather smolders slowly. Mugwort when processed is easily rolled and formed. In rolled form, it is often placed on top of acupuncture needles to incorporate warmth in the acupuncture point. Mugwort can also be formed into sticks for indirect moxibustion and used for warming acupuncture points and areas to increase blood and qi flow. Mugwort can also be placed and burned on top of ginger, garlic or salt for various conditions.
Herbal Therapy: Traditional cultures have known about the medicinal properties of herbs for centuries. Herbs have been and can be used to treat many illnesses. Many of the drugs that are prescribed today by Western physicians are derived from natural ingredients. Chinese herbs consist mostly of natural ingredients, such as roots, flowers, seeds, leaves, stems, fruits, and minerals. These substances have all been researched for various properties, such as, the temperature, taste, and the organ/channel affected. The therapeutic functions and actions of the substances along with synergistic qualities in combination of herbs have developed over a long period of time.
There are various methods in taking herbal medicine. The herbs can be made into a decoction from the raw herbs, made into a tea from powdered/processed herbs, or taken in a formed pill or tablet produced by an herbal company. A formula can have one or more various herbs dependent upon the signs and symptoms of the patient. Individual herbs are constructed into formulas based upon the disease pattern of the patient and often modified as the patient regains health and pattern evolves.
Electric Stimulation: Electro-stimulation utilizes very low electric current for stimulation of the acupuncture point through the acupuncture needle. Small clips are attached to the needles and the unit is adjusted to the proper frequency and strength depending upon the patient’s diagnosis. Electro-stimulation improves the lymph circulation and blood circulation. It is often used for muscle spasms, acupuncture analgesia, and to enhance point stimulation in general. The stimulation can be used in a tonifying method as in the case of muscle fatigue or deteriorating muscle control. It can also be used in dispersing method for pain from an acute injury.