Traditional Chinese Medicine & Acupuncture
Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) is a complete medical system that has been used to diagnose, treat, and prevent illnesses for more than 2,000 years. TCM is based on a belief in yin and yang, defined as opposing energies, such as earth and heaven, winter and summer, and happiness and sadness. When yin and yang are in balance, you feel relaxed and energized. When yin and yang are out of balance there can be negative influences on your health.
Practitioners of TCM also believe that there is a life force or energy, known as qi (pronounced "chee"), in every body. For yin and yang to be balanced and for the body to be healthy, qi must be balanced and flowing freely. When there is too little or too much qi in one of the body's energy pathways, called meridians, or when the flow of qi is blocked, it causes illness. The ultimate goal of TCM treatment is to balance the yin and yang in our lives by promoting the natural flow of qi.
Three major causes of qi, yin, and yang disturbance are: external or environmental factors, internal emotional factors, and lifestyle factors such as diet and hygiene. Through the use of its therapeutic modalities(acupuncture, moxibustion, cupping, herbal formulas), TCM stimulates the body's own healing mechanisms.
In TCM, the body's internal organs are thought of not only as individual structures but also as complex networks. According to TCM, qi flows through organ systems -- kidney, heart, spleen, liver, lung, gallbladder, small intestine, large intestine, bladder, and triple warmer -- by way of meridians. Despite their specific names, these organ systems correspond to more than individual body parts. The kidney, for example, represents the entire urinary system along with the adrenal glands, located on top of the kidneys. The heart, meanwhile, represents both the heart and the brain.
Practices used in TCM include:
Acupuncture and acupressure
Moxibustion, burning an herb near the skin
Chinese massage, called Tui Na
Exercise, such as tai chi and qi gong which combine movement with meditation