Acupuncture and traditional Chinese medicine is a system of medicine that’s been around for thousands of years. It’s thought to have started in India and spread through China, Korea, Japan and other parts of Asia.
Acupuncture and traditional Chinese medicine work by boosting the body’s own self-healing mechanism. Science can’t yet fully explain how acupuncture works – it’s possible there are a number of ways – by reducing pain and inflammation or by boosting the production of the body’s own pain relieving or balancing hormones.
Your life force or vital energy called Qi (pronounced “chee”) runs through energy channels called meridians that are connected to organs and systems that affect your emotions and spirit as well as the main physiological systems such as digestion, your nervous system, endocrine, immune, circulatory, reproductive and respiratory systems. Illness can often be seen as a result of pain or inflammation and also thought of as a disruption in energy flow.
Chinese medicine enables health and wellbeing by restoring the circulation of energy, enabling the body systems and organs to work at their optimum, reducing pain and inflammation and restoring balance.
Within the system of traditional Chinese medicine is an assessment approach that checks in with you about your general health and also uses pulse and tongue reading to work out which aspects of your body are in need of a tune up. Acupuncture, like a great coach, gives messages to the body telling some organs or systems to lift their game and others to chill out and not work so hard. These cues tell your body there’s another way to be and help it regulate itself back to its best working order.
Acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine are effective in naturally boosting the body’s own healing mechanisms, though a return to health and well being may take some time. Working with you on your healing journey there are many ways for you to support your process. The diet, lifestyle and exercise choices you make on an everyday basis can have a huge impact on your health.
What is Moxibustion or Moxa therapy?
Moxa is a warming, moving, nourishing Chinese medicine herb called Mugwort. In China the word acupuncture would rarely be spoken on its own – its always acu-moxa. Moxa is an integral part of treatment. In Japan whole treatments are given just using moxa. The burning of moxa is called Moxibustion. Having moxa feels warming and relaxing and smells strongly of something like incense.
Moxa can be used in different ways. One way is in the form of a charcoal stick which has low levels of smoke compared to other types.
Moxa’s efficacy has been well researched for helping when a baby is breech (not facing down ready to go) towards the end of pregnancy. Moxa is used to warm the side of the little toe and this helps the baby to turn head down ready for birth.
Chinese herbal medicine – Wisdom you can swallow
Chinese herbs may seem strange and exotic yet many of the herbs used – honeysuckle, jasmine, goji berries, licorice, cinnamon, ginger, date – are pretty familiar. Chinese herbal medicine formulas have been used for hundreds if not thousands of years and today, about three quarters of the world’s population rely on traditional medicine. Herbalists have found that herbs have a temperature, direction of action, and affinity for certain organ systems or meridians. The formulas have an elegant synergism that sees the herbs work harmoniously together creating a benefit beyond an individual herb. The use of the whole herb, as opposed to an extract, means that the beneficial active ingredient can gradually take affect but is balanced in a way that moderates any unwanted effects by other constituents in the herb – nature got it right. This is why herbal medicine is known to have less unwanted effects compared to pharmaceuticals.
How do you take the herbs?
Usually morning and night, with warm water and preferably away from food. Main thing is to remember to take them.
Always make contact if you are having any troubles taking your herbs.
How long for?
As long as your practitioner recommends. Not very long for acute conditions, longer for chronic conditions.
Are they safe?
Yes, all herbs sold in Australia must be listed with the Australian Therapeutic Goods Administration. The range of ready-made herbs I suggest are manufactured in strict accordance with Australian Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) standards. All formulas are tested at different stages of production for bacteria, molds, toxic (or ‘heavy’) metals and pesticide residues.
Are any endangered species used?
What is Chinese Dietary Therapy?
You are what you eat so using nutrition to support your treatment is vital. With so much information available knowing what is right for you can be very confusing. Chinese dietary therapy considers food energetically. Knowing which foods are energetically hot or cold, damp or dry, cool or warm along with your own body’s needs lets you make choices to support your health and digestion.
For instance, a person who has a lot of heat, feels sweaty all year round, likes to drink icy cold water, has a red tongue and a rapid pulse would be able to support their healing choosing energetically cooler foods like watermelon, tomato, and avoiding ginger and cinnamon to balance their internal heat.
Your Chinese medicine diagnosis will inform which foods, drinks and preparation methods will best support your health concerns and which foods may be getting in the way of your health goals.
What can I expect on my first visit?
You’ll be greeted warmly by your acupuncturist and invited to take a seat to complete a health history form. We’ll then discuss your health concerns and check in with you about your lifestyle and diet. We’ll look at your tongue and check your pulse and check for tender or tight spots on your belly.
These diagnostic techniques provide a good idea of what is going on with your organs and body systems so we can choose the best treatment approach for you. From here you’ll be invited to make yourself as comfortable as possible so as to start the acupuncture treatment. I use super gentle techniques so you will feel relaxed and at ease during your treatment.