What conditions can be treated with Oriental Medicine according to the World Health Organization?
Acute Bronchitis, AIDS/HIV related conditions, Allergies, Asthma, Chronic Pain, Common Cold, Constipation/ Diarrhea, Fatigue, Fibroids, Facial Rejuvenation, Gastritis, Headaches and Migraines, Infertility, Insomnia, Menopause, Menstrual Disorders, PMS, Quitting Smoking, Sports Injuries
How does acupuncture work?
Acupuncture achieves the desired results by stimulating specific points near or on the surface of the skin – acupuncture points – that have the ability to alter biochemical and physiological conditions in the body. Because acupuncture points are designated areas of electrical sensitivity, inserting needles at these points stimulates sensory receptors. This in turn stimulates nerves that transmit impulses to the hypothalamic-pituitary system in the brain. The hypothalamus-pituitary glands are responsible for releasing neurotransmitters and endorphins, the body’s natural pain-killing hormones (thought to be some 200 times more potent than morphine). Endorphins play a significant role in the hormonal system, which is why acupuncture is effective in treating back pain, arthritis, PMS and infertility. The substances released as a result of acupuncture relax the body, and also regulate serotonin in the brain, which affects emotional states. Other physiological effects include increased circulation, decreased inflammation, relief of muscle spasms and increased T-cell count, which supports the immune system.
What are some other Chinese Medicine techniques besides acupuncture?
There are a variety of techniques used in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). Below are a few that are typically used in conjunction with acupuncture to enhance its effects:
Electro-Acupuncture: Acupuncture needles are used to conduct small electrical currents. This technique, often used in conjunction with acupuncture, has been proven to decrease pain, accelerate healing, and significantly reduce inflammation, edema and swelling.
Moxibustion: A technique in which a Chinese herb called mugwort or Artemisia Vulgaris is used to heat an acupuncture point, particularly in the treatment of certain debilitating conditions as well as arthritis and pain. Moxa is usually rolled into a stick, lit, and held over specific areas of the body. It can also be placed onto the handle of an acupuncture needle for deeper penetration of heat.
Cupping: In cupping, a glass or plastic cup is suctioned onto the body and kept in place for about 10 minutes. This stimulates circulation, relieves swelling, and enhances the acupuncture or electro-acupuncture.
Gua Sha: Also known as “spooning” or “coining” to English speakers and “tribo-effleurage” to the French and Kerokan to the Japanese, Gua Sha literally means “scrape away heat”. It is performed by applying pressurized strokes to the back using a specialized scraping instrument. Gua Sha is used for many ailments from muscle aches to fevers to digestive and gynecological issues.
Tui Na: A form of Chinese body work used in conjunction with acupuncture for a variety of musculoskeletal and organ-related issues.