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Traditional Chinese Medicine

What is Traditional Chinese Medicine?

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) is a complete medical system that was developed more than 3000 years ago and yet continues to meet our current health care needs.  Today, TCM is commonly being used by many as a primary choice for health care and is often recommended by Western Medical practitioners to provide patients with the best care.

Traditional Chinese Medical Treatment are often a combination of:

  • Acupuncture
  • Herbal Medicine
  • Nutritional/Lifestyle Counseling
  • Adjunctive Techniques (cupping, moxa, gua sha, pressballs)

At Turning Leaf Acupuncture we focus on the importance of maintaining a balance in the body, allowing for the free-flow of Qi (life-energy, pronounced “chee”) throughout the meridians of the body.   According to TCM, there are numerous meridians (channels) located throughout the body, similar to highways on a road map, each of which is associated with specific organs and carries within it Qi.   When there is a blockage or lack of Qi in one or more of these meridians, Qi cannot flow properly, and the result is illness. The goal of TCM is to foster the proper movement of Qi, allowing the body to balance and begin healing itself, treating both the health concern directly and its underlying causes.

Our practitioners are highly skilled at being able to evaluate and understand where these blockages may be occurring and from there developing a comprehensive treatment plan which may include a combination of acupuncture and herbal medicine along with nutritional and lifestyle counseling.  At Turning Leaf we encourage our patients to play an active role in their health care in order to achieve and maintain their health and wellness goals.

Techniques Used in Traditional Chinese Medicine

Acupuncture

Acupuncture is the gentle and painless insertion of  tiny, sterile needles into  acupuncture point locations along the body that have been thoughtfully selected by your practitioner to according to your health concern(s) and diagnosis.  It is the insertion of these needles that allows for the practitioner to affect a change within the meridians to facilitate the movement of Qi to promote healing with minimal to no side-effects.

Research studies along with organizations such as  National Institute for Health and World Health Organization continue to demonstrate  and confirm that acupuncture is beneficial in treating numerous health conditions some of which include acute/chronic pain, digestive conditions, fertility issues, mental health and more.  These studies, while they cannot explain exactly how acupuncture exactly works using a western research model, they can  confirm that  insertion of acupuncture needles does result in changes in the endocrine system, nervous system (such as the release of neurotransmitters) and circulatory systems.

Herbal Medicine

Chinese Herbal Medicine, just like acupuncture is one component of Traditional Chinese Medicine and has been used for thousands of years.  There are over 350 commonly used herbs from which a select number are chosen and combined to create a formula specific for you and the condition(s) being addressed.  The use of herbal formulas allows for a stronger and more continuous treatment which can be maintained by the patient between acupuncture visits.  Our practitioners have undergone extensive training and continue to strengthen their knowledge through post graduate studies in order to provide each patient with the best comprehensive care.  Chinese Herbal Medicine, unlike many pharmaceuticals, focuses on treating the the root of the problem as well as presenting symptoms with minimal to no side-effects.

At our clinic herbal formulas are prescribed in the form of granules, capsules or tablets to ensure proper dosage and ease of compliance.   All the herbs distributed in this clinic are of the highest quality and grade and are from natural sources, some of which include various parts of trees, plants, flowers and minerals.  The herbs and formulas we prescribe have been proven safe and effective when prescribed by a licensed practitioner and are often found as common ingredients in Western pharmaceuticals and supplement.

Nutritional/Lifestyle Counseling

Chinese Medicine places a strong emphasis on nutrition and lifestyle when working towards achieving maintaining health and wellness.   The manner in which food is thought of varies from that of western medicine and corresponds with the diagnosis and evaluation determined by your practitioner.  For example, if someone has chronic fatigue, feels cold and has light menstrual  flows it may be recommended that they limit their consumption of raw foods and instead incorporate more cooked vegetables, stews, along with dark red and green vegetables such as kale and beets.

At Turning Leaf a significant part of a treatment plan is to discuss what patients can do outside of the clinic to support their healing process.  Our practitioners understand the importance of patient involvement and together with you will establish a treatment approach including any necessary dietary and lifestyle modifications.

Moxibustion (Moxa)

Moxibustion is a an ancient technique that involves the burning of mugwort (a dried moss called artemesia vulgaris) to facilitate healing by nourishing blood, assisting in the movement of Qi, warming the body if cold is present and strengthening overall health.  Studies have also been shown that moxa can help turn babies that present in the breech position before childbirth as well as assist in alleviating menstrual cramping.

Cupping

Cupping is a technique that uses glass or bamboo shaped cups which are gently placed on selected areas or meridians on the body to increase blood flow, relieve pain and draw out toxins.