Acupuncture & Herbology
What is Acupuncture?
Acupuncture is a successful form of medical treatment that has advanced into a complete holistic health care system. It originated in China nearly 2,500 years ago and became popular in the United States after an unexpected treatment of a New York Times reporter in 1971.
Acupuncture promotes the body’s natural ability to heal itself. It can improve energy levels, boost the immune system, and support the physical and emotional well being of an individual. The beauty of acupuncture is that it works synergistically with your own body and is a natural and safe way to treat a variety of medical conditions.
How Does Acupuncture Work?
The basic principle of this ancient medicine is the idea that “Qi,” or the vital life energy flows throughout our whole body. Our body has special pathways, called meridians or channels. On these meridians are up to 2,000 specific acupuncture points on the human body. The Qi flows through these meridians and acupuncture points giving every cell, organ, tissue and muscle vital life energy.
From a western point of view, some theories have suggested that acupuncture makes the body produce endorphins, which are 200 times stronger than narcotics! These amazing endorphins reduce pain and allow the person to feel more relaxed after the treatment.
Another theory states that acupuncture blocks pain impulses in the brain or spinal chord. This makes sense as many acupuncture points do stimulate the nervous system.
How does Acupuncture treat Illness?
When an individual has considerable stress, physical or emotional trauma and poor diet or lifestyle, this can cause an obstruction of Qi in the body. Metaphorically, this blockage of Qi is like a stream that cannot flow when a rock is in the pathway of the stream. This “rock” is the blocked energy that is not allowing the water or “Qi” to flow in the right direction. Therefore, this blockage causes a lack of nourishment to the body and organs, which then translates into illness or pain if prolonged.
Chinese Herbology is an integral part of traditional Chinese medicine and is used to compliment the patient’s pattern diagnosis.
The foundation of Chinese herbology originated thousands of years ago when the first Materia Medica of Medicinal Properties was introduced. Chinese herbs consist of taste, temperature, function, combination, toxicity and primary clinical application and preparation of the herbs.
There are six temperature characteristics with herbs-hot, cold, warm, cool, aromatic and neutral. Also, the primary property of herbs in traditional Chinese medicine is taste. The five tastes are acrid, sweet, bitter, sour and salty.
Both aspects of temperature and taste determine how these herbs will function in the body and in specific acupuncture channels. For example, when a patient contracts a cold that is caused by a chilly environment or wind, it is said that an “external wind-cold” pattern exists in Chinese medicine. Therefore, an acupuncturist would prescribe warm herbs to treat the external wind-cold and make the patient’s body warmer inside to fight off the pathogen.
Just like Chinese herbs remedy a cold, it is also used for many other ailments such as chronic illness, fatigue, post-surgical recovery, hormone imbalance, anxiety, depression, infertility, postpartum and pain of any sort.
The success rate of treating a patient’s diagnosis is highly increased with the use of Chinese herbs. Herbs must be taken daily for at least two to four months for a noticeable change and vary depending on the ailment. Chinese herbs assist in balancing the body and mind for achieving vibrant health.