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Questions about TCM
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Questions about Acupuncture
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Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) is a comprehensive, extensively utilized stand-alone system of medicine that originated in China over 5,000 years ago. Commonly called Acupuncture, it is the insertion of very thin needles in certain points along the "channels" of the body to evoke a Qi response and alert the body via chemical and electrical messages to regain homeostasis (equilibrium of body processes).
TCM encompasses other modalities in addition to needling, including carefully crafted Herbal remedies and nutritional information, Chinese style therapeutic massage (Tui-Na), Cupping, Far infrared mineral heat, electrical microcurrent stimulation, and Gua Sha.
TCM essentially restores balance to body systems that are "out of whack". Acupuncture stimulates the central & peripheral nervous system by changing the electrical & chemical impulses at the cellular level, which in turn cause the body to self-correct and adjust the chemical and electrical signals sent back in response to the stimulation. These chemical messengers are called neurotransmitters. Acupuncture also signals the brain to release natural pain killing substances called endorphins and enkephalins, which diminish pain signals, create feelings of euphoria, calm stress and anxiety, and promote feelings of well being. Acupuncture in many cases actually affects the levels of hormones in the body, helping the endocrine system function more efficiently. Since there is only so much information that can be relayed to and from the central nervous system on any particular nerve pathway (aka "gate theory"), the stronger stimulus of Acupuncture often takes precedence and prevents adverse pain signals from being recognized by the brain, thereby breaking cycles of chronic pain.
Qi (aka Chi) is the vital life energy source. It is intangible and unmeasurable, yet is responsible for every process that occurs in the body. Acupuncture is centered around the concept that the balance, uninterrupted flow, quantity, and quality of Qi must be maintained for optimal health. Qi flows through channels called meridians, all of which correspond to particular organ systems with their own sets of characteristics, signs, and symptoms. Some of these characteristics overlap with Western medicine organ system concepts, and some are unique to a TCM perspective.
The theory of Yin and Yang is the cornerstone of TCM. They represent the duality of everything in the entire universe, and are the opposite aspects of each other. They cannot be seperated from each other, and are both mutually dependant and rely on a balance between the 2 aspects. Yin represents the female aspect, and is associated with the front of the body. Yin is dark and cold and associated with the solid organs~the Heart, Liver, Spleen, Kidneys, Lungs, and Pericardium. Yang represents the male aspect, and is associated with the back of the body. Yang is light and heat, and associated with the hollow organs~the Small Intestine, the Gallbladder, the Stomach, The Urinary Bladder, the Large Intestine, and the Triple Burner
While Acupuncture is generally painless, different people respond to the needling sensation in different ways. There is no guarantee that Acupuncture will be pain free, since after all a needle is penetrating through the skin. In most cases, any discomfort felt during the needling process subsides very quickly and is minimal in any case. Most people do not even feel the needles. Acupuncture needles are NOT like regular hypodermic needles, which have to be hollow; Acupuncture needles are thinner than a hair and flexible.
Acupuncture is VERY safe, with few adverse side effects. In fact, during the course of treatment most patients report BENEFICIAL side effects as balance is restored to the body. Often, things the patient did not even know were less than optimal are restored to better health. Fusion Acupuncture & Holistic Healthcare uses ONLY sterilized single-use disposable needles and clean needle techniques. Potential side effects that can occur are minor bruising, a burning or tingling sensation, and temporary sensations of pain or discomfort at the needle insertion site.
Acupuncture treats virtually any health condition, including
- chronic pain
- emotional issues such as stress, depression, and anxiety
- headaches of all types
- infectious diseases
- gastro-intestinal disorders
- nutrition deficiencies
- auto-immune conditions
- chemical addictions
- women's health issues
- stroke recovery
- cancer therapy support
- facial paralysis
to name just a few.
Acupuncture can also simultaneously treat multiple conditions. Acupuncture views each patient as unique, with a unique set of health issues to address. Treatment is different for each person and tailored specifically for each individual. There is no "one size fits all"; this is one of the unique factors of TCM that makes it so successful. Approximately 25% of the world's population uses Acupuncture!