Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) and acupuncture
The oldest continuously practiced medical system in the world
“The body is to nature as a violin is to an orchestra. The strings are to a violin as the organs are to the body. For the orchestra to play in harmony all the instruments must be tuned to each other.”
—Beinfield and Korngold
Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM)
In Traditional Chinese medicine, energy or qi as it is otherwise known as, is believed to flow along pathways called meridians. This qi should flow in a free and unobstructed way, much like your bloodstream. If it is blocked anywhere then illness may follow.
To restore the flow of qi, an acupuncturist inserts tiny sterile needles into certain points of the body – commonly referred to as acupuncture points or acupoints. A Chinese Medicine practitioner may also use Chinese herbs to strengthen and support the healing process. Other TCM therapies and treatments include massage, nutrition, moxibustion, cupping, and body–mind–breath practices such as Qi Gong.
During the initial consultation we will inquire about your concerns, medical history, symptoms, appetite, sleep habits etc – as well as make a diagnosis using TCM techniques, such as pulse and tongue diagnosis. The tongue serves as a map of your internal organs and helps us diagnose a pattern of disease and/or imbalance.
This process helps us build a unique picture of who you are and not just the symptoms that you are experiencing. We then come up with a personalised treatment plan unique to your needs to restore balance, heal the body - and find peace of mind.
Acupuncture and/or Chinese herbs are the most common forms of treatment.
Your acupuncturist will ask you to take off your shoes and socks and lie on the bed. They will insert 3 to 10 tiny needles in to specific parts of the body, which will stay in place for about 10 to 20 minutes. Acupuncture is not painful, in fact some people fall asleep during this time. Generally, 1 to 5 treatments are recommended depending on the severity of the problem.
We can prescribe Chinese herbs to strengthen and consolidate a treatment. Our herbs are in the form of granules, which are simply added to hot water and drunken as a tea once or twice a day. Dietary recommendations are also helpful and depend on your specific pattern of disharmony. Other therapies such as moxibustion, cupping therapy, and massage may also be recommended.
Improve your physiological health, mental health and overall wellbeing, one needle at a time!
Acupuncture aids in strengthening the immune system and serves to prevent diseases. It is successful at treating a multitude of health conditions but you do not have to be ill to see the benefits of acupuncture. Clients often use acupuncture to maintain balance and prevent illness and diseases.
Acupuncture is not painful. People report different sensations –such as tingling, aching or a feeling of warmth or pulling.
Key benefits of acupuncture:
- Relieves pain
- Enhances immune function
- Regulates and balances hormones
- Elevates mood
- Relaxes muscle
- Eliminate stress
- Enhances mental clarity
Acupuncture for Facial Rejuvenation Based on the ancient wisdom of China and using the finest acupuncture needles, this therapy stimulates and tones facial muscles as well as enhances circulation, thereby revitalizing and rejuvenating the face.
Acupuncture is well known for its pain-relieving benefits but there are many health conditions for which TCM and acupuncture are proven to be helpful and are gentle therapies that work towards balancing and strengthening the body’s capacity to heal itself. TCM and acupuncture have been successfully used to treat a variety of conditions:
- Addiction (e.g. smoking, drugs, alcohol)
- Arthritis pain, (e.g. rheumatoid, osteoarthritis)
- Allergies, (e.g. bronchitis, asthma)
- Chronic pain (e.g. back, neck, knee, hip, shoulder, abdominal pain)
- Cancer and chemotherapy/radiation side effects
- Circulatory disorders (e.g. anaemia, palpitations, high blood pressure, angina)
- Cognitive decline, (e.g. Parkinson’s, dementia)
- Eye, ear, nose, throat and dental problems (e.g. earache, sore throats, ringing in the ears, tooth aches)
- Emotional and psychology conditions (e.g. depression, stress, panic attacks, anxiety, eating disorders, addictive behaviours, insomnia, chronic fatigue)
- Fertility (e.g. infertility both male and female, assisted IVF support, sperm motility and morphology, endometriosis, PCOS)
- Gastrointestinal disorders (e.g. abdominal pain, constipation, diarrhoea, IBS, Colitis, Crohn’s, heartburn, nausea, vomiting, gastritis, ulcers, haemorrhoids/piles)
- Nerve problems (e.g. facial paralysis, carpal tunnel syndrome, sciatica, epilepsy)
- Neurology (e.g. headaches, migraines, dizziness, vertigo, blurred vision, stroke, trigeminal neuralgia)
- Pregnancy, Labour and postpartum health (e.g. morning sickness, induction of labour, breech baby, labour pain, mastitis, postnatal depression)
- Skin conditions (e.g. eczema, acne, dermatitis, psoriasis, warts, hives)
- Thyroid disorders (e.g. hypothyroidism, hyperthyroidism)
- Urology (e.g. prostatitis, incontinence, oedema, kidney stones, painful urination, urinary tract infections)
- Viral infection (e.g. ear infection, cold, flu, postherpetic neuralgia, shingles)
- Women’s health, (e.g. hormonal imbalances, painful periods, menstrual cramps, fibroids, irregular uterine bleeding, premenstrual syndrome, vaginal infection/thrush, menopause)
- Weight loss
- Facial rejuvenation to improve skin health, reduce the sign of ageing, improve muscle tone, and increase collagen
Like it’s Chinese counterpart, Japanese acupuncture opens energy channels within the body, relieves tension, muscle and joint pain, chronic conditions, and emotional wellbeing. Kiiko Matsumoto is a specific style of Japanese acupuncture, which is practiced at IMI. Diagnosis is based on patient’s health history, symptoms, pulse and palpation. Reflex zones and symptoms are diagnostically significant, which informs the choice of appropriate acupuncture points and enables practitioners and the client to have some immediate indication as the effectiveness of the treatment.
Japanese acupuncture is particularly suited to those who are uncomfortable with strong needle stimulus. Shallow needle insertion leaves no pain during treatment and provides quick results. Treatment is safe to use on children and babies.
Chinese herbs and other TCM treatments
Chinese herbs are medicinal foods that have been widely used to prevent and cure disease and continue to have an important role in promoting good health as well as treating an extensive range of health conditions. As a result of millennia of study by masters of Traditional Chinese Medicine there are a large number of tried and tested herbal formulas. Each herb contains a number of complex compounds, which when combined with other herbs help to restore health and promote wellbeing. Herbs are less likely to cause side effects because they are natural plant extracts, which are rapidly processed and eliminated by the body. In addition, Chinese formulas are designed to manage and balance the stronger herbs in the formula. Our Chinese herbal medicines are of the highest purity and are the same brand as used by the government hospitals in Hong Kong.
TCM Nutrition: foods have unique healing properties and nowhere is this understood better than in China, where it is an integral part of the culture. TCM practitioners will advise which foods are best for your condition and foods you should avoid.
Moxibustion: involves the burning of a stick of Mugwort (Ai Ye) as a source of heat over specific parts of the body. This ancient technique has been used for centuries and often combined with acupuncture in clinical practice. When heat is applied to points on the body it helps invigorate the circulation of qi and expels cold. It can be successfully used to treat abdominal pain, painful joints, period pain, turn breech babies and diarrhoea.
Cupping: An ancient TCM healing technique using glass or bamboo suction cups to release blockages and improve circulation in specific areas of the body (i.e. neck, shoulders, upper and lower back, and thighs). The cups are either stationary or used as a moving suction-cup massage, this stimulates the movement of stagnant qi and blood to the surface, allowing for the flow of new, healthy qi and blood to the desired area. Cupping is recommended where there is body stiffness, muscular pain or where increased circulation is desired.
Articles and further information
As a Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) practitioner, people often ask me whether TCM is safe during pregnancy. When TCM is administered by a qualified practitioner, it is not “only” safe...
I wrote about how Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) can help relieve morning sickness. This time I would like to talk about turning breech babies and preparing for labour. “Lisa” was a...
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