Acupuncture utilises a holistic and medicinal approach to diagnose, treat and prevent illnesses and ailments for over 2500 years. It can be used to effectively treat acute and chronic physical, mental and auto immune disease conditions such as fibromyalgia, irritable bowel syndrome, lower back pain, infertility, cosmetic acupuncture, depression and anxiety as well as alleviate pain, improve the body’s healing processes and strengthen the immune system. It also encompasses the insertion of fine needles along various energy or qi (pronounced "chee") meridians that flow throughout the body, thus enhancing the body’s ability to find and maintain a state of balance.
The human body comprises of more than 400 acupuncture points which correspond to various meridians: 12 primary energy meridians and 8 secondary meridians . These meridians allow a skilled practitioner to select from a variety of points which may include a local point, which is the actual location of the injury or discomfort - or a systemic point, which is a network of acupuncture points located across the body, ensuring optimal treatment success, thus dubbing the practice of acupuncture, both a precise science and an art.
There are both eastern and western opinions on how acupuncture works:
Eastern: The human body has two opposing forces: yin and yang. These forces flow throughout the body via various meridians. Imbalances of these forces or obstruction of qi flow, exhibit themselves as disease and pain. A TCM practitioner will first establish the root cause of the imbalance and thereafter insert fine needles into the correct acupuncture points along the appropriate meridian to establish free flowing qi and rectify the imbalance, thereby simultaneously alleviating the patient’s pain and disease.
Western: Acupuncture points are located near neural structures which stimulate the central nervous system (brain and spinal cord) to secrete neurotransmitters and hormones. These, in turn, dull or block pain, boost immunity, regulate hormonal systems and normalise body functionality for optimal health and well-being.
Cupping is a healing practice that extends across various cultures and religions, from the ancient Greek and Egyptians to modern civilisations. In Islam it is called hijama. It involves suction cups being placed strategically along the meridians to create a small area of low pressure above the skin and is primarily used to remove toxins, boost immunity , alleviate the stagnation of blood and qi, improving the patient’s overall state of health and vitality.
There are various forms of cupping:
·Dry cupping: dry cupping is the most common form of cupping. A plastic suction cup with a mechanical pump is utilised, allowing a practitioner to easily control the application of pressure.
·Fire cupping: fire cupping is the traditional method of cupping. Tiny cotton balls are soaked in an accelerant, such as surgical spirits or alcohol. They are then set alight and used to burn the oxygen out of a glass cup. Suction is then created when the flame is removed and oxygen rushes back into the cups.
· Slide cupping: slide cupping is predominantly used on the back along the bladder meridian, but may also be used on other areas. Massage oil is applied topically along the meridians, followed by either a plastic (dry cupping) or glass cup (fire cupping) with a low suction pressure, allowing the cups to slide along the skin without causing any abrasions or discomfort to the patient.
· Flash cupping: flash cupping is done using either dry or fire cupping. Cups are applied and removed in rapid succession, repeated several times.
· Wet cupping: tiny superficial incisions are made on the skin and glass cups are placed over the affected area. This form of cupping is very effective at overcoming blood and qi stagnation.
*** Wet Cupping should only be performed by medical professionals.
Chinese Herbal Medicine is one of the great herbal systems of the world, with an unbroken tradition going back to the 3rd century BC. TCM relies on herbal therapies both for the treatment of illness and in the optimization of health and prevention of disease.
Chinese herbal medicines are mainly plant based, but some preparations include minerals or animal products. They can be packaged as powders, pastes, lotions or tablets, depending on the herb and its intended use. Different herbs have different properties and can balance particular parts of the body.
Chinese Herbal therapy or herb medicine has three main functions:
treat the acute diseases and conditions such as killing bacteria or a virus; heal chronic illness such as gastrointestinal disorder, respiratory disorder, allergies, immune system deficiency, etc. by strengthening the body, helping it to recover; maintain daily life health by keeping the balance of human body.
In general, herbs can treat a wide variety of diseases and conditions. Comparing with chemical medicine, Chinese herbal medicine is much more gentler and safer because it is made of natural herbs. Most of Chinese herbs do not cause side effects. Even some side effects that do occur among a few herbs, those side effects can be easily counteracted with other herbs. For these reasons, people turn to herbal therapy for a number of indications. More and more people rely on Chinese herb medicine as alternative after chemical medicine failed.
Moxibustion, also known as moxa, is a TCM technique that involves the burning of mugwort (Folium Artemisia Argyi), a small, spongy herb, to facilitate healing. Although Moxa may be used as a standalone treatment, it is often used in combination with acupuncture, cupping, Tuina or Gua Sha. Patients will experience a soothing spread of warmth deep into their body or over the area being treated. Moxa may be used as part of a daily health regimen to increase longevity. Moxibustion has the ability to reduce inflammation and relieve pain which is usually caused by a blockage in the flow of Qi (pronounced chee), as well as blood stagnation while also being able to inhibit pain due to cold or vascular occlusion. Using heat, it reduces the temperature of the problem area, so that the healing mechanism of moxibustion is able to achieve the same results as needle acupuncture. It is through qi that moxibustion does the work, not the direct incoherent heat that we associate with burning. Moxibustion is used for: •The alleviation of pain arising from injury or arthritis, especially pain that alleviates with the application of heat •Digestive problems •Gynaecological issues, such as pre-menstrual cramps, and obstetrical conditions, including breech presentation in late-term pregnancy. •Protection against various cold and flu strains
Tuina (pronounced "twee-nah") is a form of a Chinese therapeutic massage , citing its name from 'Tui', meaning ‘to push’ and 'Na', meaning ‘to grasp’. Tuina includes the use of the following: (i) hand techniques to massage the soft tissue (muscles and tendons) of the body, (ii) acupressure techniques to directly affect the free flow of qi, and (iii) manipulation techniques to realign musculoskeletal and ligamentous relationships. Tuina offers a wide range of physiological and psychological benefits and generally increases well-being and the feeling of euphoria.
Tuina is a multi-faceted treatment and can be employedas a general massage or as a sports injury treatment. It is also used to treat a variety of ailments, including:
·neck pain and frozen shoulder
·low energy, poor circulation
·back pain, sciatica
·digestive disorders and stress
·joint pain or moving pain
·ankle or wrist pain
What is Pediatric Tuina?
Paediatric Tuina has been developed specifically as a massage technique for the treatment of ailments in children. It is a very effective technique used to stimulate meridians and acupuncture points without requiring the use of any tools.
It influences a child's energetic flow such as Qi in the same way as acupuncture does, but through the use of a gentle massage technique, rather than needles, to activate the various points. This form of Tuina is performed predominantly on an infant or child’s fingers, palms and forearms, with rhythmic and firm movements being performed in rapid succession.
Paediatric Tuina is suitable for the treatment of common childhood ailments such as colds, fever, coughs, diarrhoea, bed-wetting and night terrors. Paediatric Tuina can also improve children's overall health and well-being by strengthening their immune systems.
Gua Sha (pronounced “gwa shah”), also known as 'gua –scrape', 'rub sha', 'petechiae', 'sha bruise' or more commonly, coining or spooning, is one of the oldest treatment procedures in existence. It is typically performed by rubbing a smooth-edged instrument such as a jade stone, obsidian, poly carba - or in former years, buffalo horn - across the surface of the skin where a subcutaneous (just below the skin) injury or imbalance resides. Gua Sha- like acupuncture- helps to stimulate and improve the free flow of qi and blood. As the scraping stimulates the qi, it also creates a rush of blood flow, thereby creating a painless raised red rash, also known as 'petechiae' which subsides within 2-4 days.Gua Sha has two main functions:
·Detoxification: by using a brisk rubbing action, it releases petechiae to the surface of the skin. Petechiae is a by-product that triggers the body to process cleansing of the area being stimulated and eliminates both the dead blood cells as well as other toxins from the skin surface in that area.
·Cell Nourishment: when petechiae appear on the skin’s surface, it forces an increase in blood and oxygen to the area being treated. This aids in those cells being nourished, thereby promoting a healthier sense of well-being.
While Gua sha is most commonly used to treat pain, it is also utilized by TCM practitioners to address conditions such as asthma, bronchitis, colds, flu, fever, heatstroke, fibromyalgia, strains, sprains, and muscle spasms. Many people find immediate relief to their pain, however Gua Sha is recommended as a preventative measure, as well as effective treatment after an affliction has manifested.