Acupuncture is a traditional Chinese medicine therapy developed about 3,000 years ago. It is a treatment carried out by inserting needles into certain points of the human body. The foundation of this treatment is that human body is composed of qi, and all the functional activities of the human body depend on the support of qi for their performance. Meridians are where of qi of the human body travels, and connect the different parts of the human body with each other. For example, the lung meridian travels to the lung and large intestine interiorly and goes exteriorly along the anterior line of the medal sides of the arms. Acupuncture points are sme specific locations where qi comes out or enters the meridians. Different points have different functions, thus they can be used to treat different conditions by stimulating the qi in the meridians.
Acupuncture has been consistently practiced in China, Japan, Korea and Vietnam in the past several thousands years. It is now being more widely used in almost every corner of the world. WHO has recognized acupuncture being effective for more than 40 conditions, and for a lot of conditions, such as pain condition, neurological conditions, etc., acupuncture is amazingly effective.
Tuina literally means “pushing and Grasping. It is a Chinese medicine treatment by applying different manuvuers, including rubbing, grasping, rolling, kneading and so on, to the diseased parts of the body to treat different conditions. It is used to treat almost all musculoskeletal disorders such as headache, neck pain, lower back pain, ankle sprain, etc. It is also a very common therapy for pediatric disease, such as fever, diarrhea, digestive disorders, and so on.
Tuina is different from other styles of massage in three major points. The first is that it is more a therapeutic approach in Chinese medicine rather than just a massage. The second is that it has developed a lot of special manipulations to treat different conditions, and the third, is that there are some special points (just like the points in acupuncture treatment) to be selected for different diseases.
Tuina can be a main treatment for some conditions. But generally speaking, it is supplementary to herbal treatment and acupuncture treatment.
Electro-stimulation in acupuncture treatment is a way to strengthen the effect of the acupuncture treatment by hooking two needles with an electric stimulator that can cause constant stimulation to the needled area by inputting different pulse waves. It does not hurt, what a patient feels is more the pulsation or some kinds of jerking of the muscles or tendons. It is a very important approach supplementary to today’s acupuncture practice.
Chinese herbal medicine has been the most important treatment for most of the diseases in Chinese medicine. They are mostly from plants, some animal products and mineral products. After thousands of years of experiments and clinical practice, Chinese medicine has identified more than 7000 single herbs with different functions.
Different from western herbs, Chinese herbs are mostly used in combination based on patients’ conditions and the different properties of the herbs, or formulas. A formula contains one or two major herbs for the major pathological change, some herbs to help strengthen the effects of the main herbs or reduce the drastic effect of the main herbs, some herbs to treat the accompanying pathologic changes, and some herbs help harmonize the herbs in the formula. The purpose to use herbs in this way lies in two major aspects, one is to maximize the therapeutic effects of the formula, another one is to avoid possible side or toxic effect of a herb when it is used soly.
Chinese herbs are widely used to treat all kinds of conditions in the clinic. For some conditions, Chinese herbs could be the treatment of choice, since they are relatively safe, without so remarkable side or toxic effect.
Foods and herbs came from the same source. Chinese medicine believes that just as herbs, every food has its specific taste and nature. Some food could be hot, such as red pepper, some food could be cold or cool, such as cucumber, crab meat, etc. Diseases of the human body are the results of disharmony of yin and yang, and pathological changes of yin and yang of the human body will be manifestated as cold or hot patterns. So if someone has too much heat in the body, he will be adviced to eat more cold food so that the heat in the body can be less, while if someone has too much cold in the body, he needs to eat warm or hot food to reduce the cold in the body so that yin and yang of the body can restore its harmony. What is more, food is the source of the nutrents of the body, or where qi and blood of the body come from. So it is the most important way to support the vital qi (the constitution, the health). In any conditions, a good diet will help maintain health and also help recovery from disease. This is why practitioner of Chinese medicine always needs to give dietary advice to his patients as a part of the treatment.