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What is Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), Oriental Medicine (OM)?

TCM is a comprehensive system that views the body as a whole and seeks to restore the smooth flow of the body's vital energy, called Qi (pronounced "chee"). It is a preventative approach, as well as treating current dysfunctions in the body. Acupuncture and herbal medicine are part of a complete system used to diagnose, treat and prevent illness.

Acupunctureis the insertion of fine, hair-like needles into specific locations on the body. These are solid, disposable and sterile needles. Nothing is injected into the skin. With the insertion of the needles, you may feel a pin prick or pinching sensation. Needles are generally left in place for 20-30 minutes while you rest. As you rest you may feel sensations of warmth, numbness, and a tingling or electrical sensation along with a sense of well being. This is your energy moving to the trouble areas to restore the smooth flow of vital energy or Qi .

Herbal medicine works internally to restore the body to balance. Just as certain acupuncture points have different functions, so do Chinese herbs. Acupuncture and herbs work together to promote healing and are commonly used together to treat imbalances, build the immune system, restore energy, and promote well being.

Cupping Therapy is a method of relieving local congestion by applying glass cups to the area. Cupping involves heating the air inside a glass cup, which removes some of the air from the cup. The cup is then placed quickly on the skin forming a vacuum that increases circulation to the area. The cups are left in place for several minutes then removed, leaving a bright red circular welt. It is most commonly used for musculoskeletal pain, respiratory problems with congestion and coughing and wheezing. It is important to note that cupping can result in bruising.

Other modalities include:

  • Moxibustion which is a compressed herb (artemisia vulgaris) that is heated and held over points. It is very warming and has a strong frangrant odor.
  • Tai Chi and Qi Gong - are mindful physical exercises that move your energy effectively.
  • Food Therapy is using the proper foods for your body constitution. For example, someone that tends to be warm or hot most of the time should avoid or reduce the amount of warming foods such as hot peppers and beef in their diet, whereas someone who tends to be cooler or cold most of the time would benefit from consuming these foods. Of course, a balanced diet should always be your goal. 
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