Why should you come in for acupuncture when your symptoms are gone? The reason is that TCM, like many traditional medical systems, focuses on health rather than disease. It can be used as a truly preventative medicine. Many traditional medical systems have focused for thousands of years on the promotion of health and wellness, and what you can do every day to PREVENT disease.
I recently got asked the following question: “What health tips would you recommend to all your patients, in general? I know acupuncture is very individualized, but what kinds of things should everyone be doing, regardless of their condition?” So, as we enter into the New Year, over the next 10 days, I’ll offer you my top 10 health tips for everyone…a place to start your journey to a healthier, happier you.
Gwa sha, which literally translates as “Scraping Sand” refers to scraping the skin with a rounded surface to create transient (temporary) therapeutic petechiae (red marks). Clinically, the most common device used to perform gwa sha treatments is a specialized spoon that looks like a Chinese soup spoon. The acupuncturist scrapes along certain channels on the skin with the edge of the spoon – if the treatment is indicated, tiny small raised red dots appear along the affected area of the skin. The treatment draws out metabolic waste and toxins that are congesting the area, leading to more normal circulation of blood and nutrients in the body.
Goji berries, called Gou Qi Zi in pinyin, are a very powerful herb in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), and also a superfood that is easy to incorporate into your diet at home!
Patients come in for acupuncture for a wide variety of issues and you would be amazed how many people report that their symptoms are worse with stress. Because stress is so prevalent in our society, and because it can absolutely wreak havoc on the body, we often include points or herbs in treatment that are specifically meant to promote relaxation and help the body to deal with the symptoms of stress. In addition to acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine, though, I often have my patients practice some form of meditation or visualization.
Most people in the United States seek out acupuncture for musculoskeletal pain. Clinically, we also see an abundance of chronic health conditions, and syndromes unexplained by allopathic medicine. But did you know that you can use acupuncture and herbal medicine to effectively treat the common cold and seasonal flus, as well?
For most of my life up until that point, the relationship with my body was one of seeing how far I could push it. I was an avid long distance runner, used to speed workouts on the track at 6:00 am and long runs at a pace that I couldn’t really keep up. I was used to staying up really late to write papers and hang out with friends. The physical limits of my body were something to be pushed through – not something to learn from and listen to, from which to hear a story of my being. Acupuncture changed that for me.