*Things I have learned from being an acupuncturist, above and beyond the 3000 years of theory, the requisite biomedicine and microbiology courses, the location and function of the acupuncture points, current acupuncture research, the names and functions of hundreds of herbs, various acupuncture techniques, how to write an herbal formula, anatomy and physiology, etc. In short, what I’ve learned beyond what they teach you in becoming an acupuncturist.
We treat a lot of athletes here at Stepping Stone – from recent moms who jog twice a week to get back in shape to college athletes, high school dancers to adult triathletes. We are both marathoners. So we understand the trials and unique challenges to health that athletes are faced with.
There are, of course, many many Chinese herbs that you have probably never heard of – plant, mineral, and animal products that exert a therapeutic action in the body. However, there are many herbs that appear in your everyday life, whether you know it or not! Read on for some information about the therapeutic actions of these common herbs, and perhaps then Chinese Herbal Medicine won’t seem quite so distant from what you already know and understand.
Turmeric has also been used medicinally in Indian and Chinese Medical systems for thousands of years, prompting recent scientific research into its health benefits.
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?