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WHAT IS ACUPUNCTURE?
Acupuncture is one of the oldest and most complex of the medical arts. It is based on theories and observations made over thousands of years about a vital life force that flows through our body. This life force is considered an energy that flows through pathways called meridians, similar to an electrical current passing through a conductor. By manipulating the electrical current, we can change the intensity of light and sound. Similarly, certain points located along the energy pathways in our body can be used to manipulate associated energy fields. Acupuncture is the means through which these points are manipulated. Trauma, stress, environment, improper diet, or medications are some of the factors that can cause an imbalance in the natural flow of body energy, causing us to not feel well. Acupuncture focuses on correcting that imbalance and restoring our health.
WHAT IS TRADITIONAL CHINESE MEDICINE?
Acupuncture is an essential part of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), a comprehensive system of health care with a continuous clinical history of over 3000 years. Traditional Chinese Medicine includes acupuncture, Chinese herbs and bodywork, dietary therapy and exercise based on TCM principles. These therapies work with the natural vital energy inherent within all living things to promote the body's ability to heal itself.
Traditional Chinese Medicine uses an intricate system of pulse and tongue diagnosis, palpation of points and meridians, medical history and other signs and symptoms to create a composite Traditional Chinese Medicine diagnosis. A treatment plan is then formulated to induce the body to a balanced state of health.
HOW DOES IT WORK?
Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) is based on an energetic model rather than the biochemical model of Western medicine. The ancient Chinese recognized a vital energy behind all life forms and life processes. They called this energy Qi (pronounced "chee"). In developing an understanding of the prevention and cure of disease, these healing practitioners discovered that this energy flows along specific pathways called 'meridians'. Each pathway is associated with a particular physiological system and internal organ.
Disease is considered to arise due to a deficiency or imbalance of energy in the meridians and their associated physiological systems. Acupuncture points are specific locations along the meridians. Each point has a predictable effect upon the vital energy passing through it. Modern science has been able to measure the electrical charge at these points, thus corroborating the locations of the meridians mapped by the ancients.
WHAT IS CUPPING?
Cupping (火罐, pronouced "huo guan") is an ancient Chinese practice designed to release internal fire (inflammation), increase circulation to tight tissues, and relieve pain. It is like receiving a very deep focused massage as it improves circulation. A vacuum is created using plastic or glass cups. The cup will stick to the skin from suction that is created with either a hand held pump or heat. This lifts the skin and increases circulation which promotes a healing response from the body to the afflicted areas. The cup will not hurt, but a small amount of suction will be felt where the cups are placed.
Often cups will leave a mark on the skin that is not painful, but is evidence of the effectiveness of the procedure which is to release internal stagnation. This modality is a great way to detox your body!