Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) is a holistic approach to treating health conditions and cares for the body and mind. The following treatments are available in most acupuncture clinics in the US:
Additionally, holistic practitioners may incorporate the following therapies into their practices:
Acupuncture: Acupuncture is the use of needles which are placed in acupuncture points. The reach the Qi, blood, yin and yang which are below the surface of the skin. It helps to move heat, cold, dampness and qi stagnation that may be blocking the body’s energy, which should be flowing rather than blocked. Because of its normalizing effect on the body, we can use acupuncture to treat a variety of problems. Acupuncture is well-known for it's excellent results with pain control.
Colon Cleansing: The colon is the main pathway for elimination in the body. Impacted matter can be the cause of a variety of ailments. Many holistic practitioners recommend at-home colon cleansing or going to a spa for a series of colonics. For more info, here are links to buy a book we recommend on this subject in English or in Spanish.
Herbal Remedies: Herbs have been used all over the world for thousands of years. In China, the functions and properties of the herbs were well-documented. As a result, we use traditional Chinese herbs today and see the same positive results time after time. Herbs come in several forms: powdered, raw, tea pills and tinctures. Most acupuncturists are also herbalists who custom-select formulas for their patients. For example, different women's cyclical formulas are used during different weeks of the menstrual cycle to help with difficult periods or to enhance fertility.
Homeopathy: Homeopathy is the use of remedies made from dilutions of tinctures. The product is diluted to the extent that the original tincture cannot be found in the remedy. So, it's considered an energetic medicine. It has produced excellent results and because of its safety, parents often use it for their kids. The correct remedy is selected based on the symptoms. So, it is an art to pick the correct remedy. To avoid this process, Heel makes combination remedies, which have various dilutions within the same remedy, to cover all the bases. Many people have seen remarkable results with these high-quality homeopathics. Heel homeopathic remedies come in tablets, oral solutions, eye drops, ear drops and creams. For more info, here is a link to buy a book we recommend on Homeopathy.
Moxa: In China, moxa (aka moxibustion) is used as frequently as acupuncture. A stick is made out of herbs and lit so that it emits heat. The warm end is held near acupuncture points until the heat is retained in the local area. Although the therapy is only on one part of the body, it has a systemic warming and moving effect on the circulation. Hence, it is used to disperse cold and pain and build Qi and blood.
Qi Gong and Tai Qi: Qi Gong and Tai Qi are two types of Chinese martial arts that are practiced to enhance health and well-being. Specific Qi Gong exercises alone have been effective at improving blood circulation. Exercises build the strength of the whole body and of particular organs. View Qi Gong videos. If you would like to learn more about Tai Qi, here is a link to a Tai Qi ebook with 70 minutes of Tai Qi videos!
Here's another Tai Qi video:
Steam Bath: Sweating is an important way to rid the body of toxins. Sweating stimulates the pores to open and close and the sweat glands to lubricate the skin with natural oils. Steam baths are commonly incorporated into a detoxification program.
Tui Na: Tui Na is a multi-faceted collection of bodywork techniques, invented thousands of years ago in ancient China. Tui Na techniques are often incorporated into treatments when specific areas of the body need hands-on attention.
Iridology: Using an iridology camera an iridologist takes a close up photo of the iris. The iris photo is a roadmap of the body. This helps to pinpoint areas of the body that may, for example, have poor circulation or inflammation.
Oriental Diagnosis: Since no two cases are exactly alike, each patient is diagnosed individually. To make a diagnosis, acupuncturists take a complete history and examine the tongue and pulse. The tongue and pulse are traditionally used for diagnosis in Chinese medicine because a practitioner can rapidly assess the condition of a patient with these methods.
For more tongue pictures and explanations, see Al Stone L.Ac.'s tongue diagnosis exercise.
Western Diagnosis: Acupuncturists can order diagnostic tests, such as blood tests, x-rays, MRIs and CT scans. When applicable, test results come with a medical report from an M.D., which makes it possible for acupuncturists to treat the right condition. For pain conditions, orthopedic, range of motion, and muscle strength tests are often performed before and after treatments to target treatment areas and to gauge the effectiveness of a treatment.