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Authentic Chinese Medicine

Authentic Chinese Medicine, sometimes referred to as Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), includes the use of acupuncture and herbal medicine.

Traditional acupuncture is a system of healthcare which originated in China many thousands of years ago. The ancient Chinese were not allowed to cut into the body, so they came up with a different system to explain the communication and connections within the body that worked via channels as opposed to nerves and blood vessels. Through meticulous observation and record keeping, they showed how any obstruction along a channel would, over time, lead to pathology and/or pain within the body. Through careful study they developed an intricate system of cause and effect. Acupuncture aims to address any imbalance within the body to correct the communication networks and therefore improve health.

From a medical viewpoint, acupuncture is believed to stimulate the nervous system, influencing the body's self-regulating homeostatic systems, leading to the promotion of physical and emotional well-being.

When included in a comprehensive management programme, acupuncture has been proven to reduce pain levels. Research in China on efficacy of acupuncture for anxiety, chronic fatigue, fertility and hormone balancing have been promising.  If you are being treated medically for these conditions, you may want to assist your process by balancing with acupuncture. 

Whether dealing with the stress or pain from your injuries, balancing with acupuncture has shown to help many people recover. 

Because acupuncture provides a way of diagnosis and treatment that is outside of the western model, acupuncture can often provide a fresh perspective giving you insight into the cause leading to a new treatment approach. 

An interesting and consistent outcome is that acupuncture is found to be a safe treatment with very few side effects when undertaken by a qualified practitioner.

Often, one or two treatments provide noticeable and often complete relief. Because acupuncture is not a curative modality, some conditions may require several treatments as well as dietary adjustments and/or complementary herbal remedies.

Frequently asked questions about acupuncture:

  • Does it hurt? Initial insertion can either be pain free or you may feel a slight prick. As the needle is further manipulated, this may be followed by an uncomfortable ache. This is a positive sign and will soon dissipate. With ear points there is no further manipulation following insertion.
  • Will I need to undress? You may be required to remove some clothing to allow access to relevant acupuncture points. 
  • How will I feel after the session? Most people feel relaxed and calm after the session. You may also feel tired however, and should therefore allow yourself time to rest thereafter.
  • Should I have acupuncture on an empty stomach? It is not advisable to have acupuncture more than 3 hours after eating as some people may experience nausea. If you suffer with low blood sugar or low blood pressure then it is especially important that you have a light snack before your session. However, please do not have a heavy meal just before your treatment.

Herbal Teas and Formulas

Chinese Herbal Medicine is a component of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). Herbal medicine has been used in China for centuries and is backed by a long and rich history of development, use and research. Chinese herbal medicine is unique in that the diagnosis and treatments are based on the theories of traditional Chinese medicine. Computer modelling in research have been elucidating complex modes of action of Chinese herbal medicines.

Besides discussing your health issues with you, a practitioner of herbal medicine uses other signs and symptoms such as those found in your tongue and pulse to form a TCM diagnosis. The common cold, for example, may be diagnosed as "wind-cold invasion" and herbs which dispel wind and warm cold may be prescribed. Herbs administered within Chinese herbal medicine are usually raw and cooked into a tea, in a powder form and taken with hot water or in a pill form.

Like any medicine as a whole, some Chinese herbs may have undesired side effects. This is just like what you might have read about the very popular Vioxx, the cox-2 inhibitor pain drug withdrawn in 2006 by Merck that doubled the risk of heart attack. It all depends on what you take no matter whether it is a herb or a pharmaceutical: In China, statistics show that many more adverse drug reactions are reported for chemical drugs than Chinese herbs.

When used by qualified practitioners Chinese herbs provide the essential nutrition the body needs to overcome any physical, mental or emotional imbalances.

It is important to see certified, qualified practitioners who use products from quality controlled sources, who can determine the safe use of herbs for you, and establish whether there is risk of interactions with drugs you may be or will be taking.

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Traditional Chinese medicine network pharmacology: theory, methodology and application. L. Shao. CJNM  11  110-120  (2013)

Linli Wang, Zheng Li, Xiaoping Zhao, et al., “A Network Study of Chinese Medicine Xuesaitong Injection to Elucidate a Complex Mode of Action with Multicompound, Multitarget, and Multipathway,” Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, vol. 2013, Article ID 652373, 8 pages, 2013. doi:10.1155/2013/652373