What is Chinese Medicine?
Chinese medicine, which includes the acupuncture modality, is a nature-based healing modality which has thousands of years of rich history. It is still being used today in clinics and hospitals throughout China and most of Asia as a primary medical modality and its popularity has been increasing in Europe and the United States over the last 40 years. It is a complete medical system that is capable of treating a very wide range of conditions. Practitioners of Chinese medicine take a compassionate, holistic view of each individual and work to promote the body’s innate ability to heal. Chinese medicine works to restore harmony and energetic balance to the body in accordance with natural principles and traditionally achieves these ends via the use of herbal therapy, acupuncture, moxibustion, dietary therapy, exercises in breathing and movement (taichi and qigong), and sometimes body work.
What Can Chinese Medicine be used for?
So, so many things. Chinese medicine can address a broad scope of acute and chronic conditions, and most acupuncturists are trained in a “general practice/family doctor” approach, giving us the skills to handle just about anything that walks through the door.
Maegan Hodge, our Chinese medicine practitioner operates under this “general practice” approach, seeing adults and teens for a broad range of conditions. Some of the most common things she sees in her office include issues with digestion, circulation, women’s health, allergies, and acute and chronic pain. She also works extensively with those experiencing discomfort or imbalance in the mental-emotional realm, as well as those suffering from Lyme disease or other types of chronic infection using acupuncture, as well as other methods listed below.
About the Techniques
Acupuncture involves the usage of therapeutic needling in order to bring relief in a broad range physical, mental, or emotional conditions. Acupuncture needles are typically much, much smaller than injection needles, and an insertion can feel like not much at all, a little pinch, a vague dull pain, or can occasionally create mildly electric sensations. It is typically much more comfortable than people expect!
Cupping utilizes suction to break up certain types of congestion in the tissues. A cough, pain, and stiffness are some of the most common applications of cupping, and in most circumstances the treatment is painless. Temporary marks are a possible side effect of cupping and usually last a couple of days.
Moxibustion (“moxa” for short) is a form of a herb (mugwort) that gets burned over the skin to, very simply, help restore warmth and flow to any particular area of the body. Moxa is typically quite pleasant and relaxing!
Herbal medicine is often utilized as a way to address the symptoms of the patient in a deeper way or extend the power of the acupuncture treatment. Healing often equates with reteaching the body, and herbal medicine can frequently provide a more efficient means to that end than physical techniques alone.
Diet and lifestyle are also essential pieces of any health plan. Simple changes can often make a big difference. For example, certain types of muscle pain can be addressed with proper water intake. While certainly at times big shifts are necessary, at Centered: Richmond we focus on helping changes feel as approachable as possible.
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