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Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM)

What Can TCM Treat?

The WHO (World Health Organization) has recognized the following:

  • Allergies
  • Arthritis
  • Depression
  • Dysentry
  • Dysmenorrhea
  • Stomach Disorders
  • Facial Pain
  • Heachades
  • Hyper/hypotension
  • Induction of Labour
  • Knee pain
  • Leukopenia
  • Low back pain
  • Malposition of fetus
  • Morning sickness nausea vomit
  • Neck Pain
  • Pain from Dentistry
  • Postoperative pain
  • Renal Colic
  • Sciatica
  • Sprain
  • Stroke
  • And many other symptoms

How does Acupuncture Work?

acupuncture for joint painThere are 12 regular meridians and 8 extra meridians related to different organs inside the body. Along each meridian there are points that if needled will activate and stimulate the corresponding organs. By regulating the energy flow inside the body, acupunture helps to remove energy blockages and regulate the function of organs, allowing the body to heal itself faster.

Does Acupuncture Hurt?

Acupuncture is an unfamiliar sensation to most people, but it is not painful. Insertion of disposable, sterile, slender needles goes unnoticed by some and to others feel like a small sting followed by a sensation of heaviness, tightness or warmth. These sensations eventually disappear and are followed by a relaxed and elevated spirit.

How long does it take to see results?

Acupuncture needles in a womans foreheadIt varies depending on the individual's physical health and degree or severity of the problem. In general, the shorter the duration of the condition, the sooner the result will be seen. It also depends on the response of the individual's body. Usually the practitioner will have a better idea about the required duration of treatment after a couple of sessions.


cupping massageCupping is the term applied to a technique that uses small glass or plastic suction cups placed on the skin surface which can provide relief for acute or chronic muscle pain and tension. 

There are two ways your acupuncturist may use in cupping. One method involves swabbing rubbing alcohol onto the bottom of the cup, then lighting it and putting the cup immediately against the skin. The other method is the use of a vacuum like gun which such the air out of cups creating a vacuum between the cups and the skin. The flames from the fire cupping are never used near the skin and are not lit throughout the process of cupping, but rather are a means to create the heat that causes the suction within the small cups.

Once the suction has occurred, the cups can be gently moved across the skin (often referred to as "gliding cupping). Medical massage oils are sometimes applied to improve movement of the glass cups along the skin. 

The suction in the cups causes the skin and superficial muscle layer to be lightly drawn into the cup. Cupping is much like the inverse of massage - rather than applying pressure to muscles, it uses gentle pressure to pull them upward. For most patients, this is a particularly relaxing and relieving sensation.

Once suctioned, the cups are generally left in place for about ten minutes while the patient relaxes. This is similar to the practice of Tui Na, a traditional Chinese medicine massage technique that targets acupuncture points as well as painful body parts, and is well known to provide relief through pressure.

The side effects of cupping are fairly mild. Bruising maybe expected. Other potential side effects include mild discomfort, skin infection, or burns.

Generally, cupping is combined with acupuncture in one treatment, but it can also be used alone. The suction and negative pressure provided by cupping can loosen muscles, encourage blood flow, and sedate the nervous system (which makes it an excellent treatment for high blood pressure). Cupping is used to relieve back and neck pains, stiff muscles, anxiety, fatigue, migraines, rheumatism


moxa stick being usedMoxa or Moxibustion is a form of heat therapy in which dried plant materials called "moxa" and is made from the dried leafy material of Chinese mugwort (Artemesia argyi or A.vlugaris), but it can be made of other substances as well.

The moxa sticks are burned on or very near the surface of the skin but not touching the surface of the skin. The smoldering moxa stick is held over specific areas, often, though not always, corresponding to certain acupuncture points. The intention is to warm and invigorate the flow of Qi in the body and dispel certain pathogenic influences.

Moxibustion can be used for:

  • Pain due to injury or arthritis, especially in "cold" patterns where the pain naturally feels better with the application of heat
  • Digestive problems and irregular elimination
  • Gynecological and obstetrical conditions, including breech presentation in late term pregnancy
  • Protection against cold and flu strains

Practitioners can often do both acupuncture and moxibustion in the same clinic session when appropriate to the diagnosis and treatment strategy.