Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine

TCM_AcupunctureandTraditionalMany people are aware that acupuncture is an effective treatment for pain relief, but are surprised to learn that it can also treat a broad spectrum of other health issues.

In fact, acupuncture is part of an ancient holistic health system called Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) that considers all aspects of physical, mental and emotional health.

The goal of acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine is to bring the body back to balance. In our everyday lives, obligations and to-do lists sometimes take precedence over nutrition and sleep routines, which over time leads to an imbalance in the body. This imbalance can manifest in a number of different ways including insomnia, headaches, stress tension, repetitive strain, eczema, bloating, constipation, PMS and cramping, frequent colds, irritability, anxiety, infertility…the list goes on.

TCM therapy can include a combination of acupuncture, herbal remedies, cupping, moxibustion, guasha, tuina massage, nutritional counseling as well as energy-regulating exercises (Qi Gong). All of these methods stimulates energy (Qi) flow throughout the body, nourishing muscles and restoring proper circulation and balance. When the body is relaxed, the mind can also be put at ease.

Are you ready to let the benefits of acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine help you? Book a treatment now!

Benefits of acupuncture

TCM_BenefitsOfAcupuncture_89033285.pngOk, you’ve heard from a friend that acupuncture is the best thing since sliced bread but you’re still not sure what it can do for you. Aside from effectively treating a number of health conditions, what are the general benefits of acupuncture?

  • Relaxation. After treatment, clients generally feel relaxed, calm and grounded without feeling fatigued.
  • A mental reset. In the space of the clinic, your time belongs only to you. Your attention can be focused solely on yourself and your health, leaving responsibilities and demands aside if only for a short time. The simple choice to put yourself first for an hour can give you perspective and recharge your mind so you can successfully finish the rest of your day.
  • Relief of symptoms. Depending on what your treatment is targeting, you may notice an immediate relief of some symptoms you came in with. A reduction in cough or wheezing, better range-of-motion and less pain, unblocked sinuses, less abdominal bloating are all possible results from a single treatment. Long-term change, especially in chronic cases, requires a longer treatment plan but initial relief can last a few days and in mild cases a few boosts may be enough to move the body to restore on its own.

TCM acupuncture stimulates energy (Qi) flow throughout the body, nourishing muscles and restoring proper circulation and balance.

So, are you ready now to experience the benefits of acupuncture?


What is moxibustion?


Moxibustion is a technique used by TCM practitioners and acupuncturists to invigorate and warm the body, promoting blood flow and healing. It can be used in conjunction with acupuncture needles or on its own.

Moxa is made of mugwort leaf (Artemesia Vulgaris) and comes in various forms: cones, pliable wool, condensed charcoal-like sticks. It is lit and placed on or near acupuncture points as well as areas of pain to warm and invigorate the flow of energy (Qi) and blood.

Moxibustion is perhaps most known for helping turn a breeched baby in the weeks leading up to delivery. But other uses include alleviating digestive or menstrual cramping, alleviating pain, warming the body, and boosting the immune system and energy levels.

Book a treatment and speak to me about whether this would be an appropriate tool for your healing!


What’s in a tongue?

TCM_TongueDiagnosis_72039716One of the primary diagnostic tools in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) is visual observation of a client’s tongue. Just like every client is different, every tongue can be equally so. The colour, thickness, shape and coat can tell us about the overall health and balance of fluids in the body. The internal organs are also mapped onto the tongue so that problem areas are identifiable by location.

In a single tongue, the degree of indicators can shift from day to day, but the elements will generally remain consistent. Of course, the tongue coat can temporarily change colour based on your last coffee, tea or afternoon snack of cherries, so the best time to take a look at your own tongue is first thing in the morning.

Is your tongue thick or thin? Is it red throughout, or only on the sides? Does it have a purplish tint? Are there little red dots at the tip? Can you see teeth marks on the side? Is your tongue coat thick and white or thin and dry? Next time you visit your TCM acupuncturist or TCM practitioner you can participate in the discussion!

What is cupping and how can it help me?

TCM_Cupping_72039716.pngCupping is having its moment in the spotlight, with Olympians like Michael Phelps sporting the distinctive purplish-red circles across their backs, arms and legs. But what is cupping exactly, and how can it benefit you?

Cupping has been used in Chinese and Middle Eastern cultures for many centuries. In addition to acupuncture, it is one of the techniques used by Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) practitioners to help restore balance in the body. While cupping is mostly known for alleviating muscular pain, it can also be effective in treating asthma and wheezing, as well as helping to expel colds and flus.

In the traditional method, fire is used to create a vacuum inside round glass cups that are then placed onto the skin. This creates a suction that promotes blood flow by bringing stagnated energy (Qi) and blood to the surface of the body to dissipate. Multiple cups can be left on the body to create a stronger pull (generating the reddish marks that typically fade within a week), cups can be placed and re-placed in rapid succession to invigorate the area, or with massage oil cups can be slid along the area creating a moving and continuous suction, similar to a deep massage.

Modern advances have created alternate tools that do not require the use of fire, including plastic cups with a hand pump, as well as silicone cups. In my clinic, I select either the traditional glass or silicone cups, depending on the client’s needs.

The treatment is not meant to be painful and the degree of suction can be easily adjusted; in fact, most clients find this treatment enjoyable and relaxing. Are you ready to give it a try?