WHAT IS TRADITIONAL CHINESE MEDICINE?
Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) is a system of medicine developed in ancient China and now practised all around the world. The origins of TCM theory can be traced back to documents written over 2000 years ago.
The fundamental principle of TCM theory is based on promoting the harmonious exchange between the two polar opposite energies of Yin and Yang to restore balance in the body. This is achieved by encouraging the smooth flow of Qi (pronounced chee) through pathways known as meridians, and by cultivating and nourishing energy, blood and other vital substances in the body. There are 12 main meridians consisting of more than 400 acupuncture points which are used in treatment.
Chinese Herbal Medicine
Massage (Acupressure/Tui Na)
Chinese Dietetics and Nutritional Therapy
Harmonising the digestive and waste elimination systems
Calming and tonifying the nervous system and emotions
Boosting the immune system
Regulating gynaecological function
Reducing pain throughout the musculoskeletal system
Improving cardiovascular and respiratory health
WHAT IS ACUPUNCTURE?
The most well-known and widely used treatment within TCM practice is Acupuncture.
The earliest recording of Acupuncture is seen on the Ma Wang Dui silk scrolls unearthed in 1972 and dating back to 187 BC. These silk scrolls discuss the use of stone “needles” used to prick and bleed points running along the meridians of the body to effect the internal balance of Yin and Yang energies in the body.
Modern day Acupuncture is practised using the insertion of high-grade surgical steel disposable needles into specific points (Acupoints) along the meridians of the body to influence the energy within.
It is a clean, precise and relatively painless procedure, which can yield great benefits.
Traditionally Acupuncture is described as the insertion of very fine needles into Acupoints along the energy meridians to stimulate the body’s Qi to restore balance to both Yin and Yang energy. It is believed that the blockage, excess or deficiency of Qi is the root cause of disharmony within the body. Qi is best thought of as being similar to water, it likes to move and flow. If Qi and water stagnate, they become murky and toxic.
These Acupoints have been studied and observed over thousands of years and their individual and specific effect on the body passed down through generations. These observations assist the modern Acupuncture practitioner in deciding which points to select for the treatment.
The World Health Organisation* has published an extensive list of common diseases that respond positively to acupuncture treatment. These include:
Low Back Pain
A recent study** analyzing a vast quantity of research found acupuncture to have potential positive results in treatment of the following conditions-
- Acute low back pain
- Acute stroke
- Ambulatory anaesthesia
- Cancer pain
- Craniotomy anaesthesia
- Depression (w/ antidepressants)
- Dry eye
- Hypertension (medicated)
- Irritable bowel syndrome
- Labour pain
- Lateral elbow pain
- Menopausal hot flushes
- Modulating sensory perception
- Neck pain
- Peri & post-menopausal insomnia
- Plantar heel pain
- Post-stroke insomnia
- Post-stroke shoulder pain
- Post-stroke spasticity
- Post-traumatic stress disorder
- Prostatitis pain
- chronic pelvic pain
**McDonald J, Janz S. The Acupuncture Evidence Project: A Comparative Literature Review (Revised Edition). Brisbane: Australian Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine Association Ltd; 2017. http://www.acupuncture.org.au.
- Recovery after colorectal cancer resection
- Restless leg syndrome
- Schizophrenia (w/antipsychotics)
- Shoulder impingement syndrome
- Shoulder pain
- Smoking cessation (up to 3 months)
- Stroke rehabilitation
- Temporomandibular pain
CHINESE HERBAL MEDICINE
Chinese Herbal Medicine (CHM) has a recorded history of more than 2500 years, and is used to support the body physically, psychologically and emotionally to treat a wide range of conditions.
In TCM theory the herbal formulas are used with similar principals to Acupuncture to tonify the multiple systems of the body, remove pathogenic factors, and to promote harmony between the Yin and Yang energies of the body. The herbs have been categorised according to perceived temperature, taste, function, and the particular part of the plant, to achieve different therapeutic outcomes.
At The Neighbourhood Clinic we prescribe granulated formulas, which are prepared similarly to making a cup of instant coffee.
GUA SHA (Scraping)
Gua Sha involves scraping a smooth edged implement over lubricated skin and muscles to encourage blood to the surface. Traditionally this technique is used to assist with musculo-skeletal tension and pain, clear heat out of the body, and to remove stagnation in the meridians.
Cupping is the term given to a traditional practice of creating a vacuum inside a glass bulb and applying it to the skin and muscles to draw the tissue into the chamber. It creates a comfortable amount of suction, which traditionally has been used to draw heat, cold, toxins, and dead cells out of the muscle tissue into the sub dermal layers. The lymphatic system then assists in eliminating this waste from the body.
TCM theory applies different qualities, temperatures, tastes, and natures to food and liquids we consume. In TCM theory there are no good or bad foods just foods that may or may not be beneficial to each individual. TCM practitioner’s try to remove foods that may be aggravating your condition and prescribe food to help benefit your condition. TCM dietary therapy once again follows the principle of tailoring a diet to individual patients needs.
Your Chinese Medicine Practitioner
Providing Traditional Chinese Medicine and Acupuncture to Fitzroy North, Fitzroy, Carlton North, Carlton, Abbotsford, Clifton Hill, Collingwood, Northcote, Thornbury, Brunswick, Brunswick East, Preston and Fairfield