WHAT IS CHINESE MEDICINE?
The roots of Chinese Medicine, or Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), can be traced back to observations of nature. Over 3,000 years of inquiry and application has nurtured this ancient medical practice into a contemporary profession that honors art and science with equal importance. The scope of TCM is vast it its use of diverse healing modalities including acupuncture and moxibustion, herbal medicine, bodywork, exercise, nutritional therapy, and environmental health. At its core, TCM understands the human body as a dynamic system constantly moving toward optimal balance. It is through evidence-based research and practical knowledge that allows Traditional Chinese Medicine practitioners to differentiate patterns of imbalance with insight using thoughtful diagnostic measures.
HOW DOES ACUPUNCTURE WORK?
There are three main research theories that have emerged in the field of evidence based Acupuncture. While the mechanism of action is not fully understood, each theory agrees that the process of inserting a needle into the tissue elicits physiological changes which signals the brain to release hormones and neurotransmitters via the endocrine system. This process generates an inflammatory response, and produces a healing effect. We’ve also learned that brain activity is stimulated through the use of MRI’s while acupuncture is being performed.
Leading national and international health organizations have designated Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine as a beneficial treatment option for an array of symptoms, conditions, and diseases. The first inception of Acupuncture in the United States occurred in 20th century, and was reintroduced in the 1950’s and 1970’s, respectively. Through this cycle of steady, organic growth TCM continues to move the needle forward, helping to expand the field of Alternative and Complementary Medicine (CAM) through preventative care and improved research methods.
WHAT DOES CHINESE MEDICINE TREAT?
In 2003, the World Health Organization (WHO) published a report that recognizes Acupuncture as an effective, evidence-based treatment strategy for over 30 symptoms, conditions, and diseases. The list of conditions includes:
- Low back pain
- Neck pain
- Knee pain
- Acute and chronic gastritis
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Labor pain
- Breech birth presentation
- Morning sickness
- Nausea and vomiting
- Menopausal insomnia and hot flashes
- Essential hypertension
- Radiation/chemo reactions
- Allergic rhinitis
- Hay fever
- Peptic ulcer
In addition to these proven benefits, the report also lists a host of other conditions for which Acupuncture has shown potential therapeutic outcomes including:
- Diseases, symptoms or conditions for which the therapeutic effect of acupuncture has been shown but for which further proof is needed
- Diseases, symptoms or conditions for which there are only individual controlled trials reporting some therapeutic effects, but for which Acupuncture is worth trying because treatment by conventional and other therapies is difficult
- Diseases, symptoms or conditions for which acupuncture may be tried provided the practitioner has special modern medical knowledge and adequate monitoring equipment
*To read more about the WHO official position on Acupuncture, visit the Evidence Based Acupuncture website.
WHAT IS AN L.AC.?
A licensed Acupuncturist (L.Ac.) holds a Master’s degree in Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine, and many have also obtained diplomate status (Dipl. O.M.), which means they are able to prescribe Chinese herbal remedies. On average, practitioners complete a total of 4-6 years or more of education and clinical experience including extensive studies in both Chinese and Western medical theories, techniques, and research methods.
HOW MANY ACUPUNCTURE SESSIONS DO I NEED?
Each person and each condition is different. Some issues take longer to resolve, while some issues respond more quickly. The greatest factor that will determine a beneficial result is the immune system, which allows our bodies to remain resilient in the face of change. On your initial visit, after intake and a discussion about your goals, a treatment strategy will be provided, and will include recommended treatment frequency, therapies, and self-care techniques.
DOES ACUPUNCTURE HURT?
Acupuncture needles are very thin and rarely cause pain. During the treatment, as you begin to relax and your stress response decreases, you may feel other sensations such as warmth, coolness, loosening, clarity, or a slight tingling.
In the odd occurrence that you do feel pain or discomfort, please let your practitioner know. They can adjust your needle or use a different point entirely in order to ensure that you remain comfortable and at ease.
WHEN IS ACUPUNCTURE RIGHT FOR ME?
Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine is proven to help maintain general wellness, increase vitality, promote circulation, and decrease pain. It can provide solution and relief for common ailments, as well as more complicated issues.
Where TCM intersects with Western medical care, the outcomes and prognosis can also greatly improve. In this way, each patient holds the ability to empower, not only their own healing process, but also the relationship between their care providers.
Incorporating TCM into your overall self-care plan will help to unfold your innate capacity for wellness. You will learn about yourself and the world around you, and ultimately gain healthy, restorative practices in the process.
There are circumstances in which Acupuncture and Chinese medicine is not recommended, such as a medical emergency, a life threatening situation, or a severely compromised immune system. In these cases, please seek immediate care at the hospital.
WHAT OTHER SERVICES DO YOU OFFER?
Practitioners of Chinese Medicine are also skilled in other modalities and disciplines. At LOAM, we are able to provide the following additional services:
- Moxibustion: A type of heat therapy involving the herb Mugwort
- Tuina: A form of Asian bodywork that utilizes meridian therapy, acupressure, anatomy, and physical assessment
- Cupping: Utilizes glass, plastic, or silicone cupping tools that are placed with intention on specific areas of the body to create suction and release tension, reduce rigidity, and increase tissue circulation and oxygenation.
- Guasha: A healing technique utilizing instrument-assisted unidirectional press-stroking on an area of the body surface to intentionally create transitory therapeutic petechiae for the purpose of eliminating noxious elements
- Herbal medicine: Draws from a rich materia medica which includes over 5,000 plant, animal, mineral, and resin species, as well as classic herbal texts that provide an array of formulations for a range of conditions from fever to postpartum care
- Exercise: Also known as Qigong and Taiji, TCM-based exercise involves static and dynamic movement paired with breath work and is focused on maintaining. flexibility, strengthening the bones and muscles, and balancing the mind and body. Note: Research has shown the psychological and physiological benefits of both practices, citing benefits for conditions including autoimmune disorders, arthritis, dementia and Alzheimer’s, and overall stress reduction. Similar to Yoga, both Qigong and Taiji offer the opportunity to flow through postures, and ultimately achieve a deeply meditative state of being
- Nutritional therapy: Provides practical education and application in order to maintain, or transition to a whole food, plant-based diet, which research has shown decreases the risk of heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and other diseases
We also host group classes and workshops including our Sunday Self-Care Sessions for women of color.
Visit our Community page for upcoming events.
WHAT IF I CAN’T AFFORD A SESSION?
At LOAM, we value affordable access to Acupuncture and Chinese medical services in Lima-Allen county. We offer a Community Acupuncture Program every 2nd & 4th Friday. The gathering will begin promptly at 5 pm and ends at 6 pm. Sessions are $10 – $30 sliding scale, and are held our downtown clinic. We utilize a 5-point auricular protocol (acupuncture points on the ear) known as NADA in a community setting, which means others will be in the room with you. This protocol is an accessible approach, and has been used in a variety of settings from international relief efforts to rehabilitation centers.
DO YOU ACCEPT INSURANCE?
We do not accept insurance at this time. However, I am happy to provide a superbill with all of the information you will need to submit your own insurance claims. There is no fee for this service.