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Quote from Su-wen (The Yellow Emperor Internal Medicine Classic)

Huang Di asked "I've heard that in ancient times people lived over one hundred years without showing the usual signs of aging. These days people only live half that age and start showing signs of decline and sickness. Is it because of changes in the environment? Or is it that people have lost the correct way of living?"

Qi Bo answers "In the past, people lived and practice the Tao, they understood the balance of Yin and Yang, and they lived in harmony with the energy of the universe. They ate and drank at regular times and in moderation, they retired when the sun set and got up when the sun rose, they practiced Dao-in, Tai-chi to unite their body, mind and spirit. Thus, it is not surprising that they lived over a hundred years."

Traditional Chinese Medicine has been in existence for over two thousand years. It looks at the human body from an angle quite different from the conventional view. TCM is based on a fundamental theory of Yin and Yang and Five Elemental phases, as if the human body is a small version of the universe.

In diagnosis, instead of using a process of elimination to narrow down to a single problem area, TCM considers the body as a whole and identifies the imbalance, excess or deficiency to determine which organ or organs are affected. TCM treatments often address a basic imbalance, providing the right condition for the body to adjust itself and cure its own problems. The result of this approach is that TCM can resolve multiple problems, all being a manifestation of the same imbalance.

For example, assume that our body is a house and an illness is a window that is stuck and cannot open. In Western Medicine, the window is studied and analyzed to understand why it is stuck. When the area of the frame around the window where it is sticking is identified, this area is planed or sanded so the window is free to open. In TCM, we step back and look first at the weather, then the foundation of the house. If the environment were wet, causing the window to expand then we would dry the window. Or if the foundation of the house has shifted, we would readjust the foundation to square the window frame. Once the window is fixed, you might also find that the crack in the wall in the next room has also been fixed.

Acupuncture is a method of balancing the energy flow in the body using one or many fine needles inserted into specific points of the body. TCM believes that when the energy in a body flows normally there should not be any pain. In balancing the flow of energy, acupuncture is an efficient treatment method for pain.

Our body consists of a complex network of meridians, which channel life force (Qi) throughout our body, just as a network of streams, creeks, and rivers deliver water to nourish the land. In these meridians, there are many junctions and gates that can be used to divert or increase the flow of energy. These junctions and gates are acupuncture points. When an acupuncture needle is inserted at these points and manipulated in a specific way, it regulates the energy flow and thus relieves pain.

During acupuncture, different feelings can be felt at different locations. Some ache, others are sharp or give an electric sensation running through the meridian. At times, there is no feeling as the needle is inserted but the sensation begins a few minutes later, usually felt stronger on one side than the other. The needles are left inserted for a period from ten minutes up to half an hour, depending on the condition of the problem. In some circumstances, the needle is only inserted for a few seconds to achieve the require effect. Sometimes, bleeding can occur after the needle is removed to further release the accumulation.

What is the different between dry needling and acupuncture?
Dry needling is often performed by Western trained medical physicians such as Physiotherapists, Myotherapists or General Practitioners. This is a form of acupuncture which only uses points local to the pain area. This works well for conditions that are not severe but in some cases can cause the pain to move to a different area. This is due to energy being released without a pathway prepared for it to flow.

Moxibustion is a heat treatment method based on the same theory as acupuncture. However, instead of using a needle to manipulate the flow of energy, a special mix of herbal powder is burned to apply heat at certain acupuncture points. At times, this method deliberately causes a blister on the skin for more effective treatment. As such, this method is used less often in our modern society. Now, we do not induce a blister but instead create a warm sensation at the acupuncture point. Moxibustion is a very effective method of treatment for some conditions such as turning a breached baby.

Herbal Medication
At Eastern Medicine, we do not use animal products or restricted toxic herbs such as Aconite (Fu Zi) or Ephedra (Ma Huang). We believe there are many other herbs that have similar functions and are safer to use. Traditional Chinese Medicine herbs are often used in combination to balance each other. Herbal formulas are specific for each individual patient and altered as the patient's condition improves. Unlike Western drugs, once a condition is alleviated, herbal medication is no longer needed. Most of our herbal formulas are in granulated form, which dissolves in hot water for easy dosage.

Cupping involves placing one or more special vacuum glass jars on the skin. As the popularity of cupping has grown over recent years, its purpose is often misunderstood as removal of toxins. However, cupping in fact has two purposes. The first and most important purpose of cupping is to promote circulation of Qi and Blood. When placed at a specific point on the body, it balances the flow of energy in a specific organ. The second purpose of cupping is to open the pores of the skin to allow external pathogens to exit the body, in particular in the case of a common cold or influenza.

Gua-Sha, otherwise called spooning, is a method of scraping the skin with a Chinese ceramic spoon (or other type of applicators) to promote circulation and release Blood and Qi stagnation. This method leaves a bruised mark on the body, which is different from a normal bruise and fades within a couple of days. A bruise only appears if there is stagnation in the area being treated. This method is very effective in treating a stiff neck, pain between the shoulder blades, common colds and influenza.

Food & Dietary Advice
In Traditional Chinese Medicine, different foods are categorised into groups based on their effect on our bodies, such as hot, cold or damp. Which foods are good or bad is relative to the person consuming it. Consumption of one type of food too much or too often, whether a good or bad food, can cause an imbalance internally, leading to illness. It is good to eat and drink in moderation, incorporating a wide variety of foods and balancing our diet by combining hot and cold natured foods together in one meal to balance each other. At Eastern Medicine, our holistic approach incorporates food and dietary advice within our consultation.
Download our Food for Healing brochure for more information.

Energy conductive exercises
Energy conductive exercises are designed to circulate internal energy and promote the free flow of Qi throughout the body. There are a wide range of exercises from long sequences of movements such as Tai Chi through to simple stretching and breathing exercises such as Dao-In or Qi Gong. Unlike western style exercises that use the heart as a pump to circulate blood around the body, our exercises relax and contract muscles to promote the flow of blood returning to the heart, which in turn increases blood circulation. Where a patient's condition requires, we instruct our patients on the relevant exercises during our consultation to be practiced at home. We also provide free weekly Tai Chi classes for our patients.

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