Acupuncture is the insertion of very fine needles into the patient's body. Acupuncture is based on Meridian theory -the idea that there is energy flowing through pathways that are in the body. This energy is referred to as “Qi” (pronounced “Chi”). It is not possible to say exactly what "Qi" is and how it works. Some people believe that acupuncture is affecting the nervous system. Others disagree.
Acupuncture points are points on the body which allow us to tap into the meridian qi. Acupuncture points are defined by their anatomical location. Defined points have associated actions. These actions can be quite general in nature (such as benefiting the blood), but some points also have more specific effects (such as promoting lactation).
There are other types of acupuncture points which do not have a specific predefined location and action. These points correspond to trigger point therapies used by western practitioners for relief of pain.
Acupuncture generally isn't painful and most patients find it to be a relaxing experience.
Acupuncture is very safe when performed by qualified practioners.
Chinese Herbal Medicine is made up of thousands of individuals herbs (most commonly plants, but sometimes minerals and animal parts or products may be used). These herbs are categorized according to various properties that describe the function of the herbs within the TCM frameworks. For thousands of years, these herbs have been combined to form traditional formulas to treat various maladies.
Most practitioners will pick a traditional formula to treat the overall syndrome and then make modifications to this formula based on the individual patient.
In much the same way that herbs are attributed properties within the frameworks, foods too are categorized. Diet can be a large contributing factor to pathology, but on the flip side foods can also be a powerful medicine. A treatment plan may include modifications to your diet like the avoidance, limitation or introduction of certain foods into your diet.
As mentioned earlier the frameworks describe the holistic person and how they interact with their environment. Sometimes they way we lead our lives can be a cause of disease. A treatment plan may involve lifestyle modifications like exercise, breathing exercises, or meditation.