Acupuncture Includes the Following:
Acupuncture is used primarily when a patient falls ill, experiences pain,
or feels out of balance. It is also used as a preventative medicine because
it strengthens the body's im-mune system. During an acupuncture treatment,
fine stainless steel needles are inserted into the skin at very specific
points. The acu-puncture needles are sterile and are disposed of after each
Acupressure is similiar to massage therapy, it is also known as tuina
(twee'-nah) in Traditional Chinese Medicine. Tuina when applied by a skilled
and knowledgeable practitioner, is a very effective form of therapy. Tuina
uses the same theoretical and diagnostic principles that acupuncture does,
however, the Qi in the meridians is stimu-lated strictly through the use
of the hands or fingers through rubbing and pressing motions. No needles
are used. Acupressure techniques are often used in conjunction with acupuncture
or other TCM therapies.
There are many different ways in which tuina can stimulate the movement
of Qi, each way specific to the type of therapeutic effect required Tuina
is used mainly to treat mus-culoskeletal disorders and can be very relaxing,
Moxibustion is another technique that most acupuncturists use.
It treats disorders by applying heat at specific sites on or near the
surface of the body. The heat generated during moxibustion is a very Yang
form of Qi and activates the flow of Qi within the merid-ians. Moxibustion
warms and nourishes the Qi of the body through the transferance of heat
and can be used quite effectively for some underlying deficient conditions.
The Yang Qi heat of moxibustion is also used specifically to dislodge
coldness that may be trapped within the body. There are many ways to apply
moxibustion to the skin sur-face, but two of the most common are the moxa
pole (or stick) and rice grain moxa
These two methods use the same substance, a "punk" or "wool"
obtained from the mugwort plant, Artemesia vulgaris. For the moxa pole,
the mugwort is compressed into cigar-like rolls. Use of the moxa pole
is known as "indirect moxibustion." The pole is lit and held
gen-tly over the skin until the patient feels the area warming. In some
instances the moxa pole is used at sites where acupuncture needles are
already inserted. In this technique heat from the pole is trans-ferred
to the needle and carried deeper into the body.
Anther method of application of external heat to the body is the use
of infrared lamps. These lamps are placed over the area to be warmed and
turned on for 15 to 20 min-utes. The heat they provide covers a more extensive
area than either pole or cone moxibustion.
Many acupuncturists use cupping to treat patients. A vacuum is created by
lighting an alcohol swab and inserting it inside of a glass "cup or
jar", which is then quickly applied to the skin. This creates a suction
that draws the skin slightly upward into the cup and helps to relieve congestion
of Qi or Blood in the area where the cups are applied. Cups come in several
sizes. Traditionally, before the advent of modern glass-blowing, cups were
made of bamboo. Even today, some practitioners still pre-fer using bamboo
Cupping is often used in conjunction with acupuncture or moxi-bustion.
Sometimes the cups are applied over an inserted needle, al-though most
of the time they are used independently either before or after needle
insertion. Cupping is used most frequently to treat sprains, sore muscles,
and other types of musculoskeletal disorders. A special technique called
"Running Cupping" is effective for back pain by ap-plying the
cup to oiled skin. The cup is then gently moved across the tissue.