Pivotal Acupuncture + Wellness in San Diego
Traditional Chinese Medicine
You have probably already read or heard that Chinese Medicine has been practiced for thousands of years. As we practice it today, that is more than 2000 years. But what you may not know is that Chinese Medicine has the longest written medical record of any medicine in the world. Conventional medicine- that’s the medicine your doctor practices- has only been practiced as we know it since the fourteenth century.
So what is Traditional Chinese Medicine exactly? It is a complete medical system that encompasses different modalities of healing. But all of the modalities work towards the same thing: to stimulate the immune system and promote blood circulation within the body. The Chinese learned long ago from extensive hands on research that where there is blood in the body, there is health and healing. So you could say and be very accurate that Chinese medicine is a cardiovascular medicine.
Acupuncture is the most well known modality that uses hair thin needles to puncture the skin at specific points where the nerves and blood vessels of the body are most responsive to increase blood circulation and stimulate the immune system.
Herbal medicine is another modality that uses different parts of plants, nuts, seeds, and occasionally animals to heal the body. The herbs are either used raw or cooked down to a powder or compressed into pill form. Several herbs- anywhere from two to twenty- are used to make an herbal formula as most of the herbs work best when used in conjunction with other herbs.
Moxibustion is an herb called mugwort but it is its own healing modality. Moxa, as it is called for short, comes in many forms. The most common form involves the moxa being compressed into a short fat stick about 6 inches long that looks like a cigar. Like a cigar, one end of the moxa stick is lit and held a few inches above acupuncture points to transmit heat. Moxa works just like acupuncture in that it stimulates nerves and blood vessels at points where they are most responsive to promote blood flow to heal the body. The benefit with moxa though is that a wider area can be reached and therefore more nerves and blood vessels can be stimulated at once.
Gua sha is another modality of healing within Traditional Chinese Medicine. It is probably the simplest modality but no less effective, especially for the common cold. Often a Chinese soup spoon or a specific gua sha tool is used to gently scrape the skin of the upper back. The purpose is the same as acupuncture and moxa- stimulate nerves and blood vessels to increase blood circulation.
Cupping is also a healing modality. Glass or plastic cups are placed on different parts of the body, usually the back, and either fire or a small pump are used to create suction from the cups against the skin. Cupping is an extremely effective and strong method of increasing blood circulation.