Chinese Medicine: Acupuncture & Herbal Medicine

acupuncture and chinese medicine byron bay

 

What is Acupuncture?

Acupuncture is a treatment uses very fine needles to stimulate specific points on the body to regulate & maintain the flow of energy in the body.  The needles are retained for between 20 and 30 minutes.  Sensations vary, but generally there is a feeling of slight dullness or heavy feeling.

Acupuncture is fundamentally energetic medicine. Using acupuncture points located on energy pathways called ‘meridians’ balance can be restored to the flow of Qi (energy or life force).  Qi regulates spiritual, emotional, mental, and physical imbalances and is influenced by the opposing forces of yin (negative energy) and yang (positive energy).

In Chinese Medicine & Acupuncture we are seen as a small model of the universe, the natural laws which govern the changes in weather, the seasons, and the movement of the stars and planets govern the human body and its journey through life. All things are connected. In Chinese Medicine parts are not just fragments of the whole but are complete in themselves.

Chinese Medicine understands that the body and mind are inseparable, each influencing and shaping each other. Every thought and feeling has its physical manifestation just as experiences of the body influence our mental and emotional life. As the body and mind are connected to each other so too are the body and mind in turn connected to the environment.

Acupuncture addresses the mental, the physical, emotional and environmental aspects expressed in the individual. Looking beyond the signs and symptoms, the root of the imbalance is addressed, allowing for a more integrated approach.

Along with acupuncture, herbs, lifestyle & dietary advice, massage, cupping and moxabustion are used to create a bespoke treatment for the individual.

 

Chinese Herbal Medicine: A love of plant & herbal medicine

As a young child, growing up in the Hills of Adelaide I loved playing with plants, flowers & herbs that grew on our little farm property, crushing up leaves, seeds & petals to make concoctions for my toys.

In my late teens I moved to Melbourne to study Naturopathy before embarking on my journey to become a Chinese Medicine Practitioner, where my love of plant and herbal medicine grew. In the school’s large raw herb dispensary, I made herbal formulas with pink rose buds, spicy cinnamon bark, lotus seeds, white peony roots & honey fried liquorice.

These days it’s not common for people to take raw herbs and I now dispense granulated herbal formulas, which are taken as herbal teas. Although they don’t come in sweet little brown bags filled with roots, sticks and seeds, granules are an incredibly easy and effective way to take Chinese Herbs.

 

What is Chinese Herbal Medicine?

Chinese herbal medicine works along side of Acupuncture but can also be used as a stand alone treatment. Chinese Herbal Medicine has a continuous history of development dating back thousands of years in China and other parts of East Asia.

 

Traditional Medicine for Modern People:

The geneses of Chinese herbal medicine can be traced back at least 5000 years and is one of the eldest and most long-standing health care systems in the world. Chinese herbal medicine has evolved to become what it is today – a holistic system that is used to support a broad range of imbalances.

 

Holistic Health Care:

Chinese herbal medicine takes a holistic approach, which means that instead of focusing simply on the signs and symptoms, the aim is to bring balance back to the body by focusing on the root cause.

As qualified practitioner I prescribe bespoke Chinese herbal formulas that are specific to the individual. As your condition changes your Chinese herbal prescription may also change.

 

What substances are used in Chinese Herbal Medicine?

There are more than 450 substances frequently used in Chinese herbal medicine – the majority are of plant origin though some animal (any animal substances used are sustainably harvested and no endangered species are prescribed – if you are a vegetarian or do not want to consume animal substances, alternative herbs can be selected) and mineral substances may also be used.

You may find some in your kitchen, such as turmeric, ginger, goji berries and cinnamon, while others such as chrysanthemum and peony flowers, are more likely to be found in your garden. Many of the substances used will be unfamiliar to you and have names like chai hu (bupleurum), sheng di huang (rehmannia), and huang qi (astragalus).

 

How is Chinese Herbal Medicine prescribed?

Chinese herbal medicines are most often prescribed as a formula, which takes into account the individual action of each herb as well as the effects when combined together. We use either a granule form or patent pills.

Here’s a glimpse of what is typically seen in the clinic;

  • Insomnia and fatigue
  • Loss of appetite and common digestive disorders
  • Constipation and diarrhoea
  • Irritable bowel syndrome
  • Common cold and influenza
  • Chronic headaches
  • Skin disorders
  • Fluid retention
  • Anxiety, depression and stress
  • Allergies
  • Rheumatoid and osteoarthritis
  • Premenstrual syndrome and painful menstruation
  • Excessive menstruation
  • Infertility
  • Impotence and prostate disorders
  • Disorders associated with menopause

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