or Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), is an ancient medical system that takes a deep understanding of the laws and patterns of nature and applies them to the human body. TCM encompasses many different practices and is rooted in the ancient philosophy of Taoism which dates back more than 5,000 years.
TCM diagnosing focuses on balancing of qi, or vital energy and utilizes observation (especially the tongue), hearing/smelling, interviewing, and palpating (especially the pulse). Health is an ongoing process of maintaining balance and harmony in the circulation of qi. The Eight Principles used to analyze symptoms and categorize conditions: cold/heat, interior/exterior, excess/deficiency, and yin/yang. The Five Elements - fire, earth metal, water, and wood each correspond to a particular organ or tissue in the body and explain how the body is functioning.
TCM at Greenleaf healthcare emphasizes individualized healing therapies and we use treatment modalities including: trigger point needling, herbal formulations, gua sha, and oriental massage. At the heart of TCM is the tenet that the root cause of illnesses, not their symptoms, must be treated.
Trigger point needling
Trigger point needling (TPN):
is an effective therapy to treat muscular tension and spasms which commonly accompanies conditions such as arthritis, neuropathy, muscular/ligament strains and herniated discs.
When an injury occurs from repetitive use or acute trauma, inflammation will be produced from the damaged tissues. This inflammation inhibits micro-circulation which limits both the oxygen rich blood reaching the injury and the waste products leaving the injury. The injury site becomes hypoxic (decreased in oxygen) which stimulates the body to produce fibroblasts, creating scar tissue. This fibrosis builds up around the tissues limiting the function, also causing compression and irritation of nerves (such as carpal tunnel syndrome) – all of which inevitably lead to tension and pain.
TPN uses a small, solid filament needle which is inserted in a contracted muscle/tissue to create a local twitch reflex which is both diagnostic and therapeutic as it is the first step in breaking the pain cycle. When a needle is inserted into a muscle it will activate the immune system and increase local circulation reducing inflammation systemically. Research shows, like acupuncture, this precise needle insertion will decrease muscle contraction, reduce chemical irritation, improve flexibility and decrease pain.
What Types of Conditions Can TPN Assist?
In Asian medicine, cupping therapy is considered a special healing skill, and it’s often passed down from one generation to the next. At Greenleaf healthcare our healers are bringing that timeless tradition to you.
Cupping promotes optimal “Qi” by drawing energy and blood flow to areas of the body that are experiencing inflammation, prone to low lymphatic circulation or experiencing poor blood flow. This treatment involves the use of specialized cups applied to specific areas of the body (e.g back/neck/shoulders/face) in a series of positions in order to produce suction. The vacuum effect targets areas of skin and deep tissue which is beneficial for dulling pain, breaking up deep scar tissue, and relaxing tender muscles or connective tissue.
Throughout the years healers have successfully treated a variety of symptoms and diseases that couldn’t be cured by conventional methods and our practitioners implement cupping into our patients’ treatment plans for naturally treating health concerns such as:
Is Cupping Therapy Safe?
Rest assured that cupping isn’t usually painful and our trained practitioners are very sensitive to our patients individual needs. During a cupping session, it’s common to feel some warmth and tightness around the cup, but many people find this to be relaxing and soothing.
Keep in mind that it’s not uncommon for skin discoloration to develop after cupping, which can last anywhere from a few days to a couple of weeks; which is an indicator that the body is undergoing a regenerative healing process.
Moxibustion is a traditional Chinese medicine therapy which consists of burning dried mugwort (moxa) around particular points of the body. The mugwort is ground up to a fluff which can be used indirectly, with acupuncture needles, or burn it over the patient's skin.
At Greenleaf healthcare our practitioners use moxa to warm regions and meridian points with the intention of stimulating circulation through the points and inducing a smoother flow of blood and qi.
Practitioners know moxibustion to be especially effective in the treatment of chronic problems, "deficient conditions" (weakness), increasing energy and the healing potential through the body.
Practitioners may use acupuncture needles in combination with moxa, depending on the direction of qi flow they wish to stimulate.
Moxibustion is utilized for treating pain, supporting the cardiovascular system, improving the digestive system, and balancing the emotions.
Gua Sha is an ancient healing technique of traditional Asian medicine that our practitioners at Greenleaf healthcare offer. Sometimes called ‘coining or scraping’, Gua sha involves repeated pressured strokes over lubricated skin with a smooth edged instrument, we utilize a jade spoon. This therapy focuses on a specific area of the body surface to intentionally create therapeutic ecchymosis called ‘sha’, which represents an increase of healing blood flow to the treated area.
Raising sha removes blood stagnation and toxins which are considered pathogenic in traditional Asian medicine. Modern research shows that increased circulation produces an anti-inflammatory and immune protective effect that persists for days following a single Gua sha treatment. Our healers may utilize this therapy to address health concerns such as:
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