Chinese Herbal Medicine
Chinese herbal formulas are often given in conjunction with acupuncture treatment to prolong or enhance treatment results. The beliefs behind the benefits of herbal medicine stems from their ability to utilize the body’s natural healing process and therefore treating the disease at its root. Individual herbs are combined (and in rare cases, used alone) to create custom formulas aimed at an individuals unique set of symptoms. A variety of Chinese herbal formula are often used through the course of treatment, changing along with the patients most current presentation.
Herbs are most commonly administered in pill or capsule form, but may also be prescribed as a granule, draft or tea. The Chinese herbal formulas given at Paso Acupuncture and Wellness Center have been thoroughly tested for pesticides, herbicides, heavy metals, fungicides, microbes and bacteria. We only use reputable brands that adhere to this rigorous standard and meet specific Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) standards of safe production. Many patients find that an accompanying herbal remedy is invaluable to their treatment.
Cupping is most often used as an adjunct therapy to acupuncture, but is occasionally used as a stand alone treatment. Glass or plastic cups are used to create suction on the back, hips, or other larger areas of the body to break down tension and stagnation. Fresh blood is brought to the area, often giving immediate relief to tight muscle pain. Cupping can also be used to bring up mucus from the lungs and is therefore often used in the treatment of allergies, cough and other upper respiratory ailments. This treatment may leave temporary marks on the skin that usually last for a couple of days, but can still be present up to a week or more.
Gua Sha is a the technique of applying oil to the skin and then rubbing or scraping with a smooth-edged tool. This technique is commonly preformed on the neck and shoulder area, but may be used on other parts of the body. The aim of gua sha is to break superficial capillaries under the skin, bringing fresh blood to the area and immediately reducing pain and tension. It often produces red or purple marks that can last for several days. Gua sha is particularly good for people who hold a great amount of tension in their upper body, have “cloudy” thinking, or experience chronic pain.
Moxa, short for Moxibustion, is the process of burning a specific herb (mugwort, Artemisia, 艾 草) over specific acupuncture points, meridians, or areas of the body. It is typically administered in conjunction with acupuncture. The heat produced from moxa increases the flow of Qi throughout the body, eliciting a deep improvement of health and wellness.
There are two main types of moxibustion: direct and indirect. In direct moxibustion, the burning moxa is placed directly on the skin. However, this technique is rarely used anymore. By far, the most common application in the United States is the indirect technique, which involves placing the dried moxa over an acupuncture needle, using a special moxa holder to cover larger areas, or waving a burning moxa wand along specific meridians.
Tui Na is essentially the Chinese Medical term for massage therapy. Literally, it means to “pinch and pull”. Using many of the same principles as acupuncture, it aims to ease blockages of Qi along certain meridian pathways. By stimulating the free flow of energy and blood, as well as pacifying tight muscles, it is often used for pain, particular if it is acute in nature. Depending on your specific needs, varying tut na techniques may be used at any given time. Often the use of herbal poultices or compresses, lotions, oils, or salves are used during the tai na portion of treatment.
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