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Treatment sessions last about one hour, and patients should plan on eating within four hours beforehand and on wearing comfortable clothing that can be adjusted to expose the arms and legs to above the elbows and knees.

Acupuncture: A technique in which very fine, sterile, single-use needles are inserted into acupoints on the patient’s body. According to traditional Chinese medicine, the acupoints are functional spots along energetic pathways in the body called channels (or meridians), which cover the surface of the body and connect to the internal organs. The intended effect of acupuncture is to restore balance to the body by removing obstructions from the channels and by activating the body’s own defense and repair mechanisms. Usually between ten and twenty acupoints are needled in one session, with needles remaining in the body for between twenty and thirty minutes.

Electrostimulation: A gentle electrical current using electrodes attached to acupuncture needles may be passed between acupoints in order to increase the effectiveness of removing obstructions from the channels.

Medical Tuina Massage: A form of bodywork based on TCM diagnosis which uses the acupoints and channels and employs joint and soft tissue techniques such as pressing, kneading, rubbing, pulling, stretching, rotating, and traction. It is sometimes compared to shiatsu or deep-tissue massage.

Cupping: A type of bodywork by which open glass spheres are affixed to the body by heating the air within the cup and then placing the cup against the skin. After placing the cup on the skin, the air inside cools and creates lower pressure and suction to the skin. If combined with massage oil, cups can be slid around the back and other areas of the body to remove obstructions from the channels.

Gua Sha: A type of bodywork using a hand-held plastic blade to gently scrape the back and other areas of the body in order to remove obstructions from the surface of the body.

Moxibustion: Also referred to as “moxa”, it consists of burning dried Chinese mugwort herb on acupoints in order to increase circulation in local areas. Moxa comes in dense, cigar-shaped cylinders, which burns like incense while held over acupoints, or rolled more loosely into shorter cylinders that can be stuck onto the handles of inserted needles. There is also direct moxa, which involves pinching clumps of the herb into cones, placing them on acupoints, and burning it until the areas are warm.

Herbal Medicine: Herbs may be administered per patient in a tailored fashion, combining individual raw or granule ingredients that are decocted and taken daily as a tea, or most common formulas are also available as standardized “patent” pills or capsules. Herbal formulas, as well as dietary therapy, are based on the flavors and thermal effects of the overall combination of ingredients and on the patient’s constitution and imbalances.

Dietary Therapy: Like herbal medicine, recommendations are based on the flavors and thermal effects of the overall combination of ingredients and on the patient’s constitution and imbalances. In general, a balanced diet in terms of flavors and thermal effects will lead to health.

Tai Chi and Qi Gong: Activities that include physical routines and postures to achieve and maintain flexibility, strength, and balance, in addition to breathing and meditation exercises. The overall effect is to optimize the flow of energy throughout the body.

 

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