Our Services – Western & Chinese Herbology

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) is a system of medicine that includes acupuncture, herbology, moxibustion, massage, exercise and diet. It views health as a state of balance and harmony of the body, mind, and spirit. During its clinical use in the last 4,000 years, it has been developed into a powerful form of medicine that can be used for treating a very wide range of conditions. In Canada, TCM is known for its treatment of chronic problems. It is also very effective in treating acute pain and infectious diseases.

TCM is a natural means of restoring health and preventing future illness by changing the flow of the body’s energy system. This energy is referred to as chi (pronounced “chee”). Chi is the life force of our existence. It keeps the blood circulating, warms the body and fights disease. It is chi that distinguishes living creatures from inanimate ones.

According to acupuncture theory, energy (or “chi”) circulates in the body along electrochemical pathways (called meridians). The “chi” travels inwards to connect the internal organs and outwards along the body track and extremities. When there is physical injury, mental stress, emotional conflict or lack of inner spiritual resource, the natural and healthy flow of one’s “chi” – over time – will be impeded within the meridian system. Acupuncture needles are inserted on specific points on the meridians to promote or re-establish the flow of energy and influence the organ’s function. Healing results from changing the way a person’s life energy moves on all levels.

Chinese herbal medicine can also be used in conjunction with acupuncture. It involves the use of approximately 400 pharmacologically active plants, minerals and animal parts. A number of herbs are made into a formula for the patient’s condition in the form of powders, pills or raw herbs which must be cooked before administering. Chinese herbs in accurate formulations are without side effects, distinguishing them from conventional drugs which sometimes have drastic side effects.

What procedure is involved in an initial TCM session?

TCM begins with the diagnosis of the individual’s energy system. The initial examination is the foundation upon which treatments are based. In the initial exam, various things are taken into account such as medical and family history, lifestyle, the state of various functional systems (i.e., sleep, appetite) and the presenting complaints. Observations are also made of facial colour, voice, pulse, tongue, emotional state and the nature of the symptoms. All this is essential in determining the necessary treatment required to re-establish correct energy flow so that the body may heal itself.

After the assessment, a program is explained and a short acupuncture treatment is included.

What will I experience during a TCM session?

Usually involving the use of herbs, and acupuncture, you may feel some heaviness, tingling or electrical sensation up or down the affected meridian. If there is any discomfort, it is usually mild. After treatment, a deepened feeling of relaxation is usually felt.

If a person has a complicated health problem, sometimes a slight aggravation of the symptoms will occur. This type of reaction usually occurs with patients who have taken numerous drugs or have a lifestyle that predisposes them to toxic overload. The aggravation is a result of the acupuncture reactivating the energy system, nervous system and eliminatory organs which have been suppressed by drugs, toxins and metabolic waste.

Is there anything else I should know prior to my TCM treatment?

Yes. Patients should not be extremely hungry or overly full before treatments. Try to relax before and after treatments. Also, bring a description of medications you are currently taking and any treatments.

Please note that pregnant women, haemophiliacs, people with blood disorders, cardiac pacemakers and communicable diseases such as hepatitis and AIDS or HIV should consult the acupuncturist prior to beginning treatment (some points cannot be used in cases like these).

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Coquitlam Integrated Health