WHAT IS TCM
Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), one of the oldest systems of medicine dating back 4,000 years. It is the most commonly used system of healing in the world.
WHAT IS QI?
TCM acknowledges that true healing is a multidimensional process. This ancient holistic medical system, understands that the body, mind, spirit and emotions must all be addressed in the healing journey. The mind and the emotions play a dominant role in creating wellness or illness and attracting disease.
All of these aspects and their relationships are mapped out in the theories that form the foundation of TCM: the Theory of Yin/Yang, the Theory of Qi (pronounced chee) or vital energy, Meridian Theory and the Five-Element Theory. TCM has used these time-tested theories to understand, diagnose and effectively treat health problems and conditions in continuous practice for thousands of years.
At the core of this ancient medicine is the philosophy that Qi (pronounced chee), the vital force or energy of the human body which flows throughout the body. Qi helps to animate the body and provides protection from illness, pain and disease. A person’s health is influenced by the quality, quantity and balance of Qi.
WHAT CAN AFFECT QI?
Qi circulates through specific pathways called meridians. There are 14 main meridian pathways throughout the body. Each is connected to specific organs and glands. This energy flow is more or less similar to the circulatory system and nervous system.
When Qi flows freely throughout the body, one enjoys good physical, mental and emotional well-being. An obstruction of Qi anywhere in the body is like a dam, backing up the flow in one area and restricting it in others. This blockage can hinder the distribution of the nourishment that the body requires to function optimally.
Various factors affect the smooth flow of Qi, such as injury, poor nutrition or improper diet, organ malfunction or infection by harmful microorganisms. Other factors that disturb the balanced flow of Qi are extreme climatic conditions (cold, wind, heat), as well as the emotional state (pleasure, dejection, stress) of an individual.
WHAT WILL MY ACUPUNCTURIST DO?
Normally, when this imbalance occurs, the body naturally bounces back, returning to a balanced state of health and well-being. When the disruption to Qi is prolonged or excessive, or if the body is in a weakened state, then illness, pain or disease can set in.
During the initial exam a complete health history will be taken. Your acupuncturist will view images of your tongue and ask relevant questions regarding symptoms, health and lifestyle. This information is then organized to create a complete, accurate and comprehensive differential diagnosis. After the consultation, you may receive recommendations for an effective treatment protocol.
WHY DOES MY ACUPUNCTURIST WANT TO LOOK AT MY TONGUE?
The tongue is a map of the body. It reflects the general health of the organs and meridians. Your acupuncturist will look at the color, shape, cracks, and coating on your tongue. Different areas of the tongue are believed to reflect the health of the different organ systems. If there is an unusual color, coating, and/or shape in a certain area, special attention is paid to the corresponding organ system.
HOW MANY CONSULTATIONS WILL I NEED?
Tongue diagnosis is one of the more important diagnostic tools in Chinese medicine. It is used to derive a TCM diagnosis for your condition which is used to plan an effective treatment plan.
The length of a treatment varies widely from person to person, depending on the particular symptoms, the age of the patient, how long the condition has existed and the environment of the patient. There also seem to be patients that are naturally responsive to TCM, when all the other factors are similar. A patient that is responsive to TCM may only require one or two consults, as is the case with a number of children. Adult patients that are responsive generally require one to six visits for a particular symptom or set of symptoms. In other cases, up to twenty visits may be required, depending on the severity and length of time the symptoms have persisted.
HOW SHOULD I PREPARE FOR MY CONSULTATION?
- Come with any questions you have, we’re here to help you.
- Avoid stressful situations. Make time to relax, and be sure to get plenty of rest.
- Between visits, take notes of any changes that may have occurred, such as the alleviation of pain, pain moving to other areas or changes in the frequency and type of problems.