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What is TCM? Is it more than just Acupuncture?

Traditional Chinese Medicine (or TCM) is a system of diagnostic techniques and treatments that have evolved over the last 3000 years. In this system, the practitioner is taking into account the WHOLE person, not just a symptom in order to determine their TCM patterns and corresponding treatments. TCM treatments are largely based on acupuncture (needling) but can also include other therapies such as; Tui na massage, Cupping, Gua Sha, Moxabustion & Nutritional Support.

What is Qi?

You can think of Qi as your bodies life force, it can take many different forms and has many functions.  The Nei Jing –The Yellow Emperor’s Classic of Internal Medicine (c.500BC) says “There is no place that Qi is not.”

Acupuncture does not hurt, but you may feel a slight sensation at the points where the needles are inserted (Qi reaction). These sensations may vary from person to person depending on what is going on in the body and how the function of a particular point affects the body. There are a number of different sensations that a person may experience, most commonly  felt are; a dull ache, a general numbness of the area, a slight pinch, a tingling or ”electric” feeling, or a sensation of heat. In some situations, this sensation may travel the length of a particular meridian. The sensations are generally very brief (only upon insertion or manipulation) and will lessen once the needles are left alone. If you have never had acupuncture before, you might be surprised at how relaxed you feel during and after the treatment. Very often people fall asleep on the table and leave feeling relaxed and refreshed.Does Acupuncture Hurt?​​You may think of Qi as your bodies energy which is responsible for things like our blood flow, digestion & sleep. Your Qi circulates throughout the body along specific pathways called meridians, which correspond to 12 internal organ systems.  Good health is maintained as long as Qi continues to flow freely through the meridians. If  the Qi becomes blocked somewhere then pain and disease can develop.

​What to expect on your first visit.

When visiting a TCM doctor for the first time, there will usually be an in-depth question asking period. In asking questions, we are looking at things such as body sensations (feelings of heat or cold, thirst levels, pains or discomfort), mental states and how you deal with emotional issues, sleep patterns, digestive patterns (how you feel after you eat, cravings, bowel patterns etc), environment/lifestyle situations (living conditions, work patterns etc) as well as genetics and previous health conditions.

In addition to the interview process, the practitioner will also be observing you, looking at your skin, your hair, listening to your voice as well as taking your pulse and looking at your tongue. All this information will help to identify the underlying cause of disharmony in the body. Once analyzed and a pattern or imbalance is identified, a customized treatment plan will be recommended for you.

​​How will I feel after my first visit?​

Everybody is different and each treatment is unique. Some common feelings that you may experience after a treatment are; a sense of relaxation or a feeling somewhat sleepy or tired, you may also feel the opposite and experience a surge of energy and renewed energy, you may feel as though your mood has shifted or that your stress has decreased. Each treatment is unique since it all depends on where your body is at, at the time of treatment. It is important to listen to your body and honour it as best you can. Some people find they need to give their bodies time to relax after treatments, particularly if they have been overworked. In this case, if you can, take the rest of the day/evening to relax. *Please note: If you ever feel dizziness or lightheaded after you get up, it’s best to mention it to your practitioner as it does happen on occasion. Usually just taking a bit of extra time getting up and drinking some water clears it up.

​What can TCM be used for?​

TCM treatments can be extremely effective for things such as pain relief and management but, as we always seek to find the root cause of any ailment, TCM can essentially be used to treat any kind of condition or disease. Through treatment we are always seeking to bring balance back to the body. By restoring balance many of the symptoms a person presented with can be either reduced or eliminated. If a person is not completely healed, they will at least have strengthened their system and operate with the optimal amount of energy and health that is possible for them.

TCM can also be used in a preventative way – Often the body will shows signs of minor imbalances early on- when we are able to identify these signs and symptoms early, we can help the individual maintain a high level of health and vitality throughout life.

Some common conditions treated include:

  • Body aches and pains​
  • Pregnancy/Postpartum conditions
  • Labour preparation and support
  • Digestive problems
  • Anxiety & Stress
  • Insomnia/Sleep disorders
  • Migraines & Headaches
  • Colds & Flu
  • Menopausal symptoms
  • Arthritis
  • Allergies and asthma
  • PMS and irregular periods
  • Fertility & Infertility Treatment Support