traditional chinese medicine
Stagnation is disease. Movement is life.
Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) has evolved over thousands of years, and was a welcome inclusion to Flexout Health when physiotherapist and Chinese medicine practitioner Joanne Hendy first joined the team in 2015. Later joined by Jacinta Hayward – physiotherapist and certified acupuncturist, our TCM services combine various manual therapy techniques such as acupuncture, acupressure, cupping, infrared heat lamp, with herbal products, diet and lifestyle advice to address a range of health problems.
Traditional Chinese Medicine theory
TCM is thousands of years old and has changed little over the centuries. Its basic concept is that the vital energy of life called Qi (pronounced “chi”), surges through the body moving blood and body fluids. An imbalance to this movement of Qi, blood and body fluids can cause disease and illness. Applying techniques to correct these states and achieve balance is a key concept in TCM. This concept is represented by the ancient yin yang symbol. This is the most important theory of TCM. Yin and yang represent complementary opposites. They are opposite yet also contain a small part of each other and they are in a state of constant flux. Our bodies, like all things in nature, are a complex mix of opposites controlling each other. This is a state of balance and good health. Disease occurs when there is too much of one thing and it overpowers its controlling force. TCM techniques seek to achieve this balance in the body through treatment specific to the individual.
What services are available?
Acupuncture aims to tap into the body’s ability to regulate and repair itself by improving the circulation of blood and energy (Qi) in the body and reducing stress hormones. In acupuncture treatments we most often utilise points on the meridian system of the body. Extra points and tight trigger points, known as ‘ashi’ points, are also utilised. Acupuncture uses fine gauge single use sterile needles to stimulate these points in the body. Acupressure is the process where external pressure is applied to these points in the body without the use of needles. For more information click HERE
Chinese herbal products have been studied for many medical problems, including stroke, heart disease, mental health, gynaecological and respiratory diseases. There is a Chinese saying that there is no distinction between traditional food and medicine. Hence we always aim to give useful diet and lifestyle advice as a part of treatment, when this is not sufficient to address concerns, specific Chinese herbal medicine may be indicated. We use an online dispensary through which we can access herbal formula in pills, we can also make up individualised formulas. These are concentrated herbal extracts that come in the form of a powder. These can be easily taken with water usually twice per day. These are high quality potent herbs.
Cupping is the use of suction to create a vacuum inside a cup. This process causes a drawing up of blood and lymphatic fluid into the more superficial layers of muscle and connective tissues. It can be very helpful to release tightness and help improve circulation to constricted areas of the body and thus ease pain. Cupping is most often done in highly muscular areas of the body – with the back the most common site. The suction in the cups often results in breakage of superficial capillaries leaving bruise marks on the skin. These are superficial bruises and do not remain tender after the treatment. These usually subside after 1-10 days.
Traditional Chinese medicine makes use of dietary advice to optimise health and wellbeing. Depending on your symptoms and your body type different foods and drinks may be suggested to aid in your health. Foods are classified in the same way as herbs in Chinese medicine depending on the effect they have on the body and so some types of food can be very beneficial however, some can exacerbate your symptoms. This is why it is important to give individualised dietary advice in Chinese medicine. Lifestyle advice can be around eating at certain times of the day, amount and type of exercise and strategies to help manage stress.
TCM has a history of treating a wide range of conditions in the body. Conditions that are appropriate for treatment include stress, digestive issues, sleep, pre and post natal issues and more….
Initially your Chinese medicine practitioner will ask you a range of questions to gather information about your presenting symptoms and your history. This will help rule out any serious pathology and determine any need for imaging or further referrals. There will also be a number of physical assessments that assist in the diagnosis such as looking at range of movement and palpation. In Traditional Chinese medicine we can assess your radial pulse and tongue to help aid in assessment. Manual therapies will be offered these may include acupuncture, acupressure, infrared heat lamp, cupping and massage. Discussion of diet and lifestyle factors to help aid in resolution of symptoms. If applicable, an individualised Chinese herbal medicine prescription can be given. The herbs are ordered through an online dispensary, these should arrive in a week from the order date.
Your first appointment will be booked for an hour, and from then on most follow up appointments will be 30 minutes. We suggest you arrive a few minutes before your appointment to fill out paperwork, and to wear comfortable clothing. Make sure you are well hydrated and ideally not too hungry or too full before treatment. It is also a good idea to bring a snack and water bottle with you. It is good not to be in a hurry after your appointment. This is because one of the biggest ways acupuncture helps your body is by releasing endorphins and relaxing your nervous system. If you can allow yourself some quiet time after the appointment you will maximise the benefit from your treatment.
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