Q & A

The following is some questions and answers about Traditional Chinese Medicine.

1. How old is Traditional Chinese Medicine?  Traditional Chinese medicine, or TCM, is a broad range of medicine practices sharing common concepts which have been developed in China and are based on a tradition of more than 2,000 years, including various forms of herbal medicine, acupuncture, massage (Tui Na), exercise (Qi Gong), and dietary therapy.

2. What is Qi?  Qi (pronounced “chi”) is the circulating life force whose existence and properties are the basis of much Chinese philosophy and medicine.  Qi has many different translations, such as: Breath, Air, Energy, or Life Force just to name a few.  The Chinese believe that Qi is what moves us, it is what sustains are health and life.  And when we are not feeling good it is believed that our Qi is either not strong or out of balance, and therefore needs to be replenished or strengthened.  

3. When I schedule an appointment do I need to get Acupuncture?  Not at all.  There are many different types of modalities in Traditional Chinese Medicine that one can receive besides acupuncture.  As listed in question 1, there are many different types to suit the need of that individual.  

4. What is Acupressure?  Acupressure is acupuncture without the needles.  The practitioner uses his or her fingers, or a device, to press and hold the many Acupuncture points that are on the body to stimulate the flow of energy.  

5. What is Tui Na?  The term Tui Na (pronounced "twee naw"), which literally means "pinch and pull," refers to a wide range of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) therapeutic massage techniques and body work. Tui Na can be used for relaxation, but the majority of the time it is used as a treatment to address specific patterns of disharmony within the body.

6. What is Cupping?  Cupping is what I would refer to as a reverse massage.  Unlike the pushing and kneading of traditional massage, cupping lifts and separates the different layers of skin, muscle, and fascia to allow blood and body fluids to once a gain move freely.

7. What is Qi Gong?  Qi Gong (otherwise spelled Chi Gung or Chi Kung) is a form of gentle exercises composed of movements that are repeated a number of times, often stretching the body, increasing fluid movement (blood, synovial and lymph) and building awareness of how the body moves through space.  Qi Gong can be taught standing, sitting, or lying down.  It can be practiced for 5 minutes a day.  The techniques in Qi Gong can be learned in one sitting or over months of practice. 

8. What is the difference between Chinese Dietary Therapy and Western Dietary Therapy?  While both ways focus on helping the body either lose or gain weight, heal, strengthen, or balance, Chinese Dietary Therapy goes deeper into linking the "right" food to the "right" need.  According to Chinese Dietary Therapy, every piece of food, from grains to vegetables, fruits to beans, nuts to dairy, and fish to meats has a different property that the body uses to help balance itself.  And when we are out of balance we are able to use foods to help bring that balance into order.

9. Does Acupuncture hurt?  I am not going to lie to you, the answer to that is...Depends?  It depends on where in the body the needle is placed, what time of day it is, what the weather is like outside, whether you are feeling great or not so good, whether you are tired or fully awake.  I wish I could give you a direct answer, but as you have read, it is hard to say.  I have heard that "pain is the way the body tells you that something is wrong and needs to be fixed".  With that said, when a needle is placed in the body at any point and that point hurts, that is your body telling you "hey, I need that point to feel better, thanks".

10. How long is a typical treatment?  This can vary between treatments and modalities of TCM.  The initial consultation usually takes 75-90 minutes and this includes filling out paperwork, talking with your practitioner, and receiving a treatment.  Each follow-up treatment usually takes around 60 minutes.  


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