Chinese herbs are often used in conjunction with acupuncture for added therapeutic effect. While many cultures have herbal medicine traditions, the sophistication of Chinese herbal medicine is unsurpassed. Chinese herbal medicine has a long history reaching back several thousand years, and the resulting system is now used to treat everything from the common cold to certain types of cancer.
There are thousands of herbs in the Chinese materia medica, of which about 300 are commonly used. You will generally receive a mixture of several different herbs in a formula that has been tailored to your condition. Chinese herbs are safer and have fewer side-effects than prescription medications. Side-effects from Chinese herbs are rare, but the most common is digestive problems. Chinese herbs can also be taken to reduce the side-effects of certain prescription medications. However, Adrienne evaluates on an individual basis if it is beneficial for a patient to take herbs along with prescription medications.
Moxibustion involves the heating of acupuncture points with smoldering mugwort herb (known as moxa). Moxibustion stimulates circulation, counteracts cold and dampness in the body, and promotes the smooth flow of blood and qi. This safe, non-invasive technique may be used alone, but it is generally used in conjunction with acupuncture treatment.
Tui na means “pushing grasping,” and is a powerful form of Chinese medical bodywork. Based on the same Oriental medical principles as acupuncture, tui na seeks to improve the flow of qi through the meridian channels. Tui na is particularly effective for conditions involving muscles, tendons and joints, such as structural misalignment, orthopedic problems and sports injuries. It can also be used to treat internal diseases.
Cupping is an ancient technique, used in many cultures, in which a special cup is applied to the skin and held in place by suction. The suction draws superficial tissue into the cup, which may either be left in place or moved along the body. Cupping brings fresh blood to the area and helps improve circulation. Traditional cupping, sometimes referred to as “fire cupping,” uses heat to create a vacuum-like suction inside of glass cups. In modern times, cups that use a small pump to create suction have also been introduced.