Acupuncture is currently the most well-known and most widely used modality of TCM. A system that has been used for over 2000 years, it utilizes fine hair-thin needles to stimulate specific points on the body which can effect local and systemic changes. Its goal is to correct imbalances in the body and re-establish the free flow of energy.
While acupuncture is most commonly used to address muscular pain and discomfort, it is also highly effective in the treatment of more complex conditions including, but not limited to, insomnia, stress, fatigue, digestive issues, menstrual irregularities, and auto-immune disease.
Herbal medicine is a modality of TCM that has been utilized for over 2000 years. It involves the use of organic substances such as plant roots, leaves, berries, and seeds that are combined in very specific formulations. They are then administered as decoctions/tea, granular powder, syrup, or pills.
Herbal medicine differs from acupuncture in that it not only adjusts the internal enviornment of the body, but it also adds substance to the body since it involves the ingestion of herbs. This can have profound effects on the body, especially for chronic conditions that may involve fatigue, muscular degeneration, etc.
Tui Na is a modality of TCM that is likened to medical massage. With TCM theory as its basis, the use of Tui Na is two-fold. First, it can be used to treat external conditions where the muscles, tendons, joints, and ligaments are affected. Conditions such as joint pain, back and neck pain, and knee pain, whether acute or chronic, are effectively addressed with Tui Na massage.
Second, it can be used to stimulate the acupuncture points and channels through acupressure and channel massage. In this way it has similar effects to acupuncture and can be used to treat chronic internal conditions such as digestive issues, menstrual irregularities, insomnia, etc.
Tui Na is an excellent primary method of treatment and a very good alternative for those who do not like needles or cannot receive acupuncture treatment.
Moxibustion is a modality of TCM that utilizes the burning of fibers from the herb Ai Ye 艾葉(Artemisia Argyii, common name Mugwort). The goal of this therapy is to locally and systemically add warmth to the body to disperse cold, supplement the body, strengthen the immune system, and correct imbalances.
Moxibustion can be applied indirectly by holding a smoldering moxa pole 1-2 inches above the intended area or by using a substrate between the skin and the herb, such as ginger or salt. It can also be applied directly to the body by burning small rice grain-sized moxa cones at specific points on the body.