The “Four pillars” of diagnosis in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) are Inspection, Auscultation/ Olfaction, Inquiry, and Palpation. Through the analysis of the four diagnostics, diagnosis and treatment plans are formulated. The following are the commonly used physical therapies:
The Chinese characters for acupuncture literally means “acupuncture-moxibustion”. Acupuncture therapy involves inserting needles into superficial structures of the body at the acupuncture points (acupoints). The manipulation of the needles or the application of micro-electric current through the electro-acupuncture machine to the needle handle stimulate these specific acupoints, so as to dredge the blood and regulate the yin and yang of the viscera. The World Health Organization (WHO) also advocates acupuncture for prevention and treatment of diseases. In 2002, WHO listed 106 indications for acupuncture therapy.
Clinically, acupuncture is often used to treat irregular menstruation, dysmenorrhea, infertility, insomnia, stroke, various pains, facial paralysis and autism.
Moxibustion is often accompanied by acupuncture. It involves burning Artemisia argyi (mugwort) leaves on or near the skin at an acupuncture point to warm the Qi and blood, dispel cold and relieve pain. By strengthening the body, it can achieve disease prevention and maintain body health.
Clinically, Moxibustion is often used to treat rheumatic arthralgia, irregular menstruation, infertility, dysmenorrhea, amenorrhea, stomach pain, abdominal pain and diarrhea.
Cupping consists of placing glass or plastic “cups” on the body. It uses a burning match or other methods to remove the air in the cup, thus forming a negative pressure inside the cup that allows the cup to adsorb to the skin via suction. These cups are usually placed on specific parts of the body or skin acupuncture points, thereby stimulating accelerate blood circulation, promote metabolism, improve the internal environment of the body, detoxify and relieve cramps, and relieve pain.
Clinically, cupping is often used to treat shoulder, neck, waist, leg pain, joint pain, soft tissue contusion and other pains. It can also be used for colds, facial paralysis, cough, diarrhea, irregular menstruation, dysmenorrhea and other diseases.
Pricking and cupping is a combination of both methods. After local disinfection of the skin, the skin is pricked at specific acupoints with a blood collection needle to make the skin bleed, followed by application of cups on the acupuncture point. The action allows blood dredging, promotes blood circulation, and restore the balance of yin and yang of the body.
Pricking and cupping is often used clinically to treat various acute and chronic soft tissue injuries, neurodermatitis, acne, skin itching, sciatica, etc. It is also commonly used to treat women’s various problems caused by menstruation, vaginal discharge, pregnancy and childbirth, and is an effective method to improve blood stasis.
Scraping involves abrading the skin over the acupoints of the body using scraping boards made of smooth jade, bone, animal tusks, horn or smooth stones, until red spots then bruising cover the are to which it is done. Through the stimulation of the twelve skin parts, it dredging the blood, promotes qi and blood circulation, and adjusts the functions of viscera.
Clinically, it is often used in the treatment of colds, coughs, vomiting, constipation, diarrhoea, insomnia, headaches, stiff neck, acute lumbar sprains, irregular menstruation, acute mastitis, heat stroke, etc. It can also be used for disease prevention and health care.
Having a peaceful mind is helpful for the treatment. Sit down quietly for five minutes before the treatment, and let the body relax. Allow enough time for the treatment to avoid stress;
Fatigue or hunger may make you feel unwell and dizzy. Eat light food before the treatment, but not too full. Drink an appropriate amount of water, but avoid coffee, alcohol and other stimulating drinks;
A treatment session usually takes 30 to 60 minutes, please empty your bladder before the treatment;
Loose clothes should be worn during the treatment. Please change into the treatment gown provided by the clinic before the treatment.
Lie on the bed in a comfortable position to relax the body. Do not move your body arbitrarily during the treatment, so as not to cause physical injury;
If you feel unwell during the treatment, please inform the medical staff;
During acupuncture treatment, it is quite normal to feel soreness, numbness, swelling, electricity or ants crawling sensations. If you feel strong pain, please inform the medical staff;
During moxibustion, you may feel hotness at the treatment site. But if you feel burning on the skin, please inform the medical staff.
You should drink plenty of warm water, and avoid drinking cold and stimulating drinks;
Wear appropriate clothes to avoid catching cold;
After the treatment, you can take warm water shower as usual. If you have wounds on your body (such as after pricking and cupping), bathing in the bath is not recommended;
Do not rub or scrape the treatment area, so as not to cause skin bruising or infection. If there are blisters on the skin, do not pierce the blisters to avoid causing skin wounds;
After acupuncture treatment, it is normal to feel soreness, numbness, swelling, etc. in the next few hours, and these feelings may last up to one or two day, but will gradually disappear;
After cupping, the skin will have bruises, which will last for a few days and then fade away gradually.