Chinese Medicine is an art form that has been developed and refined over more than 3,500 years. Chinese Medicine often involves the implementation of Acupuncure, Cupping, Gua Sha, Moxibustion and Chinese Herbal Medicine to address what the Chinese describe as channel, substance and internal disharmony’s of the body.
Chinese Medicine and Acupuncture treats the individual holistically by incorporating physical, emotional and psychological factors into one view of the individual’s system. This holistic medicine also takes into account external factors such as lifestyle, diet and environment.
During an initial consultation, the practitioner will take a thorough history of the client and will also observe physical and emotional qualities that are presented. A Chinese Medicine Practitioner will observe their clients tongue, skin colour, temperature, voice strength and quality, mannerisms and pulse quality in the effort to gain an overall picture of the individual they are presented with.
A diagnosis from a Chinese Medicine Perspective is then created when all of this information is gathered. Once a thorough diagnosis is formed, a treatment plan can then be developed. and implemented using Acupuncture, Chinese Herbal Medicine, along with Dietary Advice.
-GYNECOLOGICAL DISORDERS & SUB FERTILITY OR INFERTILITY-
From a Chinese Medical perspective, the menstrual cycle that governs fertility requires the free flow of blood and qi (energy) and the appropriate amounts of yin (Cool & Moist) and yang (Warm & Dry). When yin and yang are imbalanced, or if blood and or qi become stagnant, pain can ensure along with several other menstrual disorders that can even lead to infertility.
Over the years, Western and Chinese Medicine Practitioners have seen an increase in the presentation of menstrual disorders such as PCOS (Poly Cystic Ovarian Syndrome), Fibroids, Amenorrhea , Dysmenorrhea, Endometriosis, Luteal Phase Defect, low Anti Mullarian Hormone (AMH) and high Estrogen or Androgen levels in women.
Gynecological Issue’s can be attributed to several factors that can affect our hormone balance, these include: stress, medication, the Contraceptive pill, Inappropriate diet and lifestyle, such as eating foods high in Soy fillers and overwork to name a few.
The menstrual cycle relies on the appropriate function of several hormones to create a normal cycle length, normal menstrual bleeding, absence of menstrual pain, masses, uterine or ovarian cysts, and allows for Natural Fertility. Many of these hormones can be tested in the Lab and often give the practitioner a deeper insight into menstrual dysfunction and the cause of apparent infertility.
Many women will turn to In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) if they suffer from hormone imbalances leading to infertility or will try Alternative Medicine such as Acupuncture and Chinese Herbal Medicine either before trying to conceive or during IVF preparation.
-PREGNANCY AND POSTPARTUM-
Pregnancy can be an amazing time for most expectant mothers. Some however can be worried about miscarriage if they have suffered from one in the past, or have suffered from habitual miscarriage which can be absolutely heart breaking.
It is not uncommon for women may also carry fear related to past birth trauma that may have resulted from prolonged or over due labour, posterior birth, malpresentation or medically induced labour induction.
Below is a study that was conducted to show the efficiency of therapy at BL 67 in turning a breech baby.
Some new mothers find they suffer from postpartum issues after their baby is born. Many find breast feeding is not as easy as they thought it would be with some suffering from insufficient milk production . From a Chinese Medicine perspective, this can be a result of blood, kidney and Spleen qi.
Whilst pregnant, the baby takes so much from the mother in the way of qi and blood. Once the baby is born, the breast milk which is a substrate of blood can also become insufficient if the blood is depleted. Lack of sleep along with deficiency of the qi and Blood can also lead to postpartum depression.
For more information regarding fertility and pregnancy please CLICK HERE
-MALE REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH-
From a Chinese medicine perspective, men and women can suffer from the same organ and channel disharmony’s, however they present themselves in different ways. Men do not have menstrual cycles, but they can have hormonal imbalances that can affect their overall health and fertility.
Men with low libido can have Low Testosterone which is considered yang hormone. Men are considered to contain more yang, whist women are considered more yin. However, it is not uncommon to see men with yin or blood deficiency leading to Thick and Scanty Seminal Fluid.
This can be described as having too many fish in a small pond. Seminal fluid is just a vehicle for sperm to travel into the females reproductive tract. If the sperm cells become trapped in thick seminal fluid, they can become damaged before they even reach the partners fertile mucous which is the privileged pathway into the Fallopian tubes.
Some men with Yin deficiency can have an over active libido. Frequent intercourse can drain their essence and make their yin and fluid deficiency even more extreme. The reverse is possible also, too much sexual intercourse can drain the organs and lead to disharmony and result in Male sub fertility or even infertility.
Men can also be affected by stress, overwork, poor diet, environmental factors and lifestyle choices that can lead to male infertility factors. Many of these factors can lead to Poor Morphology, Low Sperm Count, Low Progressive Motility and Low Seminal Volume.
If you have recently had your sperm tested and are not sure if it needs improving or not, you can put your parameters into the Sperm Calculator provided below. This will give you an idea of how healthy your sperm is and can indicate whether you may need to make some changes in your lifestyle or seek advice from a fertility health specialist.
Acupuncture has shown to benefit sperm parameters in men with idiopathic infertility as is shown in this peer reviewed article below.
From a Chinese medicine perspective perspective, the body contains channels/meridians that course over the entire body. When these become blocked by either Blood or Qi or they become inflamed and hot or cold and blood deficient, pain, loss of function and immobility of the joints and muscles can ensure. Traumatic injury of the channels themselves can lead to the same pathology’s.
What many therapists have come to realize is that some musculoskeletal disorders can be a result of inflammation caused by poor gut health. The following link provides a study to determine the Effect of Acupuncture on musculoskeletal disorders.
For a long time we have been aware of the term “You are what you eat”, however, more recently greater focus has been made on the Gut Biome and its importance in regulating our immune systems. Inflammation, mood, mental health and depression. Many people with poor digestion suffer from Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), constipation, diarrhea, bloating, gas, abdominal pain, weight gain or weight loss, poor muscle tone, feelings of heavy body, foggy head, food intolerance’s or hemorrhoids.
Many people have now gotten back into the ancient art form of ingesting fermented foods such a Sauerkraut and Kimchi and by drinking Kombucha and Kefir.
The ancient Chinese didn’t have an understanding as such of the biochemistry that describes the Gut Biome as we know of today, however they understood poor digestion as being related to inappropriate diet, stress and parasite infection which could then lead to organ disharmony. If the digestion is weak then the person can be open to opportunistic gut parasites also. Such gut bugs include Blastocystitis Hominis and Dientomeoba Fragilis.
Chinese Medicines understanding of the Gut Biome was seen in terms of internal disharmony’s described as Spleen or Kidney qi Deficiency, dampness and phlegm, Cold or heat invading the digestive organs and collateral’s.
Below is a study that implemented Chinese Medicine Therapy for Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
-THE IMMUNE SYSTEM-
Issues involving the IMMUNE SYSTEM can be largely associated with poor gut health as mentioned above. A poor diet can lead to lowered immunity resulting in reoccurring colds and flu’s, Hay fever, Sinusitis, and a propensity to Bronchitis and Asthma.
Some immune disorders can be attributed to past Glandular Fever Infection (Epstein Barr Virus), Antibiotic Over Use or other Viral or Bacterial Attack that wasn’t completely cleared from the body. This has then lead to what the Chinese call a Lingering Pathogen. Many people who have signs of a Hidden Pathogen complain of Chronic Fatigue, Frequent Colds and Flu’s that never seem to resolve, have episodes of Swollen Glands, or Alternating Fever and Chills. Feeling this unwell can be quite debilitating, especially when a person has been suffering such symptoms for years.
Included below is study which shows the Effectiveness of a Chinese Herbal Formula to help clear a Hidden Pathogen.
-EMOTIONAL WELL BEING-
We now live in a very fast paced society. Often we don’t get enough time to nurture ourselves. Many people are now faced with Mental Health Issues that can be described as Depression (Liver Qi Disharmony), Anxiety (Heart blood deficiency), Fear (Kidney Deficiency), Mania (Heart heat) which can lead to or be a result of Poor Sleep and Insomnia. The study included below show an Acupuncture Trial supporting evidence that Acupuncture treatment can have a positive affect on Depression.
DRY NEEDLING is the insertion of Acupuncture Needles into what the Chinese describe as ASHI points. The Needles are inserted into muscle tissue and are strongly manipulated to create a Muscle Twitch. In this way, Dry Needling is similar to Acupuncture.
Practitioners that often use Dry Needling are Osteopaths, Myotherapists, Physiotherapists and Chiropractors. Ethical practitioners will let their clientele know that they are performing Dry Needling and not Acupuncture. However, as many are not governed as stringently by AHPRA as qualified Acupuncturists are, some do not follow protocol or guidelines and actually falsely claim to offer Acupuncture when they have only been trained for Dry Needling.
DRY NEEDLING therapy is very different to Internal Medicine Acupuncture. Training with Acupuncture is a lot more in depth requiring 4 years of training and over 300 hours of Acupuncture Clinical Training before graduation.
ACUPUNCTURE has the added advantage of being able to use Acupuncture meridian and point therapy to address internal disharmony’s of the body.
ALL therapists at SAMSARA who implement Dry Needling as a part of their treatments understands the difference between Dry Needling and Acupuncture and never claim to practice modalities beyond their training or qualification.
If you are currently receiving Acupuncture from another clinic and have doubt as to what treatment you are actually receiving, ASK. You can even ask what level or training they have had, how many years of training, how many clinical hours and where the practitioner studied.
In the right hands, DRY NEEDLING can be a great adjunct to massage therapy or adjustments. You just want to ensure that the person who is inserting needles into you is adequately trained and is not treating outside of their area of expertise, experience or skill set.