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Foundations of Traditional Chinese Medicine

Traditional Chinese Medicine, or TCM, is a complete healing science, yet it remains a mystery to many of us. Millions of people are drawn to TCM and it continues to gain acceptance in our Western health care system. A foundational principle of TCM is the concept of Qi (pronounced chee), the body’s vital energy. This philosophy explains that a well balanced relationship to the world allows us to live in harmony with all of nature and society. Ancient Chinese teachings describe that a balanced lifestyle helps us remain in good health. If we choose foods that nourish our bodies, have healthy relationships with those around us, work when needed but also rest when necessary, our minds remain open and bodies strong. The harmonious effect of Qi integrates our body, mind, spirit and emotions and brings balance to our lives. 

The American Academy of Family Physicians has endorsed the use of acupuncture as one of several non-medication treatment options to be used for acute or chronic low back pain.  Acupuncture can be tried for a variety of other health concerns as well: Fibromyalgia, migraines, joint and arthritis pain, post chemo nausea and fatigue, insomnia, smoking cessation, fertility, or to boost immunity. It can also be used when someone just feels “out of balance”. During an acupuncture treatment, fine sterile stainless steel needles are inserted into the skin at very specific points. There are 12 meridians that run the surface of the body, with Qi flowing along them. Each acupuncture point along the meridian has characteristic functions that can influence the Qi flow in different ways. Much like an irrigation canal system where excess water flow can be diverted from a flooded field to one needing water.