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Treatment Methods

The following are a list of treatment therapies that we use at Min Zhang Acupuncture. These therapies are used according to the different diseases and body constitutions. Also included is an alphabetized list of conditions and diseases that are treated by Traditional Chinese Medicine.

Acupuncture
Moxibustion
Tui-Na Therapy
Chinese Reflexology
Scalp Therapy
Chinese Herbal Therapy
Cupping & Gua Sha Therapy
Chinese Nutrition & Diet Therapy




Acupuncture

Sterile, disposable needles, painless
Stimulation available without needles

Acupuncture is a well-established medical procedure that is safe and effective when practiced by a trained professional. Many people are surprised that acupuncture is employed successfully in both acute and chronic conditions, ranging from such mild problems as headaches to serious medical problems.

Acupuncture works by stimulating the body's own restorative and recuperative powers so that good health can be restored. The acupuncturist inserts small, disposable metal needles in the body along the intricate network of meridians or channels. Acupuncture is painless and produces no side effects. However, on occasion, a needle placed in a hair follicle can cause pain. If that happens, tell your practitioner and he or she will re-position the needle.

Patients often wonder whether they can visit an Acupuncturist even if they show no obvious signs of disease. The purpose of visiting a Chinese medical practitioner is not merely to treat an ailment, but more importantly, to support the body's source of Qi and blood so that disease may be prevented. Acupuncture restores balance and prevents disease as well. Patients who are susceptible to seasonal health problems like asthma and hay fever, or those who are vulnerable to occupational/professional hazards, like carpal tunnel syndrome and back pain, should come in for preventive care.

The duration and frequency of acupuncture treatments vary depending on the health problem and the patient's constitution. Acupuncture treatments normally take approximately one hour per session. Results can be felt immediately for acute conditions or may require several visits for chronic complaints. Depending on the severity of the complaint and the extent to which living patterns exacerbate the problem, a course of treatments can range from six to ten visits. Initially, we suggest treatments twice a week until symptoms improve, then patients can come in once a week as their complaints subside. When symptoms are under control, we recommend patients come in for maintenance care once a month.

Patients should not undergo acupuncture on an empty stomach since dizziness can result. If you have Hepatitis or HIV/AIDS, please inform your practitioner so that he or she can help you manage your condition more successfully. Pregnant women should advise their practitioner so stimulation of certain acupuncture points is avoided. Lastly, menstruating women should also inform their doctor so needle stimulation is reduced.

If you are sensitive to needles, your practitioner can use a special patch instead. For patients who do not want acupuncture and for children under 10 years of age, we recommend acupressure - a form of finger pressure on points along the body to treat conditions in the same way that acupuncture is used.

For more information on the following questions and answers
How does acupuncture work?
What types of acupuncture methods are there?
Is acupuncture painful?

Acupuncture is one of the more familiar therapies of Chinese Medicine. It refers to the insertion of fine, sterile needles along the body in order to control the flow of qi (energy) through pathways of body. Often acupuncture is combined with moxibustion therapy, and the two are known as acu-moxa therapy.

When the human body is diseased, the Qi and blood that flow along the meridian pathways get blocked or depleted. Meridians can be influenced by acupuncture needling, unblocking the obstruction within the meridian circulation and releasing the regular flow of Qi, blood, fluid, and moisture. According to Chinese Medical theory, puncturing a needle at specific points can clear the meridians and cure disease. For scientific explanation of acupuncture, click: Scientific Research on Acupuncture.

Acupuncture is normally applied to the body, scalp, and ear. Needles penetrate the skin at varying lengths from millimeters to a few inches depending on the thickness of flesh and muscle at a given location. Needles inserted into the body have the largest clinical application. The head or scalp needles are mostly adopted in the treatment of nervous system diseases and pain management, while ear acupuncture is often used in the treatment of endocrine system diseases and psychological problems. In recent years, ear acupuncture, also known as auriculo-therapy, has been used for weight control, smoking cessation, and detoxification.

With vast nerve and blood supply to the face, eyes, hands, feet, wrists and ankles, these areas indicate connections to the whole body. Acupuncture points in these areas correspond to many parts and organs of the body and are often treated for different conditions. These micro-system modalities have their own unique indications and are used in different cases in the clinic according to the practitioner's discretion.

Acupuncture therapy can also include electro-stimulation, the use of mild low-voltage electrical stimulation on acupuncture needles. This method is generally used for analgesia.

The primary concern of many patients is usually the following question: Is acupuncture painful? Since acupuncture needles have very thin gauges compared to hypodermic needles, only a minimal pinch is felt as the needle breaks through the skin. After the needles are inserted to the proper depth, the patient may feel tingling of the skin, distention, soreness or pressure radiating from the acupuncture point. In fact, the correct needle sensation creates a dull, heavy distention, which even children can handle. Patients' fears usually subside after their first treatment. Of course, laser, electrode and finger acupuncture can be applied instead of needles for some very sensitive patients. For children under 10 years of age, acupressure often replaces acupuncture to achieve the same therapeutic effect.



Moxibustion Therapy

Gentle heat of moxa
Effective for arthritis, asthma, fatigue
Boosts energy reserves

Moxibustion is another ancient therapy in Traditional Chinese Medicine that is particularly effective in the treatment of arthritis, asthma, and fatigue. Moxibustion has the function of warming and clearing the meridians and tonifying the body's energy. It strengthens the patient's immune and circulatory system. Moxa, the dried leaves of the common mugwort (artemesia vulgaris) plant, is placed in small balls on the end of acupuncture needles or it can be made into small cones and burnt on herbal cake or ginger over the skin. It provides gentle heat and increases the toning effective of the treatment. It is highly effective to build up a patient's energy reserves and improve sexual function.

Patients should not received moxibustion if they have fever, cold, flu, infectious conditions, mouth sores, hepatitis, or high blood pressure. Furthermore, pregnant women should avoid moxa on the abdominal and lumbar sacral areas. Anyone with numbness in the arms, legs, feet, or toes should not do moxa.

Moxibustion, used as routine preventive care, helps expel coldness in the body, promote the body's energy, increase immune function and improve blood circulation. While it is performed all year round to treat different diseases, moxibustion is done in the summer for preventive care three times during June in accordance with First Summer, Middle Summer and End Summer of the Chinese Lunar Calendar.



Tui-Na/Acupressure

12 kinds of manipulations
Restores energy or removes painful obstruction
Pediatric Tui-na / Acupressure

The professional staff is trained in both deep tissue and superficial muscle tui-na/acupressure. This treatment is given along designated meridians and can be modified - either gentler or stronger - to suit patients. As in the case of acupuncture, tui-na/acupressure stimulates the body's own restorative powers. In Tui-na/acupressure, the practitioner transfers his or her energy to the patient to correct imbalances within the body. Any soreness experienced by the patient disappears within two days. Acupressure might replace acupuncture in the treatment of children or patients who are sensitive to needles.

Tui-na can treat a variety of clinical diseases and is especially effective for pain relief. Acupressure is now applied widely for alleviation of chronic fatigue, stress, anxiety and other syndromes due to its internal and external efficacy. Tui-na is also very potent for the recovery of one's energy, qi and blood regulation, and yin and yang adjustment.

Pediatric acupressure places particular emphasis on asthma, indigestion, myopia, enuresis, myogenic torticollis, and other ailments. Scalp tui-na is used to address mental stress, tension, baldness, and the prevention of pre-senile dementia. Foot massage has the function of adjusting the whole body's qi and blood, and enhances one's general health; hence, it is often applied in the clinic as a preventive measure.

Tui-na/acupressure sessions are incorporated with acupuncture treatments. Tui-na sessions usually last 15 or 60 minutes depending on the patient's request and the health condition. Patients can also request longer tui-na/acupressure treatments that can be scheduled for 1 -2 hours. Patients should inform their tui-na/acupressure practitioner if they are wearing a pacemaker, if they are pregnant, and if they have open wounds, lesions, infectious conditions, phlebitis, fractures, or other injuries.

Chinese Reflexology

Compression massage of the hands and feet
Promotes relaxation, activates vital organs
Encourages natural healing process

Reflexology (also called zone therapy) is a therapy in which a specialized massage technique is used to stimulate the nerves of the feet and hands. This compression massage technique has a healing effect upon the entire body.

The hands and feet have specific points that correlate to specific internal organs and parts of the anatomy. Nerve endings embedded in the hands and feet connect all areas of the body through the spinal cord. Stimulation of these nerve endings helps to promote relaxation, activate vital organs and encourage the natural healing process.

A reflexology treatment involves light, yet firm massage of the soles and tops of the feet. This massage does not make use of oils. The reflex points are small and precision is important. Many patients experience dramatic results following the first session. Although all areas of the body will be affected by the treatment the therapist will usually concentrate on problem areas.

Research has demonstrated the effectiveness of reflexology in treating PMS, constipation, labor pains, hormone imbalance and nervous exhaustion. Reflexology is recommended for cancer patients, patients with Alzheimer's disease, and children with ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder).

Reflexology is contraindicated for pregnant women and patients who have suffered injuries or fractures to the foot. Otherwise, it is a safe and effective form of therapy.



Scalp Therapy

Beneficial different age group
Effective for treatment & preventive care

Scalp therapy is a modern Chinese medical treatment performed by a skilled practitioner through the use of finger pressure, ox-horn or jade comb to stimulate acupuncture meridians. The practitioner determines if there are excesses or deficiencies in the channels that run along the scalp, then he or she balances the Qi flowing through the area. This therapy is commonly used for stress, weak concentration, memory loss, headaches, sequelae after stroke, panic attacks, and bi-polar disorders. Scalp therapy is also good preventive care for hair loss, pre- and post-scalp surgery, and face-lift surgery. According to Chinese medical theory, stimulation of the scalp area is beneficial for lifting spirits, creative thoughts, enhanced memory, and increased longevity.

New research on scalp therapy in the last 10 years has developed modern applications. Scalp therapy nowadays has been expanded to treat internal medical problems such as paralysis, pain, indigestion, urine tract problems, and more. Endocrine-Neurological System Balance through Scalp Therapy, illustrating that treatment of the pituitary gland and the hypothalamus help the endocrine and nervous systems to treat conditions such as PMS, menopause, infertility, thyroid problems, irritable bowel syndrome, and Graves' disease. According to modern research, scalp therapy can even adjust high FSH and PSA levels due to endocrinological problems. It can also be used to help people with endocrinological problems such as weight gain, acne during puberty, and water retention. This new research on scalp therapy will help many patients who have pituitary imbalances through a healing process.

Modern scalp therapy utilizes Western medical anatomy regions, such as the motor, vision, and speech areas, according to brain function. Modern research has proven that patients with a long history of amenorrhea caused by the imbalance of the pituitary gland would benefit from scalp treatment. Children who have ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) and patients with irritable bowel syndrome can also benefit from therapy along the pituitary and hypothalamus regions.

Scalp therapy should be done twice a week initially for three weeks, then once a week for a month, followed by once a month for maintenance. Treatments last from thirty minutes to one hour depending on the problem to be treated. Contraindications for scalp therapy include patients who have brain tumors, brain surgery, wounds, scars, infections, ulcers or trauma on the scalp. Post-surgical scalp treatment should be undertaken one month after the operation to help circulation and reduce swelling.



Chinese Herbal Therapy

Safe and effective
All natural and gentle

TCM combines a deep knowledge of human physiology with the most extensive pharmacopoeia of organic herbs and natural substances in the world. Herbal formulas are carefully prepared from plants, tree branches, leaves, flowers, seeds or vegetables. These herbal preparations come in the form of medicinal teas, powders, pills, and seasonal tonics.

Based on the condition to be treated and a patient's lifestyle, herbal prescriptions are tailored to each person and designed to treat specific health problems or correct imbalances in the body. In general, herbs tend to have a slower and gentler effect than refined chemicals used in drugs. Your Chinese medical practitioner will prescribe the treasured herbs in sophisticated combinations to foster balance and lasting healing for your particular medical condition.

While taking Chinese herbal medicine, patients should avoid the consumption of shellfish (prawns, shrimps, lobsters, crabs, etc.) icy or cold beverages and food, caffeine, hot and spicy food, ginseng, and radishes, as they may neutralize the effects of the herbs. Women should inform their Chinese herbalist if they are pregnant or menstruating.

--Herbal Pills and Capsules

Herbal pills are concentration of raw herbs made from herbal teas, dried, and formed through specific techniques, which meet the international GNP standards. Herbal capsules are made by herbal granules, which are also manufactured in China. Because herbal pills and capsules are concentrations of raw herbs, the dosage is around 5-10 pills each time, which may seem unusual for Americans who are used to taking one or two pills of Western medicine each time. Herbal pills are tiny, round, black pellets that are easy to swallow. The herbal pills come in bottles containing 200 pellets for ten- day use. The cost is approximately $10.00 for each bottle. Capsules are available in ten-day dosages; the price varies for herbal capsules from $20.00 - $85.00.

Herbal formula which come in capsules or pills are easy to take and carry; they are slow in absorption and therefore good for chronic and deficient conditions - and since some formulas are very drastic in action, when they are taken as tablets, such drastic action can be slowed down. Follow the herbal prescription given TCM practitioner on the quantity of tablets to take each time. Swallow the pills with warm water after any food. Take regularly according to fixed schedule or every day at the same time.

--Herbal Teas Bags

Herbal tea bags are concentration of herbal formulas that are used to seep in hot water. The concentration of the tea can vary depending on the length of time the tea bag is left in the cup according to the different treatment needs. For example if herbal tea is used for constipation, the concentration of the tea should be adjusted based on the symptoms. If herbal tea is taken for hoarseness or dry, sore throat, as well as patients who suffer from stomach acid or burning sensation in the esophagus, tea should be sipped slowly and frequently throughout the day to moisturize and heal the throat. For stomach acid or burning sensation in the esophagus, the tea should also be taken frequently and sipped slowly.

Place one tea bag in a cup of hot water and seep for 5-10 minutes. You can adjust the tea concentration by the length of the time the tea bag is left in the cup. Take as prescribed by the TCM practitioner, several minutes after food.

Herbal teas bags come in boxes, costing around $10.00/box which will last for 5 days.



Cupping & Gua Sha Therapy

Improves circulation and stress relief
Effective for pain, cough, colds

Cupping treatment involves the placement of a jar that is applied to the skin resulting in a gentle suction action. It contributes to improved circulation and stress relief. Cupping therapy follows the meridian points, in much the same way as acupuncture and acupressure. It is applied on different areas of the body to treat varying conditions such as pain, cough, and the common cold. Cupping therapy is also used in treating children's asthma and diarrhea. It will leave some red marks from the suction, but these disappear within a few days.

Gua Sha Therapy often used to treat the flu, skin rash, allergy, and cold symptoms. Practitioner use jade, ox horn with herb oil to rub patient's meridians to get toxins out of the body and energy to flow.



Chinese Nutrition & Diet Therapy

Strengthens digestion, increases energy
Used in conjunction with other therapies
Boosts energy reserves

Chinese diet therapy uses foods to strengthen digestion, increase energy and balance the body's energy. The food we consume inherently determines who we are and our health. According to Chinese diet therapy, foods and herbs should be used according to the excess or deficiency, and warmth or coldness of an individual's body constitution. Foods used in herbal treatment include rice, beans, ginger, scallions, onions, and carrots. Medicated Diet therapy is the use of herbs in cooking for herbal tonification, and is often used prior or in conjunction with other therapies to increase the effectiveness of the treatments offered.
Chinese herbal diet is one of the important elements in TCM. Americans often say:" You are what you eat". Chinese, however, strongly believe that "you could be healthier if you know how to eat". Americans usually begin their conversation with weather, but Chinese will often ask whether if a person have had dinner or what they have eaten. As one can tell, Chinese really cares about eating.

We introduced concepts on the Chinese herbal diet and its significant effect on daily life on our web. If a person has mastered what kind of foods to eat and how to cook it according to the health condition of each individual in the family, he/she will definitely become a wonderful gastrologer and diet therapist. We have listed some common diet for reference.