5 types of traditional Chinese medicine you should try and why


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When you are used to check-ups and prescriptions to cure your ailments, an alternative method that talks about life forces and herbs may arouse suspicion.

This is the sidelong glance that traditional Chinese medicine generally draws, with its discourse on the correction of pain and disease by unblocking the energy pathways of chi (or qi) through bodywork, as well as pressing the plants to balance from the inside to the outside.

But people are turning to this alternative way of thinking (and healing). After all, it’s hard to ignore over 3,500 years of Chinese medical practice in its various forms. Think of this evolving acceptance as TCM’s unblocking of its own path, as insurance companies are now covering some alternative practices. Even the World Health Organization recognized it alongside Western practices in 2018.

“The use of acupuncture, botanical medicine, and nutritional therapy has become more widespread mainly because [they] work and provide more sustainable responses to lead a healthy life, ”explains Amy Jo Accardi, acupuncturist and nutrition specialist at Boston flourish.

“We have a lot of doctors who come to us regularly because science supports TCM,” adds Ali Vander Baan, MAOM, MS, who performs treatment at Well-being Intuition at Vega Vitality In Boston.

Aside from acupuncture, the most common practice of TCM, here are five lesser-known ways from Eastern practices to get to the point of what’s afflicting you. Try them out. …

Gua Sha

The dramatic nature of this ancient alternative therapy is not for everyone (although lately it has been favored by celebrities such as Gwyneth Paltrow). Gua translates to “scrape” and sha means “sand” – a nod to the sand-like rash that occurs after a severe gua sha sesh on the back, buttocks, neck, arms and legs. legs.

But, when you go for the softer version on your face, you might end up with a better jawline and a healthier glow.

“It’s a basic principle,” explains Anna Babayan, esthetician at Skin Deep Med Spa In Boston. She trained in New York City using the method of Dr. Ping Zhang, the inventor of the very first gua sha massage board for pain management. “The skin reacts to injuries. Controlled injuries result in rejuvenation.

Depending on the muscle structure of your face, Babayan wields a smooth jade disc (curved specifically to align with your shape) against your skin in controlled, precise movements that are more like a vigorous massage than a scratching. “It deflates, lifts, drains fluids, relaxes muscles and is very anti-aging,” she says. “I don’t know why you wouldn’t add it to your facial.”

Tui Na massage

With a literal translation of “push and grab”, this massage is not about relaxation. Rather, it refers to therapeutic bodywork that treats disharmony by opening up physical blockages.

“The traditional tui na has a significant effect on musculoskeletal problems. Our shape has a big effect on these problems, as well as those related to organs and bodily functions, ”explains Bell Tam, licensed acupuncturist at Tam Lea Tam Acupuncture and Healing Center, with three locations in the Boston area. With rolling and “finger skipping”, kneading and gripping, the therapist works the thumbs, fingers, palms and elbows on the muscles and connective tissue along the neck and spine.

“There are usually specific areas along the spine that have a strong knot. We call them blockages, which can compress blood vessels and nerves. Over time, blockages can cause circulatory problems leading to problems to varying degrees, ”he says.

Tam applies tui na to help the body. “When the blockages start to resolve, blood flow increases to areas that may have suffered. Over time, this can start the healing process and restore the body to its normal function.

suction cups

Although evidence of its use dates back to 1550 BC.

Performed primarily along the back, chest or legs, this detox treatment boosts immunity, eliminates pathogens and increases blood flow, according to Baan. “It can help balance the emotional component of the organ system,” she adds.

During the suction cup, the therapist puts a flammable substance such as alcohol or paper in a glass or plastic cup and sets it on fire. As the fire dies out, the cup is quickly placed over the body to create a vacuum that draws the skin into the cup. Baan sometimes uses a rubber pump, a more modern version of suction cups.

After a few minutes the cups are removed and you end up with purple circles coming from the expanding blood vessels. “The color indicates the constitution of a person. Darkness can mean a lot of stagnation due to injury or emotion. Lighter could mean possible blood deficiency. Most feel great after a session, which is why it is very satisfying, ”says Baan. The circles last a week; the benefits longer.

Chinese herbs

“You would be surprised at what we can successfully treat with Chinese herbs,” says Accardi, who has a master’s degree in acupuncture and Chinese medicine. “Chinese botanical blends are highly customizable, so we create individual blends based on issues and goals. “

Chinese herbs are an all-natural and reliable way to dramatically improve your health. Presenting one of the largest herbal pharmacies in Boston, Accardi offers hundreds of herbal formulas and ingredients.

Think honeysuckle for sore throats, magnolia flower buds for sinus issues, and peony root for menstrual issues. She mixes expertly, because no herb does everything. “For example, if you have digestive issues and headaches, we can create a formulation to treat everything, so you don’t have to take multiple things.”

“The formulas work because they are mixed together to treat an entire image, rather than a symptom,” she explains of her tinctures, capsules and powders. “We always prescribe formulations that include two to 12 different herbs. This is what makes Chinese medicine both unique and powerful.

Yin / Yan balancing

A big part of The Mandarin Oriental, Boston’s spa program is developed in consultation with TCM specialists as they strive to introduce Boston to the Eastern notion of self-care. Think of the Himalayan singing bowls and synergistic healing alongside acupressure and aromatherapy.

Their signature Oriental Qi therapy consists of a relaxing and convenient body massage ritual that combines the powerful effects of Oriental Meridian massage with the therapeutic benefits of personalized essential oils.

Each treatment begins with a consultation with a therapist to determine your current state of well-being. Your Yin and your Yan are being questioned at every moment, based on the philosophy of the five elements of China: wood, fire, earth, metal and water. Are you irritable and having trouble making up your mind? Do you care too much about what other people think? Are you positive and alive? The massage areas, technique and oils are tailored to your responses to leave your body, mind and spirit in perfect harmony.

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