Frequently asked questions
What is Chinese Medicine?
Traditional Chinese Medicine originated in China more than 2000 years ago. This system was created by some of the best-educated and brightest scholars in Chinese history. It has developed up to the modern day as scholar-physicians throughout the ages systematically recorded their clinical experiences and engaged in continuous and vigorous debate. It is estimated that there are between 30-40,000 books on Chinese medicine still in existence that were written before the turn of the century. Since then, this tradition has continued with the publication of an ever-growing number of books and scientific journals all over the world. Chinese medicine is routinely practiced alongside Western medicine in hospitals in modern China.
The heart of Chinese medicine lies in its sophisticated understanding of health and disease and its diagnostic system. It uses unfamiliar language to describe familiar patterns of illness, so familiar that it is often the case that as a patient one can often find that it is easier to express how they are feeling within this system than the current biomedical one. There are 5 main therapies associated with Chinese medicine: Acupuncture; Chinese Herbal Medicine; Tui Na Massage; Chinese Nutrition and Qi Gong therapy.
What is Acupuncture?
Acupuncture involves the insertion of very fine needles into "points on the body which exert a significant influence over related parts of the body and its physiological functioning. It is a traditional form of treatment practiced since ancient times in East Asia. The points are chosen according to "patterns" of disharmony diagnosed by a practitioner tailoring a treatment specifically to each patient.
What is Chinese Herbal Medicine?
Chinese Herbal Medicine is one of the great herbal systems of the world, with an unbroken tradition going back to the 3rd century BC.
Throughout its history it has continually developed in response to changing clinical conditions, and has been sustained by research into every aspect of its use. This process continues today with the development of modern medical diagnostic techniques and knowledge.
Because of its systematic approach and clinical effectiveness it has for centuries had a very great influence on the theory and practice of medicine in the East, and more recently has grown rapidly in popularity in the West. It still forms a major part of healthcare provision in China, and is provided in state hospitals alongside western medicine. Chinese medicine includes all oriental traditions emerging from Southeast Asia that have their origins in China.
Chinese Herbal Medicine, along with the other components of Chinese medicine, is based on the concepts of Yin and Yang. It aims to understand and treat the many ways in which the fundamental balance and harmony between the two may be undermined and the ways in which a person's Qi or vitality may be depleted or blocked. Clinical strategies are based upon diagnosis of patterns of signs and symptoms that reflect an imbalance.
What is Tui Na Massage?
Tui Na Massage is a form of bodywork which applies the same principles of Chinese Medicine used in Acupuncture, Herbal Medicine, Chinese nutrition and Qi Gong therapy. It is traditionally a medical form of massage designed to promote health, targeting specific health problems. It can be focused to solve a particular problem, or more general in order to promote well-being, relaxation and help de-stress.
There are a number of differences between Tui Na massage and other forms of massage. Firstly, a Tui Na massage always begins with a Chinese medical diagnosis of the patient to build a picture of areas of discomfort and patterns of functional imbalance. A routine is then tailored directly to the patient's individual needs and the current state of their health at that point in time. Secondly, Tui Na massage uses pressure points to influence the patient's health at both superficial and deep levels in the body. Finally, Tui Na massage uses certain techniques not commonly found in other forms of massage such as rolling method (rou fa). Additional techniques may be used such as cupping, gua sha and moxibustion.
Is Acupuncture Safe?
Acupuncture is extremely safe when practiced by those with high level of professional training. I have a bachelor's degree in Acupuncture and am a member of The British Acupuncture Council which requires the strict adherence to codes of conduct and hygiene.
Very occasionally acupuncture can cause mild bruising or haematoma (bleeding under the skin). These tend to resolve very quickly after treatment.
Is Chinese Herbal Medicine Safe?
The formula that I make up for you is always designed to be tailored to your specific condition and needs. If the formula matches the condition and patient precisely then there are no or minimal side effects. At the start of treatment there can be a period where the formula needs to be refined in order to better match your symptoms. This is a strength of Chinese medicine in its adaptability and our ability to hone in a more and more precise diagnosis and treatment.
The herbs themselves are sourced from suppliers that are approved by my representative regulatory body, the Register of Chinese Herbal Medicine. The RCHM sets minimum standards for professionalism and safety for suppliers of herbal medicine.