Traditional Chinese Medicine
Unwind Health. Two words, one goal: complete, optimum health for all.
Traditional Chinese Medicine is an age old method of natural healing. The Western world typically looks at TCM as a complementary approach to healthcare. Even after centuries of use, TCM continues to follow the same beliefs and theories on which the practice was originally based. The practice of TCM encompasses a number of techniques and may also include dietary and lifestyle advice.
Qi – The balancing energy that flows through the body
Meridians – The channels that qi flows through
Yin & Yang – The opposing forces of qi that require balance to achieve optimal health
5 Elements of Qi – Fire, earth, metal, water, and wood represent the changes in how the body functions during illness and each symbol manifests particular characteristics
TMC is an intricate and complex system that relieves the symptoms of disease and alleviates the underlying causes. The practitioner uses a number of tools to balance the various elements of the body.
These primarily include:
Acupuncture is the insertion of fine gauge surgical steel needles into specific points on the body. These points coincide with the location of meridians that travel throughout the body. The stimulation of qi causes a specific effect, depending on the acupoints treated. Acupuncture restores balance by harmonising the elements of qi.
Chinese herbal medicines are typically plant-based but they may extend to mineral or animal products. These medicines may be in powder, paste, lotion, or tablet form, depending on the specific herb and the treatment area. There are many different herbs that have innate properties (pharmacological and energetic) to produce a specific effect within the body.
Cupping is the attachment of glass or bamboo cups to specific areas of the body using suction. The practitioner inserts a flame from a burning alcohol swab into an upside-down cup, creating a vacuum. When they remove the flame and place the cup quickly onto the skin, it stays in place due to the suction the vacuum created.
Cupping stimulates blood circulation and also disperses and moves qi through the suction and pressure of the cup. This type of therapy is useful when qi is blocked at certain points or when the therapist wants to draw qi to the surface from deep within. TCM practitioners use cupping therapy to treat conditions like lung infections and colds. It may also be effective at treating muscle and joint pain, along with muscle spasms, especially in the back.
Cupping is sometimes used in combination with acupuncture. Temporary red marks, swelling, and bruising are common.
This term refers to the burning of the Artemesia Vulgaris herb, commonly known as mugwort. Suppliers usually age the herb and grind it up to a fluff or process it into a stick that looks like a cigar called “moxa.”
The fluff may be moulded into a cone or placed into a Moxa Box to allow its heat and energy to penetrate large areas of the body. Sometimes the practitioner places the moxa onto slices of ginger or salt. They remove the moxa cones before they can burn the skin.
The practitioner may place a moxa stick over a specific area of the body such as an acupuncture point to enhance circulation. The treatment can strengthen blood and qi and stimulate circulation.
The herb stimulates blood-flow in the pelvis and uterus and it significantly increases foetal movements in pregnant women. It alleviates menstrual cramps in women who are not pregnant and it is useful to treat inflammation, bruising, and different types of deficiency conditions.
The meaning of Gua is to “scrape or extract” while Sha means “sand or toxins.” Gua Sha stimulates the movement of lymphatic fluids, which often contain metabolic waste which congests surface tissues and muscles.
The practitioner performs Gua Sha by layering Gua Sha oil on the skin. They may add herbs and/or essential oils to enhance the extraction of toxic waste. The practitioner then uses a special Gua Sha tool to scrape the skin.
The Gua Sha process creates suction on the skin which pulls toxins to the surface and replaces it with fresh oxygenated fluid which is nutrient-rich. This accelerates the regeneration process and revitalises the area of treatment. The toxic fluid, called Sha, floods to the surface, creating the appearance of a rash that is often hot to the touch. The toxins are then extracted from this location. The exposing of the Sha symbolises the removal of disease from deep in the body, but it is only temporary.
Gua Sha resolves musculoskeletal pain and works as a preventive measure against colds, flu, bronchitis, asthma, any chronic disorder associated with pain, and the congestion of qi and blood.
Benefits of Traditional Chinese Medicine
Unlike nearly every conventional medical treatment used today, TCM does not cause serious side effects. It is a natural, safe, and effective approach to treating difficult health problems that don’t respond well to conventional treatment. TCM is also useful as a complementary therapy to relieve pain or enhance healing for many conditions that require conventional treatment.
Some of the many conditions that TCM is commonly used to treat include:
- Pregnancy-Related Conditions
- Gynaecological Disorders
- Digestive Problems
- Eczema and Psoriasis
- Musculo-Skeletal Disorders
- Cardiovascular Disorders
- Hormonal Imbalances
- Liver Disorders
- Stress and Psychological Disorders
- Colds and Flu
- Autoimmune Disorders
Practitioner bio: Sarah Folwell
Natural therapies have always been a part of my life. Growing up with a Mother who is a Massage Therapist has exposed me from a young age to the wonders and benefits of various types of treatments. Inspired, after finishing school I completed my Diploma of Health Science (Massage Therapy), and then went on to study a Bachelor of Health Science (Traditional Chinese Medicine) including an internship in Beijing. I find the combination of Science and Philosophy that comprises Health/Wellness fascinating, and try to incorporate those concepts into my own (and my family’s) daily life. Since graduating from my first Massage course in 2000 I have maintained a busy and successful practice, both alongside other practitioners and privately. During this time I have consistently achieved measurable positive results for my clients.
I thoroughly enjoy my work and am genuinely passionate about supporting my clients on their journey. As your therapist, my aim is to help you fulfill your potential. Why not let my skills and dedication benefit you?