Questions About Chinese Medicine
What Is The Underlying Philosophy of Chinese Medicine?
The ancient Chinese knew of three “Treasures” of the human being: Jing, Qi (pronounced “Chee”), and Shen.
Jing existed before the body existed, and enters the body tissues and becomes the root of our body. When we keep Jing within our body, we can live a vigorous long life. Without Jing Energy, we cannot live.
Qi is the invisible life force that enables the body to think and perform voluntary movement. The power of Qi can be seen in the power that enables a person to move and live. It can be seen in the movement of energy in the cosmos and in all other movements and changes. Qi circulates through the twelve meridians to nourish and preserve the inner organs.
Shen can be likened to ‘Spirit.’ When the two treasures Jing and Qi are in balance, the mind is strong, the spirit is great, the emotions are under control, and the body is strong and healthy. When cultivated, Shen will bring peace of mind.
Chinese medicine uses a number of modalities to balance and restore Jing, Qi, and Shen, resulting in premium physical, mental, and emotional health.
What Are The Primary Methods of Healing in Chinese Medicine?
The ancient Chinese developed systems of healing primarily based on Acupuncture, Herbs, and Movement (Qi Gong). These modalities can be used in isolation or together to promote optimum health.
What is acupuncture?
Acupuncture is the practice of inserting ultra fine needles into specific points of energy that are located along 12 Meridians or energetic Channels that cover the entire body. There are 365 classical Acupuncture points associated with the 12 Meridians and 40 ‘extra’ points that are not associated with any particular meridians.
What are Meridians?
Acupuncture points are not randomly located on the body. A majority of them lie on what are traditionally known as meridians or channels. These meridians are traditionally viewed as pathways of Qi (energy) in the body. Just like the nervous and vascular systems, they connect different parts of the body with one another. In this way, meridians help explain how placing a needle in one point on the body can influence an area on a different part of the body. For example, there are points in the ear that can treat the whole body.
How does Acupuncture work from a traditional Chinese point of view?
Traditionally, acupuncture works by balancing the subtle energies of the body. When the Qi in our body is in balance, we feel healthy and strong. When Qi is not flowing properly, or when it becomes blocked, many different signs & symptoms of disease may arise. These can include pain, a weakened immune system, emotional difficulties, infertility, and ill health. Acupuncture needles are inserted into specific points along meridians on the body to restore the normal flow of the body’s Qi. Once the body is in a balanced state, it can heal itself more efficiently.
How does acupuncture work from a modern, scientific point of view?
Modern science is still struggling to completely understand how acupuncture works. Since acupuncture has found its way to the western world there has been significant research to study the mechanisms that allow it to work. Some of the mechanisms that have been proposed or observed are:
- Acupuncture stimulates the release of endorphins and other opiods
- Acupuncture stimulates the secretion of hormones and other brain chemicals such as serotonin
- White blood cells migrate to the areas where the acupuncture needles are inserted
- Acupuncture changes the pattern of blood flow through the body
- Scans on people having acupuncture have shown that certain segments of the brain “light up,” signaling that the brain has been energized to make a positive response
What Conditions Can Acupuncture Treat?
Acupuncture treats a host of medical illnesses and brings the body back into balance to facilitate healing. Acupuncture is an effective therapy for many medical conditions including:
- Bone, Muscle, & Nervous System Disorders: Back, neck & joint pain, headaches, Jaw pain, TMJ, migraines, sciatica, whiplash, fibromyalgia, arthritis, tendonitis, and chronic fatigue syndrome.
- Gastrointestinal Disorders: Nausea, indigestion, bloating, IBS, ulcers, constipation and diarrhea
- Urogenital Disorders: Infertility, PMS, impotence and incontinence
- Emotional Disorders: Anxiety, depression, stress and insomnia
- Immune System Support: Ear, nose throat, eye disorders, allergies, asthma, colds and flu
Many other conditions not listed here are also treatable with acupuncture. Please feel free to ask about your specific health concerns.
How does acupuncture feel? Does it hurt?
Most patients find acupuncture very calming and relaxing and often fall into a restful sleep during treatments.
Acupuncture needles are sterile, disposable, flexible and very fine with a diameter about the size of a human hair. Upon insertion the needles produce a slight pinch or no sensation at all. Acupuncture needles bear no resemblance to the hollow needles used for injections. Once the needle is in place, you will feel a pleasant sensation of warmth, numbness, tingling, or heaviness as the Qi moving through your meridians. The needles are left in place for 20-30 minutes while you rest comfortably.
Why seek acupuncture for your health care needs?
- Acupuncture empowers you the individual, giving you control of your health and wellness.
- Acupuncture treats the whole person, not just the disease.
- Acupuncture complements other medical care without unpleasant side effects.
- Acupuncture is a safe, effective and affordable method of health care.
- Acupuncture activates and nurtures your body’s natural healing process.
How should I prepare for a treatment?
Please try to wear or bring comfortable clothing to your treatment. This will allow your practitioner to be able to access the acupuncture points with ease, and it will help you to feel relaxed. Please try to avoid eating a heavy meal or skipping a meal before coming to your appointment.
Payment And Insurance Questions
Payment is due at the time of service. Alchemy Radiant Health Center accepts cash, check, VISA, MasterCard, Discover, and American Express cards.
Please contact your health insurance carrier to determine if they cover acupuncture services. If requested we will provide the necessary treatment documentation in the form of a Superbill to allow you to submit a claim for reimbursement. We will always do our best to help you with this process!
Flex Plans & Healthcare Savings Accounts
Acupuncture is a covered medical expense under most Flex Plans, and it is a covered expense for HSA’s. Additionally, some plans may reimburse you for the cost of Chinese herbal medicine. Please check with your Flex Plan or HSA administrator to make sure that your particular plan covers acupuncture treatments and/or the cost of Chinese herbal medicine.
Questions About The Alchemy Store
What kinds of products do you offer?
We strive to offer herbs, health supplements, and other natural products that nurture the three treasures of the human (Jing, Qi, and Shen) to help our clients live happy, healthy, abundant lives free of chronic illness. Our products include Chinese and South American herbal formulas and tinctures, wild-crafted superfoods such as Spirulina, Chlorella, Peruvian Quinoa, and new technologies such as the Vitalizer Plus hexagonal water maker.
Where can I find the Alchemy Store?
You can find us at our physical location at 26 West Mission St, Suite 8 St, Santa Barbara, California. You can also purchase online in our webstore. We normally offer the same products on both locations.
Is there a philosophy behind the products you sell?
Yes! We have a strong focus on products that are good for humans and for the planet. Where possible we choose wild-crafted products that support organic sustainable farming practices in the local communities they are grown in.
We have a strong belief in the importance of the individual person and their right to make their own choices. We also know that we are all connected and that one person’s selfishness can lead to another person’s pain. We support generosity and the wise stewardship of wealth for the best of humankind!