Rapha Oriental Medicine Clinic provides a variety of holistic treatment services that address the root causes and not just the symptoms of pains and diseases.
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The goal of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) is to restore and maintain optimal functioning within all organs and systems of the body by restoring the flow of energy or life force (known as Qi) through the meridians. Acupuncture is one of the safest and most effective method to balance the body and bring it to harmony. It involves the insertion of extremely thin needles through your skin at strategic points on your body to balance the flow of Qi believed to flow through pathways (meridians) in your body. Recent biomedical research suggests acupuncture points stimulate the central nervous system releasing neurotransmitters and hormones throughout the body. This may relieve pain by releasing endorphins, the body's natural pain-killing chemicals, and by affecting the part of the brain that governs serotonin, a brain chemical involved with mood. In addition, acupuncture affects the pituitary and hypothalamus, both essential glands in the brain, which control and regulate key hormones throughout the body.
Chinese Herbal Medicine
Chinese herbal medicine is a cornerstone of TCM. They are mainly plant based, but some preparations include minerals or animal products. The herbs can be packaged as raw herbs, decoction, granules, or pills, depending on the herb and its intended use. Chinese herbs have unique properties and the ability to work cohesively in a formula to provide healing. Prescribing a particular herb or concoction of herbs means the practitioner’s diagnosis has to take into account the state of the patient’s Yin and Yang (a concept of dualism like dark and bright), and the elements that are governing the affected organs. Herbal medicine has the ability to stimulate the body's own restorative processes. Whether herbal medicine is used in conjunction with acupuncture or on its own. Chinese herbal medicine can assist with general health maintenance and disease prevention. By strengthening and enhancing normal body functions, the immune system is boosted and a general sense of well-being promoted.
Tui-Na (Oriental Massage)
Tui-Na is a thousands-year-old form of massage therapy that involves applying pressure to certain points on the body to address ailments. Like acupressure, Tui-Na directly affects the flow of Qi of the Chinese meridian lines by holding and pressing the body at acupressure points. This type of massage can be quite strong for those not used to having massage. Tui-Na is often used for pain relief, and studies have suggested it may help fight back pain, menstrual cramps, and headaches.
Cupping is an ancient Chinese form of alternative medicine. It is the technique of placing glass cups with suction on specific acupuncture points on the body. Cupping increases blood circulation to the area where the cups are placed. This relieves muscle tension, which can improve overall blood flow and promote cell repair. It also helps form new connective tissues and creates new blood vessels in the tissue. The cups are also used with therapeutic oils and slide along the meridians to relieve pain and relax tight muscles. Cupping is historically known for relieving back and neck pain, muscle stiffness, rheumatism, fatigue and migraines. Cupping is also known to be wonderful at treating respiratory illnesses, such as the common cold, flu, allergies or asthma.
Moxibustion or "Moxa" is the burning of Mugwort, Artemisia Vulgaris. Mugwort although used in Chinese Medicine is also a very common herb in North America as well. The burning of Mugwort of specific acupuncture points on the body increase blood flow and Qi. Moxa has the ability to expel cold, dry dampness in the channels and warm the channels. It can be used for a variety of ailments in the body, such as to tonify Qi, relieve joint pain, boost immunity and help gynecological problems. Moxibustion can be used to strengthen the Blood, stimulate the flow of Qi and maintain overall health.
Rapha Oriental Medicine Clinic uses smokeless and odour-free moxa cones.
Gua-Sha is an ancient practice in TCM. Historically Gua-Sha has been used to relieve "Sha" or stagnation, "pain" along the meridians in the body. Gua-Sha dates back over 2000 years. It has been used by acupuncturist and is considered part of the scope of TCM. It has also traditionally been used by countless people in their homes as healing modality. Gua means to scrape or rub and Sha refers to blood stagnation in the subcutaneous tissues of the skin. Gua-Sha is often used in conditions of pain and stagnation in the muscle to alleviate pain. Gua-Sha tools are made from various stones such jade, rose quartz, crystalline, and other semiprecious stones. Gua-Sha helps to break down scar tissue and connective tissue, this aiding the movement in the joints. Gua-Sha causes light bruising, which often appears as purple or red spots which is referred to as petechiae. The bruises usually take a few days or a week to heal and can be tender while healing. It is advised to avoid exposure to the wind or cold post treatment.