What may I expect at Kura Chinese Medicine?
At Kura you can expect to receive any number of treatment modalities. These could include acupuncture, herbal medicines, tui na (Chinese remedial massage), qi gong (breathing exercises), dietary therapy, cupping and heat lamp therapy. More often than not you will receive more than one. Say for example you came in with back pain. You may receive acupuncture, cupping, heat lamp and massage. What if you came in with an internal complaint such as period pain; you might receive acupuncture, herbal medicines and the heat lamp. It is important to remember that if any of the modalities offered to you make you particularly nervous then please discuss with your practitioner. It may be that they could be avoided being used all together. It is not unheard of for people who are scared of needles to go and see a TCM doctor and ask not to have acupuncture. If needs be, other solutions can be sought.
How does it work? Acupuncture works by unblocking the meridians, guiding qi along the channels, and stimulating or pacifying qi. The western medical explanation hypothesises that it stimulates the release of pain-relieving endorphins, influences the release of neurotransmitters which are substances that send signals to brain, influences the autonomic system, promotes circulation and influences the bodies natural electrical currents.
What may I expect in a session? Before you arrive at the clinic you will be asked to fill out a brief health questionnaire which will have been emailed to you when you made your appointment. The acupuncturist will then gain more depth into your condition by interviewing you. Depending on your health complaint the length and the depth of the interview may vary. Needles inserted into the body can range from very few to very many. You may feel slight sting on insertion, afterwhich you may feel nothing. Sensations experienced from the needles can range from a dull or tingly sensation locally around the needle to electrical impulses travelling along the body. Any uncomfortable sensations must be reported to the acupuncturists so that they may adjust the needles accordingly. Sometimes once the needles are inserted they are manipulated or subjected to other external stimuli such as heat from moxa or electricity from probes.
Conditions treated. Many health complaints can be treated with acupuncture such as headaches, migraines, pain management, respiratory difficulties, addictions, substance abuse, chronic or acute painful conditions, common cold or unexplained to sub fertility.
What is Chinese herbal medicine? Chinese herbal medicine is one of the modalities used in traditional Chinese medicine. It is an ancient system and has undergone continual development since the first herbalist, a mythical person called Shennong first started tasting hundreds of plants so that he could impart his discovered knowledge of which of the plants were poisonous and which were medicinal to farmers. Over the centuries as our knowledge of diseases and illnesses increased so too did Chinese herbology evolve. In it’s country of origin Chinese herbal medicine is not used as an alternative form of treatment but is used in conjunction with modern Western medicine.
How does it work? Like modern Western medicine’s pharmaceutical medicines, Chinese herbal medicines work on the bodies various hormonal and cellular systems. One important difference is that Chinese herbal medicines are generally made up of a number of herbs. These herbs interact with each other to produce a desired effect. Often taking each herb within a formula on its own will not produce the same effect as when combined. The herbs then undergo the same path as that of pharmaceutical drugs. Generally speaking in Western countries the usual form of administration is oral. From here the herbal drug is absorbed into the bloodstream. There are many factors influencing the rate and amount of absorption such as foods and the herbal drugs ability to withstand the environment within the GI tract. After absorption the herbal drug is distributed to various organs within the body via various methods. Once the herbal drug has been distributed it is metabolised. This may or may not change the active part of the medication. Once all this is completed then what is left of the herbal drub is then excreted from the body, generally through the urine.
What may I expect in a session? Before you arrive at the clinic you will be asked to fill out a brief health questionnaire which will have been emailed to you generally on the day you made the appointment. The CM doctor will then gain more depth into your condition by interviewing you. Depending on your health complaint the length and the depth of the interview may vary. A formula will then be designed for you, and be ordered for you online. The formula is made up at a herbal dispensary and then sent to you via Australia Post. If instead you come in with an acute condition (such as a head cold), you will be given herbal pills instead so that you may commence your medications immediately.
Conditions treated. Many health complaints can be treated with herbal medicines such as headaches, migraines, gynaecological complaints, respiratory difficulties, addictions, substance abuse, degenerative or auto-immune conditions, common cold or unexplained to sub fertility.
What is Cupping? Cupping is an ancient therapy used in many cultures around the world. A cup is applied to the skin where reduced air pressure created inside cup (either by flame or manual suction) draws skin, superficial muscles inside. Cups can be static, running, wet or popping depending on the therapeutic goal of session. With fire cupping there is a little risk of burning.
How does it work? Acupuncturists use it on specific acupuncture points or local areas of stagnation. It removes stagnation (eg pain) and opens the meridians so that qi (vital energy) can flow freely. It can help rejuvenate organs, meridians that are not functioning at optimum level. Cupping is known to activate the lymphatic system, promote blood circulation and facilitate deep tissue repair.
What may I expect in a session? Many people report feeling relaxed and rejuvenated after a cupping session. Glass cups are generally used, but bamboo, ceramic or plastic can also be used. Cups may be fitted with a manual valve for sucking out air, or may have a flame used for de-pressurising the cup. Valves may offer a therapist more control over the amount of suction. Cups may be left in a static position for upwards of 10 minutes. If running cupping is employed then massage oil is placed on skin and the cup is glided over the area. Wet cupping involves the pricking of a vein and then letting the cupping suction remove blood. Popping cupping is where the therapist will place the cup then immediately pop it off, then place the cup in another position and pop it off continuing for upward of five minutes. You may expect marks often described as bruising left where the cup has been. This can range from local redness to very dark coloured bruising. This is not tender to touch and should disappear within a few days, although if the marks are very dark it may take up to a week.
Conditions treated. Cupping is generally used for pain management, gastrointestinal disorders and lung complaints. It can effect tissues up to four inches deep, causing the release of toxins and stimulating blood flow. Examples outside of the general use of cupping include the clearing of the colon, reducing stretch marks and improving the appearance of varicose veins.
What is gua sha? Guasha is an East Asian healing technique employing the use of of a ceramic spoon, coin, buffalo horn or even jar lid. “Gua” means to scrape. “Sha” is the term for blood stasis within the subcutaneous tissue before and after it is raised as petechiae. It is used to prevent and treat diseases as well as strengthen the body. It is especially useful for pain relief such as head, neck and shoulder stiffness, joint and back pain, fibromyalgia or RSI.
How does it work? Guasha works by increasing oxygen to the area treated, stimulate blood flow and dispelling heat. It does so by raising stagnation and/or toxins to the surface so that it may be metabolised and eliminated from the body. In many cases you can expect an immediate shift in your condition especially if it is one of pain or constraint. In the treatment session oil is used on the area of skin to be treated. Scraping begins with the therapists tool of choice in a downward direction from the head. Treatment can either follow acupuncture meridians or work in a general area of local stagnation. The area quickly becomes red, and in the areas of particular stagnation it will become darker. This colour may also be used diagnostically by the therapist as it can indicate depth or age of the disease and where it is concentrated. Although the marks left by the guasha look painful they are not. Treatment is generally pain free with no residual sensations. The petechiae should fade between 2-4 days. If it takes longer, then qi and blood deficiency is indicated and the practitioner may decide to treat you for that as well.
Conditions treated. Guasha is most commonly used to: reduce fever; treat digestive, urinary and gynaecological disorders; increase circulation, fibromyalgia; lung complaints such as bronchitis, musculo-skeletal problems; tension and stiffness; headaches; heat related problems such as sunstroke or fatigue and to prevent or stop colds and flu before or as they start.
Why choose Chinese medicine?
- It can be a less invasive treatment procedure with less side effects
- Each individual case is treated uniquely with different treatment protocols
- Chronic conditions have a good record of responding to Chinese medicine when all else has failed
- Acupuncture itself is often regarded as very relaxing
- Mental health is seen as part of physical health so often an improvement is seen in both
What famous historical physicians say
A Great Physician should not pay attention to status, wealth or age; neither should he question whether the particular person is attractive or unattractive, whether he is an enemy or friend, whether he is a Chinese or a foreigner, or finally, whether he is uneducated or educated. He should meet everyone on equal grounds. He should always act as if he were thinking of his close relatives.
People who practice medicine must first thoroughly understand the source of the disorder and know what has been violated. Then, use food to treat it, and if food will not cure it, afterwards apply drugs.