Chinese herbal medicine has a long history of use, dating back two thousand years and it continues to be used in many countries today as the first and primary treatment of choice. Herbal medicine traditionally involved the use of raw herbs boiled in water for a period of time, with the subsequent broth reduced to concentrate the active ingredients which was then consumed as a liquid tea. While raw herbs continue to be used in contemporary practice, a range of other options for taking herbal medicine are also available such as pill form and granule. Raw herbs however is the most potent. External herbal medicine is also used to treat skin problems.
Acupuncture is part of traditional Chinese medicine. It improves the body’s functions and promotes the natural self-healing process by stimulating specific anatomic sites--commonly referred to as acupuncture points, or acupoints. The most common method used to stimulate acupoints is the insertion of fine, sterile and disposable needles into the skin. Pressure, heat, or electrical stimulation may further enhance the effects. Other acupoint stimulation techniques include: manual massage, moxibustion or heat therapy, cupping, and the application of topical herbal medicines and linaments.
Lesley in her own experience found acupuncture works best with alleviating pain such as headache, lower back pain due to sciatica or piriformis syndrome, DeQuervain's Tendonitis (Mummy thumb). Acupuncture is also useful in reducing stress and helping patients to sleep better.
Cupping involves the use of small glass or plastic cups as suction devices which are placed on the skin for about 5-10 minutes. The cups may remain stationery or may be moved up and down along the treatment area. Cupping is not painful but patients mayl feel a firm sensation from the suction, which can be adjust as necessary. Cupping therapy is based around the idea that suction from the cups draws the skin up and mobilises blood and energy around the body, encouraging the body’s natural healing process.
Cupping will often leave a light red to purple marks on the suction area which reflects different body conditions. These cupping marks are not tender and they will go away within 10 days.
Tuina refers to a wide range of Traditional Chinese Medicine therapeutic massage and body work. Tuina is not generally used for pleasure and relaxation, but rather as a treatment to address specific patterns of disharmony. Lesley often incorporates this technique in addition to her acupuncture treatment when treating muscle pain.
Infared heat lamp therapy aims to increase the blood flow of the skin surface to speed up recovery time in muscle and skin injury.
Moxibustion is a form of heat therapy in which dried plant materials called "moxa" are burned and placed near the surface of the skin. The intention is to warm treatment area and invigorate the flow of Qi in the body and dispel certain pathogenic influences such as dampness and cold.