TRADITIONAL CHINESE MEDICINE (TCM)
n. The medical theory and practices of Chinese culture, especially herbal medicine, acupuncture and osteopathy, for preventing or treating illness, or promoting health and well-being; abbreviated as TCM.
TCM is an ancient medical system that takes a deep understanding of the laws and patterns of nature and applies them to the human body. TCM is not new nor is it a patchwork of different healing modalities; rather it is a complete medical system that has been practised for more than five thousand years.
At the heart of TCM is the tenet that the root cause of illnesses must be treated, not their symptoms. In modern-day terms, TCM is holistic in its approach; it views every aspect of a person’s body, mind, spirit, and emotions as part of one complete circle rather than loosely connected pieces to be treated individually, as in Western medicine.
The major TCM modalities include Chinese Herbology, Acupuncture (dry needling) and TuiNa (Chinese massage/structural osteopathic alignments) and QiGong (Chinese energy exercises). You will find additional information on these practices in the corresponding categories below.
Acupuncture is an ancient form of TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine) involving the insertion of solid filiform acupuncture needles into the skin at specific points on the body to achieve a therapeutic effect. No drug is injected. The needles alone create the beneficial effects of acupuncture. Acupuncture is used to encourage natural healing, improve mood and energy, reduce of relieve pain and improve function of affected areas of the body. It is safe and effective and is often successfully used as an alternative to medications or surgery.
Aromatherapy practice belongs to the realm of natural therapeutics. As such it is based on certain principles which are shared by acupuncture and natural herbal or Traditional Chinese medicines. These principles are complementary, and are based on our interpretation of nature from the human perspective and understanding of life. In aromatherapy the main principles are:
- Life Force (the Chinese call it Chi, the Indians call it prana, Europeans call it energy)
There is nothing more fundamental than life itself. Whatever our spiritual beliefs or other differences, we are all alive and we all believe in life; we take life so much for granted that we hardly think of it as a belief although it is in fact a faith which we all share. Life in its essence is completely intangible; you cannot see it, touch it, smell it, or analyse it in any way. And yet we all believe that the sun will rise in the sky tomorrow, that flowers will bloom in spring, that we will continue to breathe for the next five minutes, and for the rest of our life, without any conscious effort.
These things are manifestations of life. Life is present in everything. In a dried grain or stone or a dead tree, it is unmanifest, it has no movement, flow or apparent presence; it is there merely in form. But in a living thing – a plant or a human being – it is manifest, causing dynamic change, moving, flowing, loving. If this life force exists it must be the essence of everything – the force that holds the particles of an atom together, the power that makes a small seed grow into a tree, the attracting force of gravity or magnetism, the power that gives us consciousness. It is this life force which manifests itself in every plant. Just as we each have our own individual personality, so does each species of plant have its own personality or set of properties.
Extracting the essence of a plant is one of the ways of isolating this personality, but it is a delicate process. The life force is an extremely sensitive thing, and if we tamper with it too much it will lose much of its power. By careful extraction and storage the life force of an essence can be preserved, but the more an essence is interfered with, either chemically or physically, the more that energy, and its organic harmony, is reduced.
It is because essences are organic that they tend to work in harmony with the body without harm with ‘normalising’ actions. Although each individual essence has certain properties, the Chi or Lifeforce is continually bringing about a state of health and harmony to the body. Essences also have the ability to adapt to the needs or different bodies and different people.
Yin and Yang are the best words to use to describe balance. Our nearest equivalent is positive and negative, or active and passive, but these have unfortunate connotations; we associate positive with good aspects, and negative with bad. Is day-time good and night-time bad? We often judge things as good or bad when they are just one or other aspects of the same thing.
We see this duality, this yin and yang, everywhere in the universe, in every atom, every action, and in every function of the human body. Yin and yang are manifest everywhere, except at the very centre of being, the perfect point of balance, at that infinite moment when the future becomes the past.
In the very centre of a flower, a seed, or leaf bud, there is a point from which the energy is coming and from which growth proceeds. From that point the seed grows, the flower bud blooms. If you cut an apple or a cabbage in half you can see that it radiates from a central point. If you carefully examine the flower bud, leaf bud, seed, fruit, or vegetable, and dissect them until you come to their very centre, you will find …. nothing. There is only one thing, one energy, one consciousness, but in order to manifest itself it becomes yin and yang. In striving for health and harmony we try to find the point of balance between yin and yang.
Nothing is totally yin or totally yang; they are entirely relative terms. If we say something is yin we mean that its qualities are more yin than yang. A herb or essential oil which is predominantly yang also contains yin properties. There is a constant transformation from one quality to the other.
The Use of Organic Essential Oils for Healing
Dr. Desmond is a trained, registered and experienced aromatherapist since 1994. To assist in healing a patient’s condition or multiple conditions, aromatherapy or the application of organic essential oils are custom blended for each person in conjunction with either acupuncture or natural/ traditional Chinese medicines.
Custom blends for treatment include applications for:
- Acute, chronic pain
- Osteo-arthritic joints including shoulders, knees, ankles, plantar fasciitis, cervical, thoracic, lumber and sacrum areas
- Sciatica, tendonitis
- Frozen shoulder, herniated disc, spinal stenosis
- Chronic Fatigue
- Skin conditions
- Migraines, vertigo
- Stress, anxiety, insomnia
Electro-acupuncture is the term used to refer to the application of a pulsating electrical current to acupuncture needles, or even without needles, to acupuncture points on the body. This Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) technique was developed in China in the 1930’s, and though it is a fairly recent development in the ancient method of acupuncture, the idea behind it corresponds directly with long-held beliefs. Acupuncture operates on the idea that a person’s qi, or life force, runs through body along certain meridians, and that specific points on the body correspond with these meridians. When these points are ‘activated’ or stimulated by touch, specific complaints of chronic pain or illnesses can be alleviated. Using a gentle electrical current in conjunction with, or instead of, acupuncture needles, is an alternative way to stimulate the point and enhance the qi.
FACIAL REJUVENATION ACUPUNCTURE
Facial Rejuvenation Acupuncture is a safe and relatively painless, non-surgical method of reducing the signs of aging. Though Facial Rejuvenation Acupuncture can sometimes be referred to as an Acupuncture Facelift or Cosmetic Acupuncture, it is more than a cosmetic procedure. It is a rejuvenation and revitalization process designed to help the whole body look and feel younger.
Facial Rejuvenation Acupuncture was originally developed for patients with paralyzed muscles from Bell’s Palsy or stroke. The result of treatment was so cosmetically pronounced overtime that it was transformed into a program for anti-aging and beauty.
Ozone = Triatomic Oxygen
Oxygen is an atom that cannot exist in a stabilized form as a single atom. This is because it does not have enough electrons to balance it out. So in order to provide stability, two oxygen atoms bond together in close proximity and share electrons. This molecule, called O2, is what is generally referred to when the word “oxygen” is used. O2 is the stable form of oxygen that exists in the atmosphere.
When an energetic force, such as electricity (lightening) or ultra-violet light (solar exposure), is imposed upon a molecule of O2, the two oxygen atoms are temporarily split apart into single oxygen atoms. Then, in a matter of nanoseconds these highly unstable oxygen atoms will pair up again and reform back into O2 molecules. But a small percentage of them will unite in a menage-a-trio known as ozone. Thus, ozone, referred to as O3, is a gaseous molecule which consists of three oxygen atoms all sharing the same electrons.
Laser Therapy offers patients a safe and effective therapy for a range of medical conditions, including soft tissue and sports injuries, wound healing, dermatological conditions and some musculoskeletal problems.
Laser therapy is the use of monochromatic light emission from a low intensity diode. The light source is placed in contact with the skin allowing the photon energy to penetrate tissue, where it interacts with various intracellular biomolecules resulting in the restoration of normal cell morphology and function.
Laser therapy is simply a way of getting energy/qi into the damaged tissue. The energy/qi is then used by the body to heal the damaged tissue at an accelerated rate.
The advantages of low intensity laser therapy:
- Easily applied
- The body’s natural healing processes are enhanced resulting in tissue regeneration and cellular stimulation.
Neuropuncture is a recent system of acupuncture that combines neuroscience, other Western medical sciences and present acupuncture research, to the classical Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) acupuncture model. It is a system, developed by Michael D. Corradino, that incorporates neurophysiological mechanisms and the application of electrical acupuncture. Neuropuncture targets specific nervous system receptors for the release of specific neuropeptides, reset dysfunctional visceral autonomic reflexes for improved organ function, to depolarizing excited overstimulated nerve roots for pain management. Neuropuncture works by predominately targeting and stimulating specific neuro-tissue.
CHINESE AND WESTERN HERBOLOGY
Also Known As:
Western Herbology medicine involves using plants and plant material to create medicines to help prevent or treat various illnesses. These materials may use some all parts of a plant, such as flowers, roots, fruits, leaves, and bark.
For over half a century, Belgium, German and other European manufacturers have been renowned for their exceptional homeopathic pharmacopeia products utilized in supporting immune, lymphatic and endocrine systems to properly process and eliminate toxins from the body. Biotherapies include Homeopathy, Gemmo Therapy macertes, PhytoGen Therapy, Tissue Salts, OligoTherapy, Flower Essences and Essential oils taken internally. There are elements of TCM herbology adopted by Western Herbology which also respects the natural healing processes in the body instead of just taking away the symptoms.
Chinese Herbology medicine is based on Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) theory and is one of the more important modalities utilized in TCM. Ingredients incorporates parts of plants; the leaf, stem, flower, root and also ingredients from minerals. Formula remedies are created or standard formulas are prescribed by the TCM doctor or herbalists to included ingredients to both target the illness and take into consideration the patients yin/yang conditions, or ingredients are needed to cancel out toxicity or side-effects and some herbs require the use of other ingredients as a catalyst.
Unlike western pharmaceutical medicines, the balance and interaction of all the ingredients are considered more important than the individual effect of individual ingredients. A key to success in TCM is the treatment of each patient as an individual.
Also known as:
- Chinese Structural Alignment/Chiropractic
- Chinese Massage
- Osteopathic Mobilization
- Osteopathic Manipulative Treatments
- Qi Energy Issuance
Tui-Na is the branch of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) that treats the patient using only the physician’s hands to bring about a change in the patient’s condition. Like Chinese medicine itself, Tui-Na can be viewed as a sum of different styles or systems. It essentially boils down to three main skills:
1. soft tissue treatment
2. skeletal alignment
3. energy issuance
Tui-Na is the least invasive of the three modalities of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), with no foreign substance whatsoever penetrating the patient’s skin or being ingested. While the casual observer may draw parallels with massage, chiropractic, osteopathic mobilization or osteopathic manipulation, Tui-Na is a very different science when viewed as a whole, even though there are techniques within Tui-Na that resemble the other modalities of manual therapy.
Qigong, (pronounced chee-gung) is an ancient Chinese health care system that integrates physical postures, and focused intention. The word Qigong is made up of two Chinese words. Qi is pronounced chee and is usually translated to mean the life force or vital-energy that flows through all things in the universe. The second work, Gong, pronounced gung, means accomplishment, or skill that is cultivated through steady practice. Together Qigong means cultivating energy, it is a system practiced for health maintenance, healing and focused intentions.
Biotherapeutic Drainage: The burden of health problems that plague modern society result from weaknesses in the body’s physiological foundations as a result of poor nutrition, stress overload, environmental toxins and more. We have the potential to naturally eliminate toxins – depending on the body’s toxic load. Biotherapeutic Drainage is a long-lasting and effective way of restoring health to the body as it works at an intracellular and extracellular level, facilitating the emunctories to remove blockages while respecting natural physiology. Opening the emunctories to discharge toxins helps to support physiological functions, encouraging the body towards homeostasis. Dr. Desmond implements a natural cure program and/or a variety of drainage therapies for each individual patient based on the relevance to each individual’s immunity and terrain, without suppression and in a non-invasive manner.
SIBO Syndrome: SIBO (small intestine bacterial overgrowth) refers to a condition in which abnormally large numbers of bacteria result in a chronic bacterial colonization of the small intestine. Normally, many of these bacteria should only be present in the large intestine. When bacteria colonize the small intestine they interfere with normal digestion and absorption of key nutrients. They can also cause the common symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) like gas and bloating, urgency, constipation, diarrhea, or both. In addition, the bacteria can cause damage to the mucosal ling and may predispose a person toward systemic problems such as body aches, fatigue and ‘foot sensitivities’. SIBO is a prevalent condition and understanding the syndrome, knowing how to treat it, is key for many patients suffering with gastro-intestinal symptoms. Dr. Desmond implements a natural cure program and/or a variety of drainage therapies for each individual patient based on the relevance to each individual’s immunity and terrain, without suppression and in a non-invasive manner.
Prostate Health: As current and ongoing research continues to explore improvements in prostate health and various methods of detecting disease, men must be encouraged to play an active role in disease prevention by looking to trusted health professionals. As the most common cancer and second leading cause of cancer death among men in North America, it is important for patients to be aware of simple but effective strategies supporting prostate health and disease prevention available to them. Dr. Desmond implements a natural cure program and/or a variety of drainage therapies for each individual patient based on the relevance to each individual’s immunity and terrain, without suppression and in a non-invasive manner.
Systemic Enzyme Therapy (SET): Wobenzyme
Systemic Enzyme Therapy has been successfully applied in clinical practice to a myriad of conditions of over 50 years. The emerging science has helped reveal the pharmacokinetics and mechanism of action of SET and although this stalwart has been a traditional supplement for optimal health in Europe for many years, current science and updated clinical trials continues to support its use today.
Seasonal Defense: Therapy to Boost the Immune System
Physiology has the innate ability to protect itself from disease. A strong immunity is the first line of defense against the seasonal onslaught of colds and flu, and a myriad of other viral and bacterial infections. Supporting physiology is key to building strong immunity, which includes the capacity of our emunctories toward elimination. With the stress of conventional medications, refined foods, additives, alcohol, pesticides and other chemicals in the environment, our ability to adapt and detoxify can become overwhelmed or even chronic.
Are you exposed to?
- Diesel fumes, exhaust fumes or gasoline fumes
- Bleaches, oven and drain cleaners, furniture polish, floor wax, window cleaners
- Nail polish, perfume, hairspray, or other cosmetics
Are you experiencing any of the following symptoms?
- Lethargy, Fatigue, Brain Fog, Headaches, Poor Memory & Concentration
- Digestive problems: Constipation, Indigestion, Bloating, Heartburn
- Food Cravings, Weight Gain, Compulsive Eating
- Environmental and Food Allergies
- Shortness of Breath, Chest Congestion, Chronic Cough, Excessive Mucus Production, Chronic Sinusitis
- Joint & Muscle Pain, Stiffness
- Acne, Acne Rosacea, Eczema, Psoriasis, Unexplained Rashes
- Mood Swings, Anxiety and/or Depression
Dr. Desmond supports his patients with detoxification, which strengthens their immune system, improves vitality and energy levels, aids digestion, support mental clarity and focus, calms or decreases allergic symptoms and much more.
Several Chinese patterns of disharmony may be involved in cases of allergies. In all cases, however, wind is part of the diagnosis, usually combining with another pathogenic influence in wind dampness, wind cold, or wind heat. Typical of patterns involving wind, allergy symptoms often occur without warning. In seasonal allergies, such as hay fever, the most common diagnosis is wind and dampness. This combination produces a sudden onset of symptoms: sneezing, itching eyes and throat, and a heavy sensation in the head with copious mucus.