Exploring Practitioners 3: Traditional Chinese Medicine – Stephanie

Richlife Chinese Medical Centre

I went to Richlife Chinese Medical Centre with Charmaine to take a look at how the TCM practitioner does his work. Due to patient privacy and competition reasons, photo documentation of the process was not allowed. He shared that TCM consists of many components – Tui Na, Cupping therapy, Gua sha, Electrotheraphy, and Internal medication.

He shared a little more about the various treatments. Tui Na is a hands-on body treatment that uses Chinese taoist principles in an effort to bring the eight principles of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) into balance. The practitioner may brush, knead, roll, press, and rub the areas between each of the joints, known as the eight gates, to attempt to open the body’s defensive chi (Wei Qi) and get the energy moving in the meridians and the muscles. Medicated pastes are commonly used during this process to reduce the friction and to make the process less painful. 

Cupping therapy is when local suction is created on the skin. The practitioner uses glass cups, a lighter, alcohol and cotton balls during this process. He shared that there are new devices that use air suction to replicate this process but notes that the heat from the flame makes the treatment more effective. 

Related image
An online image of how fire cupping is done

Following that, Electrolysis requires an electrical outlet, electrolysis machine, needles, alcohol swabs. 

Electrolysis machine

He noted that the younger generation tend to come in when they suffer from external injuries such as sprains and muscle aches. For these external treatments, we need gauze, cotton pads and medicated oil.

Tools for external injuries

Moving on to acupuncture, the general theory of acupuncture is based on the premise that there are patterns of energy flow (Qi) through the body that are essential for health. Disruptions of this flow are believed to be responsible for diseases. Acupuncture corrects imbalances of flow at identifiable points close to the skin. The acupuncture needles have varying sizes from 1 inch to 3 inches. For this process, the acupuncture needles, kidney dish, and alcohol swabs are required. 

Acupuncture needles

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