Terms used in TCM

One of the practices of TCM, acupuncture is the ancient and modern use of very thin and flexible needles inserted into the body along meridians to relieve pain, stimulate circulation, and promote the proper flow of qi.

Acupuncture Points or Acupoints
Acupuncture points exist as fixed in certain locations along recognized channels or meridians. They have been studied and mapped for centuries to maximize the effectiveness of acupuncture

Ah-shi Points
Ah-shi, meaning literally, "Ah, yes", is the name for a point of tenderness, frequently discovered by palpation, related to injury or disease. Unlike acupuncture points, ah-shi points are not fixed points on recognized channels or meridians, but exist unique to the patient and condition.

Allopathic Medicine
Allopathic medicine, also known as western medicine, is a method of treating disease with remedies that produce effects different from those caused by the disease itself. While much of allopathic medicine is truly powerful, some of these side effects are slight and some are serious. Allopathic and Traditional Chinese Medicine can work very powerfully together to repair damage and to promote deep healing.

An examination by listening either directly with the ear (immediate auscultation) applied to parts of the body, as the abdomen; or with the stethoscope (mediate auscultation), in order to distinguish sounds recognized as a sign of health or of disease.

Channels or Meridians
Qi flows through the body via pathways called channels, or sometimes meridians.

A non-invasive treatment in which emptied cups, usually glass, are warmed and applied to skin in order to draw blood toward the surface. Cupping is effective for disorders associated with an excess of qi.

Infrared heat therapy
Frequently used in combination with acupuncture, infrared heat therapy is merely the use of a special warming lamp that emanates the deep heating infrared waves. It is quite safe and enjoyable and will not give you a tan or sunburn.

The burning of moxa (compressed and dried leaves of the Artemisia vulgaris, or mugwort plant) in stick or cone form just above or, in certain circumstances, on the skin to treat diseases or to relieve pain. Moxa is very effective in improving the circulation of qi.

Naturopathic Preparations
Naturopathy is a method of treating illness with the appropriate combination of proper food and drink (water or wine), vitamins, exercise, environment (sunlight or shade), and prescribed rest. As obvious as these may seem, nature can startle us out of denial on how important these can be to our overall health.

In simple terms, palpation is using trained fingers and hands to feel for areas of injury or disease. Sometimes palpation is light tapping and sometimes it is feeling with slight pressure. This simple method of examination has become a lost art as western medicine has employed more machinery and less of the human senses. A trained TCM practitioner can feel excess tenderness, heat, or sensitivity and learn much about the health of the patient.

TCM recognizes three pulses on twelve different levels. Part of the diagnosis and return visits will include your practitioner feeling your wrists for pulses to signal disharmony, imbalance, or improvement.

Qi (pronounced "Chee")
As important as water or heat is to living, qi is the vital life force energy that flows through every living thing: animal, vegetable, even mineral. Qi is associated with, but distinct from, blood. In TCM, it is said that, "Qi drives blood and blood carries qi."

Trigger points
A trigger point will refer or release pain from its origin to a satellite location. Trigger points, depending on the state of the muscle and system, can be inactive like a dormant volcano, latent like a rumbling volcano capable of eruption, or active like an erupting volcano. It is therefore very important for the practitioner to understand the muscular system and its referrals to effectively treat muscular, also known as myofascial, pain.