Tag Archives: Acupuncture

TCM experiences

Usually when people think Traditional Chinese Medicine they think acupuncture and maybe some herbs. There are also more different kinds of treatment methods included in TCM and here is a bit of info about some of them.


Classical acupoint needling

old needles

Old acuneedles.

Lets start with the familiar one: Acupuncture. That means putting some needles on certain parts of your body to have some positive changes in your body. This usually includes analgesia, organ function adjustment and immune system modulation. Basically most important is the analgesic effect and there is some studies that support acupuncture usage in pain management. In 1979 WHO gave 43 indications for acupuncture and in 1997 it was changed to cover 67 conditions. This means that if you don’t feel that Western medicine helps you enough you can try acupuncture in ADDITION and it probably can help you. Still there is only 2 conditions which have strong evidence about acupuncture working: postoperative dental pain and postoperative nausea/vomiting. From other indications the evidense is relative not absolute.

Moxa or moxibustion is the second famous way of treating patients. When acupunctio is considered to be used when there is problems with exess of things, moxa is more about helping with deficiency. Moxa means burning herbs, usually mainly Mugwort, neas skin. It has temperature effects and also effect from the herbs (compound with 53 herbs), from the smoke and traditional moxa also has some far infrared effects.


Moxa with mugwort. Applied over acupoint.


Korean invention, small moxasticker.

Then there is cupping. There is cupping with fire and vacuum cupping. Never seen the fire one, but vacuum is pretty easy. This, like acupuncture and moxa is applied over acupoints to achieve what ever goals they want to achieve. I’m not actually that sure what it is for.. At least they use it for common cold and to make circulation better in the area. And for some muscle realxation too. I tried it to my elbow and it felt quite nice. I didn’t even get any bruising. Cups come in many sizes and it seems to depend on the doctor what they like to use.


Bigger cups for shoulders. Purpleish color indicates that the area was not that healthy. If color is just pink, the area is healthier.

In addition there is treatment with seven pointed needle (or something like that), scratching treatment and ear acutreatment (it is reflectory area for whole body). There is more than this and hopefully I will tell you more later. Disclaimer: In this text I write mostly from TCM’s point of view, not my own.


Scratching treatment for expelling the exess heat from the body. Good with heatstroke.

next day

One day after cupping and scratching.


Seven pointed star needle. Used to help with circulation, sometimes to draw blood but usually just lightly tapping. Used to treat hear loss.


Some basic equipments


Ear treatment sticker. Providing me with better spirit.

Overcoming my personal obstacles

This week has been already huge for me when it comes to personal growing. This Monday we had our first lesson of Chinese medicine and of course the topic was acupuncture. Some people might know that I don’t like needles. I hate going to the blood tests and I feel sick if I watch my friends using insuline. But I will tell more about that later, first some first expressions. I had thought that we would go to some back alley clinic. Somewhere small and cosy with strange decoration. Oh no, I was wrong. We went to this huge hospital that had many floors and there was one department for Chinese medicine, just like there is a department for pediatrics for example. In this department people were sitting in (kind of) orderly rows waiting for their turn just like in a normal clinic. This is when I came to realize that Chinese medicine is treated really differently here than it is in Finland. Of course.


Hospital where we have our lessons.

More about the needles then! First thing we witnessed was acupuncture for stiff nose (after flu or something). The terapist just put two needles right besides the patients NOSE. He told us that he only puts them 1-2 deep because the patient is a bit scared. This was the first time I left the room feeling dizzy and a bit sick. We were told that usually the needles will be at place for 20-30 min, 1 hour if patient has time and doesn’t have any bad symptoms from them. It just happens to be that fainting is one of the most common symptoms. Ha..


First lesson!

We had about 30 min long lecture about Chinese medicine and acupuncture and then we got to try it. Gah! But before this we went to see another treatment. This time it was renal dysfunction and he got 14 needles. And this was the second time I left the room. But this time it was a bit easier. I think that some part of my ill feeling came from not eating dinner, sleeping really badly and smelling the moxibustion stuff in the clinic. I didn’t want to get any needles to my skin, but I was brave enough to put one through our teachers skin. It wasn’t that bad actually. It is worse to look and to get the treatment. I also think that if I have tried the treatment myself it might not be that bad either, but considering my feeling of the day, maybe it was better this way.


Matti is so brave!

All in all it was really interesting evening! Our teacher categorised me as a heat (like not cold) person just by feeling my pulse and looking at my tongue. I cant wait for next Monday to get our second lecture. I wonder what will the topic be then..

Monday was also my first hydrotherapy day. When I first heard that we are going to have therapy in the water I was really horrified. I don’t like water. I feel that I can’t swim that well and I’m usually always a bit afraid of the water. Also, I can’t see without my glasses.. But as I have heard my classmate talk about his classes (his hydrotherapy started two weeks earlier) I started to wait for my turn quite eagerly. Our teacher is awesome! She is really into this water therapy thing and I can see that from all she does. My first class was nice. I got actually much praises for my swimming skills (not all people can swim here like in Finland) and I learned much new and interesting stuff! This will be great! From the new stuff I think Watsu is my favourite this far.


My awesome hydrotherapy teacher.