Hi! My name is Loren, and I am here to guide you on your journey to wellness.
I practice 中醫 - Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), a 2,000 year old medical system developed by some of the greatest minds in Chinese history. TCM is a comprehensive medical system utilizing a variety of different tools. These tools generally fall into two categories: external medicine, characterized primarily by acupuncture, and internal medicine, characterized by herbalism.
Though it is quite common to combine them, acupuncture and herbalism are not always interchangeable. Each tool excels at treating different conditions. Some cases may be treated exclusively with acupuncture whilst others may be treated exclusively with herbal medicine. A thorough intake is conducted to create an individualized treatment plan thereby maximizing results.
To better understand the differences between acupuncture and herbal medicine, it helps to know a little bit more about them:
針灸 - Acupuncture is a proto-surgical technique characterized by the insertion of needles into various sites around the body. Though it is the most recognizable feature of the practice, in reality, the acupuncture needle is not Particularly special. This is because it is solid and does not deliver medicine of any kind. Instead, the needle is a tool allowing the acupuncturist to reach inside and repair damage in the most minimally invasive way.
Acupuncture works through two, interrelated mechanisms: modulating muscle tone and modulating circulation. By piercing the precise locations where muscles excessively contract, acupuncture induces substantial relaxation. This, in turn, moderates the force applied to tendons and joints, reduces irritation to them, and restores proper alignment. When the muscles are relaxed and the joints are aligned, blood, lymph, and other body fluids more are disinhibited, thus improving circulation. And optimal circulation reduces inflammation, expedites healing, and ultimately eliminates pain.
Because the needle itself is inert, its effects depend upon anatomical precision and technical skill. Great attention is paid to the identification of the proper insertion sites, and treatment is performed until specific effects are achieved. This means results are felt in real time, but more importantly, I stay with you the entire treatment.
中藥 - Chinese herbalism is a proto-pharmacological model characterized by the careful selection and combination of hundreds of medicinal substances. These substances are derived primarily from plant sources. However, mineral and some animal sources are utilized when necessary.
Herbal medicine is typically administered orally and comes in different forms. Traditionally, raw herbs were cooked together into a decoction which was then taken as a tea. However, these days it is more common to use powdered extracts which can be rehydrated or even encapsulated for easy administration.
Herbal medicine is most commonly used for internal medicine. This makes it applicable for a broad array of illnesses including psychiatric illness, digestive problems, gynecology, dermatology, and even infectious disease.
"Herbs" are classified according to strength, anatomical affinity, and their effects upon the circulatory system. The specificity and flexibility of this tripartite model allow for the creation of highly individualized herbal formulas designed to maximize benefit whilst mitigating the risk of side effects. The negligible risk of side effects is, in fact, a hallmark of Chinese herbalism, as traditional Chinese medicine rarely recognizes side effects as an acceptable result of treatment.
Upon starting herbal therapy, treatment should take effect as early as 3-5 days. This is to say that herbal medicine should work quite noticeably and quite quickly. It is within this time frame that modifications might be made to optimize results and ensure that treatment proceeds smoothly. As such, it is not uncommon to go through two or even three iterations of a formula during the initial stages of treatment.