ACUPUNCTURE is an ancient technique used to help illicit healing of the body, mind and soul. It consists of inserting very fine, sterile, filiform needles into the skin at points along pathways called meridians in order to regulate your vital force or “Qi” which flows through these meridians. These points and meridians are part of a greater web of the body and will stimulate parts of the body that are not adjacent to the needle. Some forms of acupuncture are “non-insertive” meaning that a blunt needle is used on the surface of the skin and never penetrates the skin, along with other tools used on the surface of the skin. Over several years an acupuncturist studies the structure and function of the body, the location of the points, what they do and how it all relates. Along with the required hours and courses of study national and/or state board exams are successfully completed before a practitioner is grated a license. A course and exam in the proper and safe use and disposal of needles is required.
Kimberly practices a blend of Japanese and Chinese styles of acupuncture, preferring meridian based styles. In general, Japanese styles use thinner needles inserted to a very shallow depth, specific forms of moxabustion, and other various tools. The "non-insertive" forms of acupuncture are of the Japanese school.
Kanto College of Acupuncture and Moxibustion, Tokyo, Japan
ORIENTAL MEDICINE is a complete system of medicine with a 2000-4000 year old history. Scholars debate from where exactly and when this ancient medicine originated. Many agree that the most modern form of the medicine began with shamanism at the beginning of the Bronze Age, during the Shang Dynasty (1766-1122 BC), while also having strong roots in Taoism. Two of the medicine's foundational books are the Huáng Dì Nèi Jīng (The Yellow Emperor's Inner Canon) dating to the 1st century BC and the Shāng Hán Lùn (Treatise on Cold Damage Disorders), written before the year 220 by the celebrated herbalist Zhang Zhong-jing.
Being a “complete system of medicine” means that it does not just consist of medicines one takes or techniques performed when one is ill. It consists of 8 “Limbs" and encompasses all of life and the whole being. These limbs are meditation, internal & external exercise, Feng Shui, cosmology, diet, body work (gua sha, cupping, shiatsu, bone setting, tui na), herbal medicine, and acupuncture. Oriental medicine, like other complete systems such as Ayurveda, also is based on fundamental principles upon which everything within the medicine lies. The concept of Yin and Yang is one fundamental principle and everything can be (fundamentally) explained in these terms.
Another principle of Oriental medicine is the concept of the macrocosm & microcosm. The ancient Chinese saw health as relating to phenomena such as the seasons, weather conditions, and heaven & earth and described the body in these terms, explaining that we are but a small version of the larger universe.
Over the time the medicine has evolved and today there are hospitals dedicated only to Oriental medicine as well as integrated hospitals applying both eastern and western medicines.
Chinese Herbal Medicine
CHINESE HERBAL MEDICINE is central to and one of the eight limbs of Oriental medicine, originating several thousands of years ago. Some of the formulas prescribed are based on original formulas dating back to 200 AD. Addressing disharmonies of the internal organs and fluids of the body, it can be applied internally and externally. The Chinese Materia Medica contains several thousand substances being of plant, animal and mineral origin. Most substances used are from the plant kingdom, utilizing various parts of the plant including the stem, leaves, flowers, bark, root, rhizome, seeds and fruit. The practitioner prescribes a formula that is tailored specifically to the condition of your body at that time, combining various herbs based on the taste, temperature and which channel (meridian) the herb enters. The art of combining Chinese herbs is an intricate and sophisticated system that is learned over many years of study. The mixture of herbs is formulated to allow the herbs to work together in harmony and to balance each other; rarely is a single herb prescribed. The herbs are administered in various forms such as decoctions, powders, pills, capsules, medical wines, tinctures, syrups, salves, washes, lotions and plasters. They are usually prescribed for a week or two at a time.