Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine has been used for thousands of years to treat a variety of illnesses and pain by manipulating the Qi or energy of the body. Acupuncture utilizes needles to access the energetics of the meridians in the body from the exterior to the interior while Oriental Medicine utilizes Chinese Herbal Formulas to treat from the interior of the body. Each branch of Oriental Medicine is helpful in their own individual rights and often may be combined to treat symptoms from a much more holistic perspective.

Often in treating patients with pain syndromes, acupuncture can be an extremely useful tool to release long-term holding patterns that are not easily released by traditional manual therapy techniques alone. When a muscle is over taxed and fatigues or is stressed beyond it’s ability to adequately control movement, trigger points are formed. Trigger points are areas of intense spasm that form in a muscle and generate significant pain. They do not always get the signal that it is time to stop spasming and therefore may become quite chronic and fibrotic or grizzly. Acupuncture needles are used to release the fascial lining around these chronic mini-spasms, which creates a twitch reflex. This reflex is a lengthening and relaxation of the muscle to a more normal resting position where movement can again become pain free and effortless.

While acupuncture can quickly relieve areas of pain and faulty muscle recruitment, maximum effectiveness in achieved when movement strategies are then reeducated through very precise exercises. Again, this is where Pilates exercises come into play to learn proper movement sequencing while developing strength and flexibility.

Oriental Medicine is the use of a variety of herbs, roots, barks, flowers, nuts etc. which are cooked into a soup and drunk as a tea. There are tremendous amounts of classic Chinese formula’s that aid in the balancing of the internal organs to promote health and strengthen the immune system. Prior to the advent of modern medicine, this form of treatment was used to treat a variety of maladies and continues to be used widely in many parts of the world. Many of today’s western medicines have been extracted from the ingredients used in these formulas.

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Slideshow Credits:
Photos: Maxim Trankov and Tatiana Volosozhar
2014 Winter Olympic Gold Medalists representing Russia

 

Written on March 10th, 2015

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