Frequently Asked Questions


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Chinese Medicine and Acupuncture

What is qi?

Qi (pronounced "chee" and sometimes written as “chi”) is fundamental to Chinese Medicine theory and knowledge. It can be described as the life energy or substance that gives our organs and muscular-skeletal system function and animation. It is similar to electricity in that you can not see it but it is known by its action. In Chinese Medicine theory, each organ system in the body has qi that has specific actions. For example, Liver Qi is understood to help maintain smooth emotions and Spleen Qi is important for digestion.  Qi can be enhanced by healthy diet and exercise and is diminished during times of stress.

What are meridians?

The system through which the qi moves in the body are called meridians. Qi flows through meridians much the same way as blood flows through vessels. There are 12 regular meridians that correspond closely to the main organ systems of the body as well as eight extra meridians.

What are acupuncture points?

Acupuncture points are anatomical and energetic locations on the body where the body’s Qi can be easily accessed during treatment. They are located on the meridians and there are 100’s of acupuncture points.  They can become tender upon touch when there is imbalance in qi.

What is moxibustion?

Moxibustion is the warming of acupuncture points with the aid of herbal products. There are several ways that can moxibustion can be performed including using a moxa stick to gently warm an acupuncture point indirectly. Moxibustion can also be applied directly to a point using small threads or cones of herbs that are gently warmed on the acupuncture point. Moxibustion is used to increase qi or energy in the body.

how does acupuncture work?

Chinese Medicine is based on natural laws that describe the flow of life energy in nature and in the body. When Qi is abundant and flowing health is promoted. When Qi is not full or not flowing then illness and disease progresses. In Chinese Medicine it is important to identify underlying causes of illness that are affecting the Qi of the body. Practitioners are trained to interpret symptoms and signs and to assess each individual holistically to identify patterns of illness. For this reason, your practitioner will assess physical and emotional symptoms as well as external factors such as stress, trauma, diet, and lifestyle. Once the pattern of illness is identified, treatment protocols such as acupuncture, herbs, and/or massage can be recommended to restore balance and health.

Does acupuncture hurt?

Acupuncture needles are very fine and approximately the diameter of a single hair. They are sterile and pre-packaged. Each needle is used once and then is disposed.  Most patients will feel only a twinge as the needle enters the skin. Once the needle is placed the patient may feel a sensation of heaviness. This sensation is called Deqi (pronounced dah-chee) and it indicates that the practitioner has engaged the Qi. This sensation may not occur all the time or for all acupuncture points, but if it does it is considered a normal part of the treatment process.

Chinese Herbal Medicine

What is chinese herbal medicine? 

Chinese Herbal Medicine is a primary practice within the overall system of Chinese Medicine. The current Chinese Materia Medica is composed of more than 6,000 herbs and formulas that have been in use for over 4,000 years.

How Are Chinese Herbal Formulas Designed?

Each herb in a formula is selected for its healing properties and its specific function. There are general guidelines that are followed when formulas are selected. Formulas usually contain between 4 and 12 herbs. The herbs work together synergistically to alleviate symptoms and to correct imbalances of qi in the body.

What Types of Herbs are Used in Herbal Formulas?

The herbs that are used are roots, barks, flowers, and seeds of various plants. In addition, minerals and shells are occasionally used. Some of the plant species used in Chinese Herbal Medicine are also used in Western herbology but there are many species that are specific to Chinese Herbology.

How are Chinese Herbal Formulas Taken?

The traditional method of taking Chinese Herbal medicine is in tea form which is prepared by boiling the raw herbs in water. This method is generally too inconvenient for most people. Therefore, pills, tinctures, and powders are the most common forms in which herbal formulas are prescribed.

How Do I Know if the Herbal Formula Is Safe and of the Highest Quality Available?

Your practitioner applies strict standards to the herbal products that are recommended. She sources of all her herbal products through Crane Herb. Crane Herb offers herbal products of the highest professional standards. Crane Herb operates in full compliance with all FDA, HIPAA, and National Security Agency Regulations. The herbal products are manufactured according to comprehensive set of safety precautions and accuracy measures. When your practitioner recommends an herbal formula for you, she will place the prescription with Crane Herb and you will be notified directly by Crane Herb to complete the purchase. The herbal product will be shipped directly to your home from Crane Herb.

Are there Side Effects of Chinese Herbal Formulas?

The herbs used have no or very few side effects when administered by a trained practitioner. To avoid drug or herb interactions, please report all medications or herbs that you are taking.  Occasionally, herb formulas may cause slight nausea and in this case your practitioner will lower the dose or recommend that you take it with food. If you should experience any discomfort while taking herbs, stop the product and contact your practitioner.

What Are the Benefits of Chinese Herbs?

Many illnesses respond more quickly to treatment when acupuncture and herbs are used together. This is especially true for illnesses or conditions that are made worse by stress or are chronic in nature. Conditions that are most likely to include a Chinese Herbal recommendation are infertility, menstrual disorders, fatigue, poor digestion, insomnia, and emotional stress.