Elyse Beffa, L.Ac.
Classical Chinese Medicine
Following the 1911 Revolution in China, and as Chairman Mao came to power, many aspects of the medicine were stripped away in an attempt to make Chinese medicine comparable in stature to Western medicine. In this process, mystical and spiritual aspects as well as usage of extended channel systems of the medicine went into hiding. This version of the medicine is termed Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM).
The holistic pre-Revolution Chinese medicine is referred to as Classical Chinese medicine. Today, we are fortunate for the classical knowledge that has resurfaced due to the dedication and wisdom of masters who carried on teaching and practicing outside of their home country. Jeffrey Yuen is a primary source for this information.
Classical Chinese medicine uses a 5 channel system to benefit the embodied spirit and harmonize the microcosm (internal matrix) and macrocosm (external matrix). It acknowledges that one's spirit is not separate from one's body and mind. Rather, they are interdependent vibrations of the same source or branches of the same trunk. An imbalance in one aspect, necessarily affects the others. One's system, however, is always moving towards balance. Classical Chinese medicine offers methods to harness this natural healing capacity and promote life, longevity and humanity.
Acupuncture is one of the oldest, most commonly used forms of medicine in the world. Originating in China more than 2,500 years ago, acupuncture is currently one of the most thoroughly researched, practiced, and respected forms of complementary medicine available anywhere.
According to Traditional Chinese Medicine, your overall health is determined by the quality of the Qi (energy) flow through the natural pathways of your body (meridians). Acupuncture uses a variety of techniques, including placing very thin sterile needles into specific points on the body, to stimulate and improve your Qi flow.
The World Health Organization recognizes acupuncture's effectiveness for over 40 common disorders, such as:
- Ear, Nose, Throat Disorders: toothache, earache, sunusitis, rhinitis, laryngitis
- Respiratory Disorders: colds, flus, bronchitis, asthma, allergies, emphysema
- Gastrointestinal Disorders: food allergies, nausea, indigestion, diarrhea, constipation, ulcers, colitis
- Circulatory Disorders: hypertension, high cholesterol, arteriosclerosis, angina pectoris
- Urogenital Disorders: cystitis, stress incontinence, neurogenic bladder, prostatitis, prostatic hypertrophy
- Gynecological Disorders: menstrual irregularity, endometriosis, PMS, infertility, postpartum issues, menopausal syndrome
- Musculoskeletal Disorders: tennis elbow, frozen shoulder, TMJ, sciatica, low back pain, arthritis, carpal tunnel syndrome, fibromyalgia
- Psychoemotional and Neurological Disorders: depression, anxiety, insomnia, headache, migraine, trigeminal neuralgia, intercostal neuralgia, post-stroke paralysis, dizziness, tinnitus
In addition, acupuncture has been used in Asia and around the world for hundreds of other conditions.
Chinese herbal medicine is a 2,000 year old tradition using naturally occurring substances — including herbs — to enhance one's health and vitality. As opposed to Western medicine, the foundation of this approach is to support the body's natural self-healing mechanisms and abilities.
Since each patient has different needs, I carefully select and combine a variety of herbs that synergistically blend together to achieve optimal results for your unique situation. I prescribe high-quality, professional-grade herbal medicines that are available only to qualified licensed professionals.
Cupping has been a part of Chinese Medicine for over 2,500 years. It relieves aches and pains, improves circulation, and also helps with respiratory and digestive issues. I simply place a specialized "cup" onto specific points on your body, and then use suction to draw your skin up into the cups. It doesn't hurt — it simply draws fresh blood to that area of your body, which facilitates the cleansing and strengthening of your Qi (energy). The end result is a greater overall sense of health and well-being.
One of the most common questions that patients ask about Chinese Medicine is: "Why does my practitioner check my pulse?" Pulse diagnosis is actually one of the most complex and important diagnostic techniques we use in Chinese Medicine. Through feeling and evaluating your pulse, I obtain an accurate diagnosis of your overall constitution, Qi (energy) flow, and internal organ health, among other things. I then synthesize all of this information into a highly effective and individualized treatment plan for your specific needs.
Moxibustion is a Traditional Chinese Medicine technique that involves the burning of mugwort, a small, spongy herb, to facilitate healing and health. Moxibustion has been used for healing purposes throughout Asia for thousands of years. The purpose of moxibustion, as with most forms of Traditional Chinese Medicine, is to strengthen the blood, stimulate the flow of Qi (energy), and enhance your overall vitality and health.
Among other benefits, a landmark study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association in 1998 found that 75.4% of women suffering from breech presentations before childbirth had fetuses that rotated to the normal position after receiving moxibustion at an acupuncture point on the bladder meridian.
Although Gua Sha is an ancient healing technique used by Chinese Medicine practitioners for thousands of years, it is relatively unknown in the West. It is recognized throughout Asia as a highly effective treatment for relieving heat conditions, chronic pain, stress, fatigue, and a host of other ailments.
First, Gua Sha oil is applied to a specific meridian (energy pathway) on your body. I then use a smooth round-edged object (such as a Chinese soup spoon) to apply short brisk strokes to that area. This creates red flushing on the skin (called "Sha"), detoxifying your blood and restoring the healthy flow of Qi (energy) to the area. There is no pain involved, and the Sha will fade within 2 to 3 days. But the sense of health and vitality you experience from it will last longer.
Tui Na is an ancient form of bodywork that is based on the principles of Traditional Chinese Medicine. I use a variety of pressures and strokes along the meridians (energy pathways) of your body to both relax your muscles and also stimulate the flow of energy throughout your body. This treats both the physical (musculature) and energetic (Qi) levels of your body at the same time.