Some people turn their backs to acupuncture because it looks uncomfortable and painful. To be fair, it does involve sticking needles into your body. But the results can be AMAZING! My older sister has scoliosis and acupuncture helped her a lot in relieving the pain. But how does it work?
The answer to that question is Qi. Traditional Chinese Medicine practitioners believe that Qi is the life energy that everyone carries. Acupuncture is supposed to restore the balance of qi in the body, as the pain you experience may be at a shortage of energy and force. This is done by inserting a thin needle at the part of the body that is experiencing pain, as it releases tension in the tissue and muscles in the area.
There are many other interesting techniques besides acupuncture! For instance, cupping is a technique that involves placing a rounded cup on the skin, which sucks the skin up into the cup to improve circulation in the area. Suction is created by placing a flammable cotton ball inside the cup, which heats up the air inside the cup. After the cup is placed onto the skin, it creates a vacuum when the air cools.
The spot turns red, which is the most telltale sign that someone had a cupping session. Swimming legend Michael Phelps is known for getting cupped before his races. That in itself proves how effective cupping is!
3 Tui Na
Another technique is Tui Na. Tui Na is massage technique that may be odd in the U.S., but it is very effective. It involves the practitioner giving a vigorous massage that can hurt a lot, but after the massage is over and the patient rests for a day, it feels amazing.
Last but not least, there are hundreds of herbs and plants that the Traditional Chinese Medicine practitioners use, many of which are proven to have positive effects on the body. Chinese medicinal herbs target heart disease, stroke, bronchitis, among many other ailments. For example, Ginseng is a widely used herb which is said to boost the body’s immune system.
A lot of Chinese medicinal herbs can be made into teas as well! Drinking a herb tea ensures that you are getting exactly the right amount of nutrients, not too little or too much. So maybe try switching out your mom’s peppermint tea with a scallion and ginger (cong bai and sheng jiang) tea one day. You will give her a surprise but she might even thank you for it!