What You Always Wanted to Know About Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine Part 2
Dr. Mary Riggin, LAc, FitFM – Family Wellness Herbs, Massage, and Acupuncture
What about Herbs?
There is a general public opinion that just because something is natural, it is safe. This is not true about Chinese herbal medicine. The practice of Chinese herbal medicine uses both single herbs as well as herbal formulas containing several herbs. Ancient texts document various herbal formulas that can be used to treat various conditions. When herbs are combined there is a synergistic effect and this results in precise safe and effective treatment. TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine) developed the practice of herbal medicine to coincide with treating the energy (Qi) imbalance in the body. Ancient texts categorize the herbs, and disease can only be treated after the imbalance in the energy levels (Qi) of the body has been identified. So the same TCM diagnosis used for the acupuncture prescription is the same one used for the herbal prescription.
The oldest known significant Chinese medical text “Yellow Emperor’s Inner Classic” (Huang Di Nei Jing) was compiled between 200 B.C. and 100 B.C. This ancient text outlines the theoretical and philosophical foundation of TCM. With an understanding of this foundation, a practitioner can diagnose the imbalance and then incorporate herbs and acupuncture into a treatment protocol.
What’s Tui na massage?
Tui na is a specialized massage technique to address physical problems in the body. To clarify; our bones are held together by soft tissue: the muscles, tendons (attaches muscle to bone) and ligaments (attaches bone to bone.) If you didn’t have soft tissue, you’d be a bag of bones on the floor. The muscles interconnect in various layers to create a complex pulley system that allows us to move in all the various ways that we do. When there is a blockage in the tissue, communication does not flow properly and pain or malfunction can be the result. This blockage can be caused by trauma, stress, old injuries and scare tissue. Regular massage can help this, but many times, it just doesn’t get deep enough, or can even aggravate it. When acupuncture is combined with tui na massage the results can be remarkable. This is because the acupuncture relaxes the tissue by releasing endorphins thereby enabling the practitioner to get deep enough into the tissue to correct the problem. Many patients have commented that even though they’ve had many good deep tissue massages, no one has ever gotten to the “spot” that is creating the problems. Other bodywork techniques include cupping, gua sha and traction.
What Conditions Does Acupuncture Treat?
Since acupuncture and Oriental Medicine work to restore the body’s natural balance, it can be effective, to some degree, on any non-optimum health condition with no side effects. For example, acute problems such as cold and flu symptoms, and injuries; chronic problems like pain and inflammation, hormonal imbalances, allergies and asthma, digestion problems, and circulation problems. These are just some of the problems that can be helped safely and naturally with Oriental Medicine. It is no wonder that millions of people worldwide have found their health solution in this ancient medical art.
Executive Director, Acupuncture Physician
Dr. Riggin is FitFM - Family Wellness , is the Founder and Director of Healing Touch Oriental Medicine. As an inspiring health educator, in-demand speaker and doctor of acupuncture and Oriental Medicine, Dr. Mary has helped thousands of people completely turn their health around. Dr. Mary co-hosts and produces the wildly popular radio show "Food is the First Medicine" and her presentations and viewpoints on natural healthcarehave made her an in-demand and innovative expert in the natural health world.
Dr. Mary Riggin, produces and hosts Food is the First Medicine Talk Radio Show, and is a popular speaker. Since 1996 she has practiced natural medicine in the Tampa Bay area; her passion and purpose is to help as many people as possible. Listen to her weekly on TanTalk 1340AM in Tampa Bay, or online anytime, anywhere at www.foodismedicine.org.
She is former Vice Chair of the Florida State Board of Acupuncture and was appointed to this gubernatorial position by Governor Lawton Chiles and Governor Jeb Bush. She has been featured on various TV and radio shows and frequently teaches free classes at community and recreation centers throughout Pinellas County.
She is a published author and was featured in the book A Woman's Guide to Vitamins, Minerals and Alternative Healing, writes and publishes educational newsletters and brochures, and was elected to serve two consecutive terms as President of the Florida State Oriental Medical Association.