Acupuncture is a collection of medical procedures which involves the stimulation of certain points on the body using a variety of techniques, such as penetrating the skin with needles that are then manipulated manually or by electrical stimulation. It is one of the key components of Traditional Chinese Medicine and is among the oldest medical therapies in the world. According to the traditional Chinese medicine approach, stimulating specific acupuncture points corrects imbalances in the flow of Qi or Chi through channels known as meridians.
Acupuncture's use for certain pathological conditions has been endorsed by the United States National Institutes of Health, the National Health Service of the United Kingdom, the World Health Organization.
Chinese herbal medicine is the majority of treatments in traditional Chinese medicine. There are roughly 13,000 medicinal plants used in China and over 100,000 medicinal recipes recorded in the ancient literature. Plant elements and extracts are by far the most common ingredients used. For many plants used medicinally, detailed instructions have been handed down through generations, not only regarding the locations and areas where they grow best, but also regarding the best time of year to plant and harvest them. Chinese patent medicine is a kind of traditional Chinese medicine whereby standardised herbal formulas are implemented. In China, all Chinese patent medicines of the same name have the same proportions of ingredients, and are manufactured in accordance with the PRC Pharmacopoeia, which is mandated by Chinese law.
Cupping is a type of Chinese massage, consisting of placing several glass "cups" (open spheres) on the body. A match is lit and placed inside the cup and then removed before placing the cup against the skin. As the air in the cup is heated, it expands, and after placing in the skin, cools, creating lower pressure inside the cup that allows the cup to stick to the skin via suction. When combined with massage oil, the cups can be slid around the back, offering "reverse-pressure massage".
Tuina is a form of Chinese manipulative therapy often used in conjunction with acupuncture. Tuina is a hands-on body treatment that uses Chinese taoist and martial arts principles in an effort to bring the eight principles of Traditional Chinese Medicine into balance. The practitioner may brush, knead, roll/press, and rub the areas between each of the joints, to attempt to open the body's defensive (wei) chi and get the energy moving in the meridians. The practitioner can then use range of motion, traction, and massage, with the stimulation of acupressure points. These techniques are claimed to aid in the treatment of both acute and chronic musculoskeletal conditions, as well as many non-musculoskeletal conditions.
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