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Say What Now?

wood-cube-abc-cube-letters-48898Say What Now?


East-Asian medical practitioners don’t talk “the talk” to be confusing, we sometimes get lost in our minds while evaluating a person and planning for treatment.  Here are some helpful hints in deciphering your East-Asian medical practitioner’s language.

Qi – pronounced Chee or, sometimes in Japan – Kee

The vital energy possessed by all living beings.

De qi – the arrival of sensation of qi after a needle is inserted.  Some people experience this as a dull, achy sensation.  Some people describe this as a warm or buzzing sensation.  Some people don’t feel much of anything when the needle is inserted but the acupuncturist has a sensation of de qi.

Stagnant, stasis or stagnation – when energy is stuck.  This often creates pain or dis-order or dis-ease.

Causes of stagnation may be categorized by type.  Qi stagnation.  Blood stasis.

Channels or Meridians – the energetic pathways that move qi.  Example: A “stagnation of Liver Qi” doesn’t necessarily mean there is concern about the functioning of your biological organ, the liver.  The liver channel travels from the toes all the way up to the torso.

TCM = Traditional Chinese Medicine which includes acupuncture, Tui Na, cupping, moxibustion and herbal therapies.

LAc = Licensed Acupuncturist who has received four or more years of education and training from an accredited college of Oriental Medicine (now referred to as East-Asian Medicine.)  Licensing also requires registration with one or more state’s office of financial and professional regulation.  In Illinois, where I practice, this is the

Dipl.Ac = Diplomate of Acupuncture.  An acupuncturist who is fully educated and has passed the NCCAOM or CALE board examinations.

NCCAOM = National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine. The national board that administers and regulates all testing of acupuncturists and practitioners of Oriental Medicine (East-Asian Medicine) except in California; they take the CALE.

There are many different styles of acupuncture.  While one practitioner may focus on placing needles in arms and legs, others may include mostly points along the scalp, ears or belly.  Most practitioners use a blend of styles that include TCM, Japanese, Korean, auricular, Dr. Tan/Master Tung and local trigger points.  I use whatever combination works best for my clients in their quest for health.

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