Moving Forward with Tele-health

Bronwyn's picture

When most people think about Acupuncture, what comes to mind is the physical, hands-on treatment you’re used to receiving from your practitioner. However, as many may not realize, Traditional Chinese Medicine has three main pillars: acupuncture, herbal medicine, and diagnosis. So, as it turns out, TCM is more than just needles! Current physical distancing measures, unfortunately, remove the hands-on portion of the treatment, but as all my patients know, there is more to your acupuncture session than just acupuncture, and starting this week, we’re setting out to prove it!




Before any recommendations or treatment plan can begin, the first thing you can expect from your initial session is a traditional Chinese medicine diagnosis. Although there are common patterns, no two patients are the same. If two people visit my clinic with the same Western Medicine diagnosis, such as asthma, they are not likely to receive the same treatment from me. For example, one may be small, with a quiet weak voice, a dry cough, fatigue and a pale complexion. The second patient may be a large, barrel-chested man with a red race and big voice. These two patterns are very different and would lead to a different diagnosis and therefore each would receive a unique treatment plan and herbal formula. 


Traditional Chinese Medicine Herbs


Speaking of herbal formulas: Although it is the least understood branch of TCM, herbal medicine is actually the backbone of the art form. It is through the herbs, formulas and how they interact, that we learn the philosophy of this ancient medicine. The prescriptions are delicately balanced formulas, prescribed specifically for an individual patient, no different than if your GP prescribed a medication. It’s very rare that a patient would be prescribed a single herb, such as ginkgo or ginseng. There are usually around 15 herbs in a typical classical formula, as they work together to enhance and moderate each other’s actions. 




In my initial intake appointments, I always recommend a handful of supplements based on what the patient is presenting. This can be as simple as magnesium for restless sleep, to NAC or myo-inositol for PCOS. Whatever your specific needs, by the end of the first session, you should have a way forward with supplements. Here’s a great article by my colleague describing the many different types of supplements you may use for pregnancy and fertility. 


Besides the above tools, there are benefits inherent in the therapeutic relationship with a qualified practitioner that can’t be underestimated. We will discuss your diet, sleep and exercise habits, as well as anything else that comes up during our sessions, such as physical or emotional symptoms. There is a lot of study on doctor patient rapport, and in my experience, it is the glue that holds my practice together. 


Although nothing would please me more than to treat my patients with acupuncture and CranioSacral therapy, this unfortunate global situation has put that on pause and brought down the 2-meter-stick rule (literally). However, two out of three main pillars of this medicine are still available to you via tele-health sessions, and I believe I can support you with Traditional Chinese Medicine. Email today for a tele-health follow up, and continue on with your Traditional Chinese Medicine treatment plan.