Dr. Salina Chan utilizes a combined modality approach of Acupuncture, Chinese Herbal Medicine, and Naturopathic Medicine. An overview of each modality is explained below. Dr. Chan has special interests in the treatment and management of infertility, general women’s health, and hormone imbalance.
Acupuncture, the ancient Chinese art of healing, originated almost 6000 years ago with written records of its practice dating from about 500 B.C. Its principles are based upon the theory of Qi. Qi is the vital energy which pervades and sustains all beings and things manifest and unmanifest in the cosmos of which man is the integral part.Qi circulates throughout the body along a system of intricate pathways called meridians and collaterals. When the Qi flows freely and in abundance, we are in the state of health, while lack of or stagnation of Qi give rise to disease and even death.
According to Traditional Chinese Medicine theory, human body contains 14 regular meridians and collaterals. They pertain to the organs (known as zang-fu) interiorly and extend to the extremities and joints into an organic whole, by which they transport the vital energy, Qi, and blood and regulate yin and yang, keeping the functions and activities of all parts of the body in harmony and balance relatively. When a body contacts diseases, often the channels will appear as reaction points which are also called acupoints.
The purpose of treatment is to help the body to heal itself by stimulating and harmonizing the flow of life force or Qi. As a science and an art, methods of treatment in acupuncture may vary from the traditional to the most modern. Treatment is individualized and tailored to meet the patient’s needs. The patient is treated with a combination of body, mind and soul and not simply symptoms.
Acupuncture has been gaining increasing popularity in the recent years in the US, both in popular media and among medical professionals. It has strong applications for treatments of pain, stress related conditions, mood disorders and immune related conditions. Under the care of a professional practitioner, acupuncture can be a very powerful healing modality for disease management and prevention.
Acupuncture treatments are very safe, only sterilized single use disposable needles are placed into the body. The most common risk of acupuncture is minimal bleeding or bruising at the needle site. Many patients tolerate acupuncture without significant side effects. Acupuncture treatments are not painful, patients usually experience a slight pinch or sting upon needle entry, accompanied later by a sensation of pressure or soreness at the needled areas. Once the needles are placed, many patients are able to enter a deep state of relaxation for the duration of the 20 to 30 minutes sessions. Treatment frequency varies with different conditions, many patients will experience some relief of pain after 1 or 2 sessions. For disease management or prevention, a series of 8-12 sessions on a weekly basis may be recommended. Dr. Chan will provide her patients with individualized treatment plans.
Chinese Herbal Medicine
Chinese herbs are a combination of natural plant, animal and mineral substances used to heal and balance the human body, mind and emotions. Herbs can help balance the organ’s yin and yang and invigorate the Qi and blood. Chinese herbs treat both the symptoms and root cause. It is a step-by-step treatment process that works steadily and gradually to heal the patient. Furthermore, the herbs have minimal side effects and do not leave any toxic residue in the body. In combination, acupuncture and Chinese herbs will increase the effectiveness of the treatment and the healing process.
Naturopathic Medicine is a distinctively natural approach to health and healing that recognizes the integrity of the whole person. Naturopathic Medicine emphasizes the treatment of disease through the stimulation, enhancement, and support of the inherent healing capacity of the person. Methods of treatments are chosen to work with the patient’s vital force, respecting the intelligence of the natural healing process. The practice of Naturopathic Medicine emerges from six underlying principles of healing. These principles are based on the objective observation of the nature of health and disease, and are continually reexamined in light of scientific analysis. It is these principles that distinguish the profession from other medical approaches:
- The healing power of nature (vis medicatrix naturae)
- Identify and treat the cause (tolle causam)
- First do no harm (primum no nocere)
- Treat the whole person
- The physician as teacher (docere)
Naturopathic doctors undergo four years of medical training after completing an undergraduate bachelor degree. The first two years are similar to their MD counterparts, in which the basic medical science subjects such as anatomy, physiology, biochemistry, and pathology are taught. The last two years of clinical training include studies in areas such as nutrition, botanical medicine, physical medicine, and pharmacology. Naturopathic doctors are required to complete a rigorous clinical training program prior to graduation. They are required to pass a licensing board exam administered by the Department of Health.
Naturopathic doctors can use both conventional laboratory testing techniques such as blood test and X-Rays along with other nutritional and hormone testings. Dr. Chan utilizes a variety of diagnostic techniques such as laboratory blood test, saliva testing, and various fuctional medicine diagnostics. Dr. Chan uses botanical medicine, supplementation, bio-identical hormone therapy, acupuncture, and lifestyle modification as possible treatment options.
Treatment of Infertility
Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine have been used to support fertility for several thousand years. Recent clinical studies have shown that they can be helpful in aiding modern reproductive techniques such as In-Vitro Fertilization (IVF).
These are goals of acupuncture treatment and IVF:
- To improve the function of the ovaries to produce better quality eggs
- To regulate hormones to produce a larger number of follicles
- To promote uterine relaxation and reduce stress level
- To increase blood flow to the pelvic region in order to optimize receptivity of embryo implants
- To lessen side effects of drugs
- To prevent miscarriages
Acupuncture can be helpful for the following conditions which can attribute to infertility:
- Hormonal imbalance
- Uterine fibroid
- Ovarian cyst
- Luteal phase defect
- Tubal blockage
- Pelvic inflammatory disease
There are many causes of infertility based on Chinese Medicine pattern differentiatons. By inserting needles into the acupuncture points in the body, it can balance internal organ disharmony thus restoring optimal energy and blood flow. When the body’s Yin/Yang is returned to balance, it is able to support the process of conception and pregnancy.