Acupuncture & Chinese Medicine

Acupuncture

Acupuncture is among the oldest healing practices in the world and is only one component of a complete medical system: Traditional Chinese Medicine. The process is safe, effective, and pain-free; it can be used alone or combined with Western Medicine. Every person’s body has the innate capacity to heal, though it may currently be restricted. Acupuncture works to stimulate the body’s healing capabilities in order to strengthen the immune system, stop pain, stimulate blood flow, and regulate organ function. (The philosophy is similar to the understanding that the human brain has incredible abilities, though we rarely access the depths of its potential.) Many patients find that the need for prescription medicines or surgery decreases, or is eliminated entirely, as they return to health naturally with acupuncture and Chinese Medicine.

A core concept of acupuncture is that disease in the body is a sign of “blockage” or an imbalance. The role of the acupuncturist is to carefully observe the signs and symptoms and to remove the constraints in the system. During an acupuncture session, acupuncture needles–very fine, sterile, single use needles–are gently inserted into the skin to stimulate the blood flow, lymphatic fluid, and energy at specific points to promote healing. The patient is then allowed to rest for approximately a half an hour, while the needles promote healing. The procedure stimulates a relaxed state by allowing the brain to release endorphins and decrease cortisol. Many patients fall asleep during their treatment and experience reduced stress for days after each session.

In addition to acupuncture, Traditional Chinese Medicine offers treatments such as cupping, guasha, and moxibustion. Herbal and nutritional therapies are often used in conjunction with manual techniques to enhance health benefits and shorten recovery time.

Herbal Medicine

Herbal medicine in the traditional Chinese medicinal pharmacopoeia is supported by a vast body of empirical evidence and hundreds of years of experience. Herbal medicine is one of the most important and complex components of Chinese medicine. Because of its effectiveness, it may be the only form of Chinese medicine that you need for your treatment. Natural medicines contain the building blocks of immunity and restorative properties and are found in roots, stems, leaves, flowers, oils, minerals and fruits.  (Familiar western drugs like aspirin are derived from herbs, bark and roots.) A pre-made herbal formula or a special-order custom formula may be prescribed in tablet, capsule, or granular form for use as long as needed, depending on your condition.

In order to diagnose and treat the symptoms, the patient must provide a detailed history of his or her physical condition, lifestyle, and dietary habits as well as a full disclosure of vitamin supplements and medications. Every medical condition, even if unrelated to your chief complaint, is significant. Be sure to ask questions about the various therapies. I am committed to helping you achieve all of your healthcare goals!

Cupping

Cupping therapy, also known as myofascial decompression, is an ancient Chinese form of alternative medicine in which a local suction is created on the skin. The suction mobilizes blood flow and releases myofascial tension in a specific area to promote detoxification, increased oxygenation, and healing. Cupping therapy is primarily used to promote the release of tight muscles, reduce pain associated with tension headaches and migraines, and expedient recovery from respiratory illness.

Gua Sha

Gua sha is a healing method that uses an instrument-assisted unidirectional press-stroking of an area of the body to create therapeutic blood flow (the origin of Graston technique used by chiropractors). This treatment produces an anti-inflammatory and immune protective effect that persists for days following a single treatment. Gua sha is used most frequently in the treatment of pain associated with tendonitis, stiff joints, poor wound healing, and swelling.

Moxibustion

Moxa or moxibustion is a heat therapy used on specific acupoints of the body, to promote pain reduction, healing from trauma, fatigue, and poor circulation. Moxa is a substance made from dried mugwart (Artemesia vulgaris) that is spun into a cotton-like substance or compressed into sticks similar to incense. Moxa is lit and held near the skin in order for the heat to deeply penetrate the local tissue. Many patients report a deep sense of relaxation during the treatment, and an increase in energy for days after.