The nature of Traditional Chinese Medicine is truly holistic and looks at the complete pattern of an individual’s health, vitality and contributing life style factors.
Ailments are seen as an imbalance or blockage in Qi (oxygen, energy or vitality) and health is regained when a healthy flow of Qi is reestablished.
Acupuncture is based on this ancient theory of the flow of Qi and Xue (Blood) through channels or meridians that run throughout the body, similar to the nervous and circulatory systems. The insertion of fine needles at specific points on these meridians has proven to effectively stimulate a healing response throughout recorded medical history. There are no side effects with acupuncture as it is effectively a tool to allow the body to rebalance and heal itself at a profound level.
The application and benefits of acupuncture and herbs have been documented for over 2000 years. Yet it is only recently that systematic exploration of Chinese Medicine using scientific methodology has allowed acupuncture to become recognized and accepted worldwide. Clinical studies of acupuncture in the treatment of a wide range of illnesses have led to acupuncture’s acceptance and recognition by the medical establishment, the World Health Organization and increasing numbers of insurance companies.
The following additional therapies supplement our acupuncture treatments to further the effective support of Chinese Medicine according to each patient’s needs.
What is Moxa?
According to the book Acupuncture, a Comprehensive Text “moxa” or moxibustion is the burning of specific herbs above the skin at acupuncture points. This activity heats the Qi and Blood in the channels. Because the nature of the primary herb used (mugwort) is considered to be pure Yang, it is very useful for boosting energy and for chronic, weakened conditions. Any condition that is worsened by cold (low back pain, knee pain, arthritis pain) can be improved by warming the tissues. We can also use moxa applied to specific acupuncture points to boost immunity.
What is Cupping?
Recently made famous by Olympic athletes, cupping therapy has been used for thousands of years. The suction and negative pressure provided by cupping can loosen muscles, encourage blood flow, and sedate the nervous system (it’s great for anxiety or high blood pressure). Cupping does produce discoloration at the skin. This coloring typically ranges from bright red to a darker purple, and can last from 3 days to a week. A darker coloring means that there is a high level of toxins and stagnation in the section of the body that has been treated. In this case, the marks can last for up to 3 weeks. However, if there are hardly any toxins, the coloring could be just a light pink and is likely to dissipate within a few hours. Cupping is excellent for arthritis pain, headache, low back pain, neck pain and can even help treat the common cold.
What is Gua Sha?
Gua Sha is just one of the many tools an acupuncturist may use. “Sha” refers to the red spots or petechiae that form on the skin as the acupuncturist uses a small tool to “scrape” an area of the body. I often tell people – it is like using a foam roller at the gym, just much more targeted. Modern research shows the effect of gua sha is anti-inflammatory and immune protective, and lasts for days following a single treatment. Patients feel immediate relief from pain, stiffness, fever, chill, cough, wheezing, and more.
What is Auricular Therapy?
Auricular therapy, or ear acupuncture is another effective tool used by acupuncture practitioners, based on the idea that the ear is a microsystem which reflects the entire body. Conditions affecting the physical, mental or emotional health of the patient may be treatable by stimulation of the surface of the ear exclusively. (Similar mappings are used in many areas of the body, including the practices of reflexology and iridology.)