Acupuncture is the insertion of very fine hair thin, sterilized, disposable needles into acupuncture points found on meridians or pathways throughout our body. These meridians contain Qi, or vital life force that flows through our bodies. According to Chinese Medicine, stagnation of (or stuck) Qi and blood within the meridians equates to pain. When the acupuncture needles are inserted in certain points along the meridians, if there is stagnation it can promote movement, if there is deficiency of qi or blood, they can bring qi and blood to the area, and when there is excess, they can move or release; bring the body back to its natural state of homeostasis.
Chinese Herbal Medicine
Herbal Medicine is a major aspect of Traditional Chinese Medicine. There are hundreds of different herbs that are strategically combined into individualized formulas specific to each patient. Herbal formulas may contain anywhere from 2 to 15 different ingredients, to be taken in the form of teas, powders, pills, tinctures, or syrups. Herbal formulas can prevent and treat a vast number of conditions and diseases due to their ability to go very deep in the body restoring a balance of energy, body, and spirit for optimal health. Chinese herbs are very safe and effective when administered by a licensed Acupuncturist and Herbalist and can either be used alone or in conjunction to Acupuncture treatments.
Moxabustion is a traditional Chinese therapy where the dried up Chinese herb Moxa, or Mugwort (Ai Ye), is burned and the heat and smoke that is created penetrate deep through the skin to promote healing. It is a very powerful, yet safe herb that is very moving and warming and can be used directly on the skin or over a large area on the body.
Cupping, or specifically fire cupping, is an ancient Chinese form of therapy in which a partial vacuum is created in glass cups placed on the skin by use of fire resulting in local suction. This mobilizes blood flow in order to promote healing, and is effective in treating many different conditions ranging from a common cold to musculoskeletal pain.
Nutrition is one of the most important aspects of Traditional Chinese Medicine, and dates back to the Han Dynasty, where the first specialized herbal books contained extensive detail on foods that were used to strengthen the immune system and improve overall health. It is important for us to eat the proper foods that allow our digestive organs to function optimally. This in turn will result in the proper nourishment of our organs, more energy, and also avoid sickness and disease. Nutritional counseling is an integral part of my treatments, and since no two people are equal, I make sure to examine your current diet and help you make the right choices in order to achieve optimal health.
One of the three pillars of Chinese Medicine, along with acupuncture and herbal medicine is Tui Na, or hands-on body therapy. Tui Na is a therapeutic form of massage that has been used in China for over 2,000 years in order to remove blockages and promote circulation of qi and blood. In Chinese Medicine, blockages in the body result in pain and disease. Massage Therapy keeps the energy flowing through the meridians and tissues, therefore treating pain associated with the joints, muscles or skeletal system. It is also a very effective therapy for stress related symptoms, insomnia, headaches and digestive disorders to name a few.
Yoga & Meditation
Yoga and meditation are very effective methods in order to reduce stress and stay healthy. Having had over 10 years experience with meditation, it is one of the tools I use during treatments in order to allow the body to heal and find balance. I am a certified yoga instructor, so I very often teach certain poses (asanas) that may help with posture, pain, or stress. Private classes are also available upon request.
Gua sha involves using a smooth-edged tool which traditionally was a buffalo horn but now can be any tool that has a smooth edge to gently scrape areas of your body, which raises tiny round spots on your skin. The spots are known as petechiae, and their presence signals that there is bleeding, or trauma under the skin. Originating in ancient China, it is one of the oldest forms of traditional Chinese medicine ever recorded. It was often thought of to “scrape away illness.” Many diseases and health complaints can be correlated to stagnant “qi” and blood in the body so stimulating petechiae at specific points is believed to encourage a healthy flow of energy and blood essential for healing.
Essential Oils are the pure essence extracted from the leaves, seeds, roots, or flowers of a plant or tree. Just one drop of an essential oil can have a powerful effect on the body’s mind-body-spirit connection. Each essential oil has its own set of health enhancing properties and can have powerful immune boosting effects.