Our Acupuncture Treatments
Sessions may involve any of the following modalities:
Acupuncture involves the insertion of very fine, sterile, disposable needles into various acupuncture points along the body. The Eastern view is that this practice re-balances the healthy flow of Qi (vital force) and blood in the body, and un-blocks stagnation. From a biomedical perspective, research tells us that acupuncture results in many physiological changes, including but not limited to, a boost in endorphins (which reduce pain & make you feel happy), stimulation of the parasympathetic nervous system (stimulates the body's endogenous healing & incredible feelings of relaxation), and vasodilation, which increases blood flow. When the flow of blood is good, then the body is receiving plenty of oxygen and nutrients, making it far more resilient and less likely to suffer pain or illness.
Herbal medicine is a safe & wholistic approach to restoring balance and healing to the body. It is used in conjunction with acupuncture to enhance the effects of treatment, and allow for prolonged and continuous healing in your daily life. The herbs are a very powerful medicine that may also be used on their own (without acupuncture). Chinese herbalism prescribes herbs in formula, such that there is an inherent wisdom in the combination of herbs that together promote whole-body health and mitigate any potential side effects. Herbal medicine is useful in both chronic cases, and acute conditions such as a cold or injury.
Like acupuncture, cupping therapy has been in use for thousands of years. Using either glass or plastic cups, a vacuum-like effect is created as the flesh is suctioned upwards. Far from being painful, this is most often an extremely pleasant experience, especially in areas of tightness. The suctioning stretches tight muscles and fascia (connective tissue), releasing contracted muscles, creating new movement, and allowing fresh blood to flow to the area. This generation of new blood vessels floods the surrounding tissues with oxygen and nutrients, promoting incredible healing.
Massage, shiatsu, and manual tissue manipulation support the acupuncture and help seal in the treatment. These techniques are especially helpful for those experiencing headaches, TMJ, and all kinds of muscle pain/tension.
CranioSacral Therapy (CST) is a gentle hands-on technique that restores proper body alignment and rhythm in order to relieve pain and dysfunction, improving systemic health. CST connects to, and communicates with, the body's central nervous system (the brain and spinal cord), which controls all other functions in the body.
Daily life subjects our bodies to constant stressors that it must cope with and compensate for. In doing so, body tissues and muscles tighten and ultimately contort the CranioSacral system, resulting in tension and restriction around the brain and spinal cord. Since the central nervous system is paramount to bodily function, these restrictions stand in the way of optimal body and mind health.
In order to locate these restrictions, the CranioSacral practitioner uses a light touch to sense for ease of motion and rhythm of the fluid surrounding the brain and spinal cord, known as cerebrospinal fluid. With this knowledge, the practitioner gently releases the restrictions and normalizes the environment around the brain and spinal cord. This allows the body to harmonize, self-correct, and support its natural knowledge and desire to function efficiently and healthfully.
Note: While CST is not a Chinese Medicine modality, I use it with 99% of my patients.
Chinese Medicine is a major proponent of the use of heat therapy for most all chronic cases. Long-term use of ice or cold constricts blood circulation, creating rigidity and depriving the muscles of the necessary nutrients needed for healing. Heat therapy encourages healing by increasing the circulation of blood and oxygen to muscles, reducing inflammation, and removing toxic waste from cells. The two main forms of heat therapy that I use in session are moxibustion and TDP lamps.
Moxibustion, better known simply as Moxa, involves burning the herb mugwort (artemisia) over the skin. The patient is not burned during this process, but should expect to experience a comfortable warm sensation. Moxa is used over certain acupuncture points and/or injured areas to warm and tonify the area, stimulate blood flow, and strengthen the immune system.
TDP lamps are mineral lamps that deliver far infrared heat to the body. This promotes blood and lymphatic circulation, promotes tissue healing, and relieves muscle and joint pain.
Lifestyle & Nutritional Counseling
Everyday dietary choices impact our inner terrain and play a major role in both our health and preventative healthcare. Chinese dietary therapy takes into account the qualities of foods - whether they create heat, cold, or dampness in the body. As with all Chinese Medicine, dietary recommendations are individualized and tailored to suit the patient's body and needs.
Lifestyle recommendations are also incorporated into treatment sessions. Posture, daily activities such as prolonged sitting or exercise, are evaluated and discussed, as these play a large role in the body's pain patterns. Breathing and relaxation exercises are recommended for those with anxiety, stress, and insomnia.
Let's Get Social:
Initial Visit: 90 minutes
Full intake and review of systems
Tongue & pulse evaluation
Acupuncture treatment with CranioSacral Therapy
Cupping, Massage, Moxa, or Gua Sha as needed
Herbal Recommendations as appropriate
Follow-Up Visits: 60 minutes
Treatment proceeds as in the initial visit with a shortened intake/review of systems, allowing for 60 minute treatment time.