East Asian Medicine (EAM) practitioners work to find the root causes of disease. Instead of looking only at symptoms, acupuncturists (an EAM practitioner) use various techniques of observation (pulse diagnosis, tongue diagnosis, palpation, etc.) to determine the unique state of imbalance (a patient’s “pattern”) that exists beneath these symptoms. Once a patient’s pattern is determined, treatments can be tailored to fit that individual’s specific needs. For example, 10 people could all report low back pain and each of those people could have a different “pattern”, a different state of imbalance. So even though people may present with similar symptoms, the individual treatments will look different person to person depending on their pattern.
Acupuncture is an ancient technique based in eastern tradition that
has been utilized for over 4,000 years. Through the insertion of small, thin needles, acupuncture can tap into all of an individual’s internal systems (Acupuncture sessions can also include non- needle techniques ;)) Using a holistic approach, acupuncture takes the whole individual into consideration, aiming to reestablish an internal balance. Acupuncture is gentle, safe and—despite
misconceptions—incredibly versatile, with the ability to heal a wide variety of afflictions. Check out of Acupuncture FAQs page to learn more about acupuncture.
Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) incorporates customized herbal prescriptions into its complete medical system. Just like acupuncture, Chinese herbs work to restore the internal systems of the body. With herbs, we utilize the unique medicinal qualities of specific herbal combinations to promote the balance of the body’s energetic forces (Yin and Yang). Acupuncture and herbal medicine pair nicely, and can accelerate the healing process when utilized together. Our acupuncturist often recommends herbal formulas during acupuncture session and also offers stand-alone Herbal Consultations.
Cupping is another ancient technique that is still used today. The process involves placing special cups on the skin for a few minutes to create suction that gentle pulls the tissues upward. Cupping is considered a Negative Pressure Therapy and can be used for a variety of ailments. Cupping can help relax muscle pain and tension, increase blood flow, promote the circulation of lymph, and help break up adhesions and scar tissue. The sensations are typically described as a type of deep- tissue massage that leaves you feeling relaxed. Check out our blog post on The Benefits of Cupping and Guasha to learn more!
Gua Sha (sometimes called “coining, or spooning”) is another body work technique acupuncturists use that has similar benefits and sensations as cupping but the technique is a little different. Gua sha involves gently scrapping the surface of the skin with a small tool, usually a ceramic spoon or piece of smooth metal or stone. This technique has been used for thousands of years and can be used to ease sore muscles, reduce allergies and coughs, promote relaxation, and boost the immune system and lymphatic system. Typical treatment locations include the neck, back, shoulders, chest, or over other large areas of muscle, this is called body guasha. Guasha can also be used on the face and neck to enhance graceful aging qualities. This style is becoming very popular. With facial guasha, we use lighter pressure and are not looking to leave these "bruise-like" marking, and are simply bringing blood flow to areas of the face to promote skin that looks tighter, smoother, and more even skin tones. We offer cupping and/or guasha only sessions with our acupuncturist! And our acupuncturist often incorporates guasha into regular acupuncture sessions.
Moxa is another technique acupuncturists use to stimulate acupuncture points. The herb Artemisia vulgari, commonly referred to as mugwort, is placed on or near an acupuncture point and quickly burned. A moxa treatment can be done on its own or can be combined with acupuncture needles during a session. During the application of moxa you should feel slight warmth at the desired area and you should not experience pain or discomfort. Most patients report feeling warmth, pain melting away, and have a deep sense of relaxation. Moxa can be used for a variety of conditions, such as chronic and acute pain that is of a “cold” nature, meaning the injury/pain responds well to the application of heat. Moxa is also great at helping to regulate digestive issues, gynecological issues, and mental emotional imbalances. Our acupuncturist often uses moxa, when it is appropriate, during acupuncture sessions.
Shiatsu is a form of traditional Japanese bodywork based in Chinese medicine concepts such as acupuncture points and channels. The word Shi-atsu means “finger pressure” in Japanese. A typical treatment involves a trained practitioner using hand and finger pressure over specific acupuncture points and channels. Shiatsu sessions can be uniquely tailored to fit the client’s needs. A full session usually incorporates the entire body with the client remaining fully clothed. Our acupuncturist also incorporates some shiatsu into her acupuncture sessions
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