Acupuncture is a treatment based on Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) -- a system of
healing that dates back thousands of years. At the heart of Chinese medicine is the
notion that a type of life force, or energy, known as qi (pronounced "chee") flows through
energy pathways (meridians) in the body. Each meridian corresponds to one organ, or
group of organs, that governs particular bodily functions. Achieving the proper flow of qi
is thought to create health and wellness. Qi maintains the dynamic balance of yin and
yang, which are complementary opposites. According to Chinese medicine, everything
in nature has both yin and yang. An imbalance of qi (too much, too little, or blocked flow)
causes disease. To restore balance to the qi, an acupuncturist inserts needles at points
along the meridians.
Acupuncture literally means 'needle piercing," the practice of inserting very fine needles
into the skin to stimulate specific anatomic points in the body (called acupoints or
acupuncture points) for therapeutic purposes. The acupuncture points are places
where the energy pathway is close to the surface of the skin. By tapping into these
energy reservoirs to unblock obstructions and balance Qi where it has become
unbalanced, the Qi can then circulate freely throughout the body, providing sufficient oxygen to cells, organs, glands, tissues and muscles. This can eliminate pain and restore balance and harmony, as well as the bodies ability to heal itself -- ultimately leading to optimal health and well-being.
Chinese Herbal Medicine
Chinese Herbal Medicine and Acupuncture are complimentary therapeutic modalities Sthat are often used together in the treatment of a variety of medical conditions. They are used to strengthen, build, and support the body or to clear it of excess problems like a cold, fever or acute pain. It is a powerful therapeutic method in and of itself. These formulas have the capacity to address the underlying root cause of various medical conditions, whether acute or chronic. Your practitioner may suggest starting with herbs and then adding acupuncture to build up your internal strength so you can receive the full benefits acupuncture has to offer.
Over the past 5,000 years, Chinese herbology has evolved into an art form of its own.
Ancient herbal information was gathered, compiled, formulated, tested, and handed
down from generation to generation. That ancient knowledge has been combined with
the latest pharmacological and clinical research to ensure its safety and efficacy and as
such practitioners of Chinese medicine continue to prescribe herbal formulas because
they work extremely well.
Individual herbs are combined in order to enhance their actions and effects upon the
body. When combined, a unique synergistic formula is created. This combination
increases the benefits of a particular formula, and minimizes any harmful side effects.
The art and skill of creating a formula lies within choosing the precise and most effective
herbs that target an individuals disharmony. It is important to work with a qualified
herbalist who can prescribe the correct formula, monitor progress and adjust it as
needed. In order to create the most effective formula the herbs are used in different
quantities and for different purposes. This allows the herbalist to create a formula
aimed at addressing individual needs.
Moxibustion is a treatment that uses an herb called mugwort. It may be burned on the handle of the needle, above the skin, on salt or on a slice of ginger. This is used to “warm” the acupuncture points or areas in order to quicken the healing process.
Moxibustion is especially appropriate for certain types of disorders and certain types of individuals, in particular painful conditions such as muscle pain and arthritis and for balancing individuals who require more warming (Yang) energy.
Cupping is a therapy designed to stimulate the flow of blood and Qi within the superficial
muscle layers. It is used for sore muscles, tension, neck pain and the common cold,
influenza and others. In this therapy, your acupuncturist will place small glass or plastic
“cups” over specific areas on your body. A vacuum is created under the cup using heat
or suction. They may be moved over an affected area or left in place. Cupping is
designed to increase circulation and also relieve muscle tension and tightness. Many of
our clients report that the sensation of cupping feels similar to receiving deep tissue
massage. You may leave the office looking as though a large octopus gave you a big
hug. There is no need for alarm. The slight redness will quickly dissipate.
Tui Na is the art of Chinese hand manipulation or massage involving acupoints and meridians. With specific techniques, Tui Na is used in conjunction with acupuncture to enhance the treatments in a variety of musculoskeletal conditions. It literally translates as “push grasp” and is used as a massage technique that moves Qi in various parts of the body. It is used to relieve muscle pain, tension, and inflammation to heal injuries.
Shoni-shin is a wonderful modality utilized in the treatment of pediatrics, those aged 1 month to 10 years old, and truly works wonders for common respiratory and digestive ailments. Even if it can't help a child with a more complicated picture, it is still beneficial for the nervous system. It can enhance circulation and relaxation, thereby improving health in general. Shoni-shin is a form of bodywork that makes use of small metal tools designed to bring qi to the surface, help it move by "spreading" it along the channels, and stimulate specific acupuncture points. There are about a half-dozen different tools in a shoni-shin kit, none of which penetrate the skin. Children usually love holding the tool for you, or playing with the other tools you are not using, or trying to guess which tool you are using without seeing it. A shoni-shin treatment can be performed in 10 to 20 minutes depending on the age of the child and the severity of the illness. Even a very guarded or frightened child will usually warm up to the idea of shoni-shin, and many actually look forward to it as a kind of game that you, the doctor, are playing with them.