ACUPUNCTURE AND ELECTRO ACUPUNCTURE
Acupuncture is the insertion of extremely thin sterile single use needles into the skin at specific points along channels or meridians. Electro acupuncture involves the attachment of small leads to the handle of the needle to apply a micro-current of electricity. This more strongly stimulates the area being treated and can be used for pain, among other issues. Acupuncture has been clinically proven to be effective at treating a wide range of issues and diseases. For more information please see the "Conditions Treated" page.
CHINESE HERBAL MEDICINE
In the Chinese Materia Medica, there are thousands of medicinal substances described. They primarily plants but also some minerals and animal products. Different parts of plants are used including roots, stems, flowers, leaves and seeds. Individual herbs are combined in formulas and administered in the form of teas, capsules, tablets, liquid extracts, or granules. Chinese herb formulas are used to treat pain, as well as a huge range of internal imbalances such as digestive complaints, problems with the reproductive system (men and women) and can also address issues like insomnia and anxiety or depression. Formulas are highly customizable and can be tailored to a person's specific needs no matter how straight forward or complex they may be.
Using a small flame or a vacuum pump, cups of glass or plastic are placed on the skin in different areas of the body. The suctioning of the skin into the cups draws blood to the surface increasing circulation, improving lymph fluid flow and relaxing tension in the myofascia. Cupping is traditionally used to treat colds/flue and asthma. Cupping is used in either a stationary or moving style. With stationary cupping, the cups are left in the same location for a certain length of time. This can leave painless circular marks on the skin that range in color from light red to purple. Moving cupping involves coating the skin in a small amount of oil to enable the cup to be gently moved along the area being treated. This style of cupping leaves coloration similar to that of Gua Sha.
Moxibustion or moxa involves the burning of Ai Ye or mugwort, a Chinese herb. It is a form of heat therapy that is useful for pain, menstrual pain, digestive disorders, breech fetal presentation, and to generally increase blood circulation. There are many different ways to administer moxa. One of the most common techniques is illustrated in the photo, where a smoldering moxa stick shaped like a cigar is held close to (but not touching) the skin, to gently warm the area.
Gua sha is a technique in which a round edged instrument is used to apply repeated pressurized strokes over an area of lubricated skin. The application of strokes causes small red spots to appear on the skin. These fade after 2-3 days. This technique is commonly used to treat fever, asthma, muscle and tendon issues, poor circulation, headaches and a wide range of other problems of the musculoskeletal system.
Tui na is a form of therapeutic Chinese massage and body work. It translates to "pinch and pull" or "push and grasp." It is not used as a relaxing type of massage, rather it is a more dynamic and therapeutic technique of body work. Tui na is useful for a wide variety of musculoskeletal problems as well as for the treatment of superficial trauma and injury. It is used for stiff neck/shoulders, sciatica and a sore back. Additionally it can be used to address issues of the digestive and reproductive systems, as well as headaches and migraines.