Our Healing Tools
Acupuncture is the insertion of very fine hair thin, sterilized, disposable needles into specific locations found on pathways throughout the body. These pathways contain Qi, the vital life force that flows through our bodies. According to Chinese Medicine, stagnation of Qi and blood within the pathways creates disharmony and pain. When acupuncture needles are inserted at specific locations along the pathways, they prompt the body by stimulating the immune system, and promote movement to clear the disharmony. This allows the body to do its own healing and bring the environment back to balance and homeostasis, resulting in less inflammation and reduced pain.
CHINESE HERBAL MEDICINE
Herbal Medicine is a major aspect of Traditional Chinese Medicine. There are hundreds of different herbs strategically combined into individualized formulas specific to each patient. Herbal formulas may contain anywhere from 2 to 15 different ingredients, and can be taken in the form of teas, powders, pills, tinctures, or syrups. Herbal formulas can prevent as well as treat a vast number of conditions due to their ability to go deep into the body and restore energetic balance for optimal health of body, mind, and spirit. Chinese herbs are safe and effective when administered by a board-certified Herbalist and may be used alone or in conjunction to Acupuncture treatments.
Nourishment of the body with healing food is one of the most important aspects of Traditional Chinese Medicine, and dates back thousands of years 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 to eat the proper foods that allow our digestive organs to function optimally for this will support the immune system, resulting in increased energy, as well as preventing sickness and disease. Nutritional counseling and food journaling is an integral part of all treatment plans, with attention to the unique needs and health history of each individual patient.
Clinical aromatherapy, a fundamental energy medicine, uses high quality essential oils to enhance the health of body and mind and to treat disorders of each as they arise. 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.
Cupping, specifically fire cupping, is an ancient Chinese form of therapy in which a partial vacuum is created in glass cups by use of fire resulting in local suction as the cups are placed on the skin. This mobilizes blood flow to promote healing and is effective in treating many different conditions ranging from a common cold to musculoskeletal pain.
Moxibustion has been a traditional therapy for thousands of years in Chinese Medicine that uses the dried Chinese herb Mugwort, aka “Moxa,” to promote healing. Moxa is burned in a myriad of ways, either directly on the skin, on top of acupuncture needles or held above the skin, and the heat and smoke created penetrate deep through the skin to promote a warming, moving sensation. The heat produced by the herb is not the same as applying a heat pack, as Moxa heats both the surface and subcutaneous levels and operates at the near infrared levels. The Moxa smoke contains no carcinogenic properties and is used as an anti-bacterial fumigant. The herb itself is part of the worm wood family and one of its names, Artemesia Vulgaris, refers to the Goddess Artemis who was the goddess of women, children and childbirth. Mugwort is used with professional application in teas and womb steams for post-partum care as well as ongoing support for gynecological wellness.
Originating in ancient China, Gua Sha is one of the oldest forms of traditional Chinese medicine ever recorded. Gua sha involves using a smooth-edged tool to gently “scrape” and create friction on lubricated skin areas of the body, for treatment of colds, flu, headache, neck and back pain, fever, muscle pain, cough, nausea, abdominal pain, chills and symptoms related to changes in the weather. Primary sites for treatment are the back, neck, head, shoulders and chest. The scraping raises red dots under the skin surface, known as petechiae, and their presence signals that there is a release of congested interstitial fluid under the skin. Many diseases and health complaints can be correlated to stagnant “qi” and blood in the body so stimulating the skin at specific locations is believed to encourage a healthy flow of energy and blood essential for healing.
Mindfulness is a key component of Chinese Medicine. Practiced in a variety of ways, from sitting in meditation, to standing and moving with the coordinated breathwork of Qigong and Tai Chi, mindfulness is as essential to good health as a nourishing diet and engaged lifestyle, because without a strong foundation of focused awareness the mind is not at rest and cannot support healing. Introduction to different mindful approaches is always part of a treatment strategy and includes basic meditation prompts and self-hypnosis techniques, as well as demonstration of Qigong and Tai Chi movements and practices to be done on a regular basis outside of the of treatment room. Incorporating these tools will lend stability and balance to the individuals essential wellbeing.