FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
WHAT IS ACUPUNCTURE?
As more people start branching out in search of alternatives to Western Medicine, they discover the wonders of Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), which surprisingly enough has been around for over 2000 years.
TCM is a system of medicine that works with Qi, which is the body's vital life energy. This energy flows along pathways in the body called meridians also referred to as channels. It is believed that if there is a block in the free flow of Qi in these channels, then pain and illness can occur.
By inserting micro-thin needles into specific points on the body, acupuncture can correct imbalances and blockages in the circulation of Qi. When balance is reestablished, pain, and illness subside. Most people who experience acupuncture can start to feel the effects of the treatment immediately. Treatment can be deeply relaxing. People often experience the 'acu nap' and awakening to a feeling of well-being. The effects of acupuncture are cumulative, bringing the body and energy system into greater alignment with every treatment.
WHAT CAN ACUPUNCTURE TREAT?
TCM looks at all the activities of the body including not only the physical processes but the mental and emotional processes as well. This is why acupuncture can help harmonize psychological and emotional imbalances along with physical pain, disease, and dysfunction. Listed below are some of the areas that acupuncture has been seen to have positive effects:
-Temporomandibular Disorders (TMD/TMJ issues)
- Anxiety and depression
- Addiction and PTSD
- Insomnia and other sleep-related issues
- Menstrual issues
- Infertility and sexual dysfunction
- Support during/after pregnancy
- Asthma, sinusitis, and allergies
- Common cold
- High blood pressure
- Bell's palsy and stroke recovery
- Boost immunity
- Skin issues
- Digestive issues
WHAT IS CUPPING?
Cupping is applied to certain acupuncture points, channels as well as various regions of the body. It is a non-evasive, therapeutic, and deeply relaxing treatment. The practitioner can use either glass cups, silicone cups or plastic cups to create suction. The cup is applied to the body so that the skin, fascia and superficial muscle layer is drawn into and held by the cup. This suction can help stimulate the flow of fresh blood, lymph, and Qi to the affected area as well as throughout the body. It’s widely believed that the increase in blood flow to the area results in a mild immune response and the release of fascia, which eases muscle pain, promotes circulation and fluid flow. It can also help to calm the nervous system. Skin discoloration can appear following a cupping treatment but these marks dissipate after a few hours to a week. Cupping does not cause pain and most patients report feeling relaxed.
Why try Cupping?
It’s relaxing - Cupping along the spine stimulates the parasympathetic nervous system to produce a relaxing and sedating effect on the recipient (it is not uncommon for them to fall asleep!). Toxic feelings of anxiety and stress are lifted up and away.
It reduces pain - Several new studies have shown it helps relieve back, neck, carpal tunnel, and knee pain.
It’s a change from the norm - Massage, foam rolling, sitting, etc. all compress the skin, muscles, fascia, nervous system, and circulatory system. Cupping does the opposite - it decompresses. Our bodies responded well to change and cupping might just be that change you need.
It can help with a variety of conditions, not just pain! - Conditions include flu, colds, coughs, poor circulation, anxiety, allergies, and fevers.
WHAT IS GUA SHA?
Gua-sha is a healing technique used in Chinese Medicine. It can be used as part of acupuncture therapy or on its own. Lotion is applied to the skin and a smooth tool, usually, jade is used to stoke the skin. Repeated long unidirectional pressured strokes will give rise to ‘sha’, which is the redness that appears on the skin that’s been treated. The micro-capillaries under the skin are broken from the pressure creating temporary petechiae. This “Sha” is a positive sign for promoting blood circulation, removing stasis, alleviating swelling, and pain. The redness can last for a few days but should not be cause for concern.
Reasons to try Gua Sha?
It treats pain and impaired movement - it increases microperfusion at the body’s surface that stimulates immune and anti-inflammatory responses. These effects can last for days after treatment.
It works on a cellular level - As jade stone naturally emits infrared rays, this therapy generates internal warmth which supports molecule activation in living tissues, promotes cell rejuvenation and anti-aging in the skin. Awaken the cells with this detoxifying treatment.
WHAT IS MOXIBUSTION?
Moxibustion, commonly referred to as moxa is one of the main therapeutic modalities used in Chinese Medicine. It is a form of heat therapy that involves the burning of the herb Artemisia Vulgaris, also known as Mugwort.
Moxa can be made into stick form or kept loose, allowing it to be used directly or indirectly on the skin. If kept loose, it is then formed into a cone, placed on the skin, and burned until warmth is felt. If used in stick form, the practitioner will hover the stick slightly above the skin, warming the channels generally or specific acupuncture points.
The therapeutic effect of moxa comes in the manner of warming the channels to scatter cold, dispel damp, drain heat, and unblock stagnation, assisting with nourishing and to move or raise energy.
Moxa's wide range of benefits includes: maintaining smooth circulation, relieving pain by clearing blockages, nourishing to strengthen immunity, and raising and lifting the mood to calm the mind.
WHAT IS ATHLETIC THERAPY
Athletic therapy is the treatment of musculoskeletal conditions using various manual therapies, exercise prescription, and modalities including bracing and taping.
The goal of athletic therapy is to help clients’ return to their desired activity level. It is suitable for everyone from weekend warriors to professional athletes.
An initial consultation with an athletic therapist will consist of a thorough orthopedic and physical assessment as well as an evaluation of relevant medical history. The information gathered during the consultation will be used to devise a personalized treatment and rehabilitation plan targeted to your specific needs.
I AM NOT AN ATHLETE....CAN I STILL SEE AN ATHLETIC THERAPIST?
Athletic therapy is for everyone, from office workers to tradespeople, and even violin players. Anyone who uses their body to complete daily activities can benefit from seeing an Athletic Therapist. They work with everyone no matter their age or fitness level.
The body works in mysterious ways, sometimes pain and discomfort develop slowly over time and we tend to accept it as ‘normal’ or ‘that's just how it’s going to be’. We compensate and adjust our movements around the pain and we fail to recognize the negative impact that can have on our quality of life. Athletic therapy can help break this cycle by observing and addressing the compensations that we’ve developed, and implement rehabilitative and preventative measures to maintain health and reduce the risk of future injury.
WHEN SHOULD I SEE AN ATHLETIC THERAPIST? WHAT DO THEY TREAT?
If you are experiencing pain or discomfort, that is negatively impacting your daily life, your occupation, or your ability to do physical activity.
If you are recovering from an injury or surgery.
If you would like to increase your physical activity levels, strength, and mobility, and reduce the risk of injury.
THIS IS NOT AN EXHAUSTIVE LIST, BUT IT CAN HELP TO GIVE YOU AN IDEA OF CONDITIONS AN ATHLETIC THERAPISTS TREATS:
Low Back Pain
Carpal tunnel syndrome
Thoracic outlet syndrome
Tennis and golfers elbow
Muscle and Postural Imbalances
Patella femoral syndrome
Pre and post-surgery - prehab and rehab
IT'S MY FIRST VISIT, WHAT SHOULD I EXPECT?
An initial consultation with an athletic therapist will consist of a thorough orthopedic and physical assessment which can include:
- Gait analysis
- Postural analysis
- Range of Motion evaluation
- Strength/manual muscle testing
- Functional movement screen
- Special testing to rule in/out conditions
The information gathered during the consultation will be used to devise a personalized treatment and rehabilitation plan targeted to your specific needs.
The treatment portion of the appointment can consist of:
- Manual therapy - Soft tissue release,
- Instrument assisted soft tissue mobilization
- Joint mobilizations
- PNF stretching
- Muscle energy
- Active and assisted movement
- Exercise perscription