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. Often people are worried that acupuncture will hurt but when administered correctly, one should experience little to no discomfort. 

What Can Acupuncture Help With?

         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: 

  • Pain                                                    

  • Headaches/migraines

  • Temporomandibular Disorders (TMD/TMJ issues)

  • Anxiety and depression

  • Addiction and PTSD

  • Insomnia and other sleep-related issues

  • PMS

  • Menstrual issues 

  • Menopause

  • Infertility and sexual dysfunction

  • Support during/after pregnancy

  • IBS

  • Constipation 

  • Asthma, sinusitis, and allergies 

  • Common cold

  • Stress 

  • High blood pressure

  • Bell's palsy and stroke recovery 

  • Boost immunity

  • Skin issues 

  • Digestive issues

What else can be used during an acupuncture treatment?

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 takes a small glass cup and ignites a small flame inside the cup, creating a vacuum. The cup is then quickly 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 remove toxins from the body and 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.

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.

  • It's relaxing! 


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.

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