Acupuncture has been used for thousands of years in China to treat many different kinds of illnesses. It involves the insertion of very fine, disposable, sterile needles into specific acupuncture points to stimulate and rebalance the flow of Qi (energy) and to encourage the natural healing of the body. Acupuncture is safe and effective. Most people find it to be relaxing during the session.
Chinese herbal medicine draws from a pharmacopoeia of thousands of herbs. Mostly, they are derived from plants, and sometimes from minerals and animal products. These herbs are combined into formulas that are used to treat specific conditions. At my clinic I use only herbal products that are of high quality and have been through strict testing. The herbs I prescribe are mostly in pill/tablet forms for ease of use.
Nutrition is an integral part of Traditional Chinese Medicine. When we talk about food, we think of its character, such as the nature or the Qi (energy) of the food (cold, cooling, warming or hot), its tastes (pungent, bitter, sweet, sour, salty), and what organs and meridians it affects. Therefore, for people of different constitutions, diet needs are widely different in order to maintain optimal health. This is a subject that may come up during the course of your treatment in order to better support you.
Being mindful of one's body, breath, and psycho-emotional patterns is an integral part of healing. Through learning and practicing mindfulness techniques you can bring relaxation and calmness to everyday life, encourage your own healing energy and promote mind-body health and balance.
Glass suction cups are sometimes used to help release tension and toxin in certain areas of the body (such as the back) and encourage the blood flow. Some people say it feels like a "reversed deep-tissue massage" (the pressure is directed upward instead of downward). There are usually red or pink marks on the skin after the treatment, but they will fade within a few days.
Guasha (scraping or spooning) involves pressured strokes over lubricated skin with a smooth edged instrument. This technique may be used for colds and other conditions. The skin where the technique is done turns red or pink (called "sha") after the treatment but again, the redness will fade within a few days.
Tuina (TCM Style Bodywork)
When appropriate, a style of bodywork therapy called Tuina may be used in conjunction with acupuncture treatment in targeted areas to facilitate the flow of Qi and blood. The techniques include applying pressure in certain acu-points, rocking, stroking, stretching, etc..
Moxa is a warming therapy for certain conditions which uses a burning stick made of dried mugwort over certain acu-points.
Ear Acupuncture and Ear Seeds
Ear acupuncture (also called auricular therapy) is based on acu-points in the ear reflecting the whole body and is used for many conditions, including addiction and pain. It's generally incorporated into a regular acupuncture treatment. Ear points may be stimulated for a longer period of time by taping ear seeds (seeds from the vaccaria plants) on the ear and applying pressure by the patient later. The seeds may be left in the ear for a few days.