East Asian Medicine
Acupuncture, Herbal Medicine, Bodywork...They are all tools used by this well rounded system of medicine. It is a medicine based on understanding patterns, not diseases. Instead of diagnosing the body by focusing on a single variable, we look at the way the variables interact. Diagnosing patterns is done by asking questions, palpating the body, feeling the pulses, examining the tongue, etc. These tools have been developed over thousands of years of hands on experience and deliberate study.
Acupuncture uses very thin, sterile, one use needles to work with your body and stimulate your natural healing response in a precise and focused way. Its record of safety when performed by fully trained Licensed Acupuncturists (graduates of a multi-year intensive Chinese Medicine program) is unparalleled.
Orthopedic acupuncture is a style which addresses the affected tissues of the body directly. It is often found effective for those with aches, pains and injuries from accidents, overuse, or unkown causes. Your practitioner will perform the necessary tests to pinpoint the tissues at play and inform you of the best course of action giving you the best chance to resolve the problem. Acupuncture needles may be used to stimulate the affected tissues via a variety of specialized techniques including Electro-Acupuncture, the use of a micro-current of electricity to stimulate the bodies healing response.
Orthopedic acupuncture falls under the broader scope of Traditional Chinese Medicine, which considers your body as a whole during any treatment. As we all know, when one part of the system isn't working properly, it affects (and needs the help of) other parts of the system to get back on track. Here we head into the waters of the channel and organ systems of Chinese medicine. Halfway around the world, while Europe and the United States were building a system of medicine based on certain principles, East Asia was in a similar process. Based on effectiveness and a uniquely holistic view of health, China and surrounding areas refined medical techniques that bring the body into harmony. Here in the United States we are fortunate for the opportunity to learn this methodology as it complements western medicine in a profound way.
Chinese Herbal Medicine
Chinese herbal medicine can have a profound effect on stubborn internal conditions. Rarely are Chinese herbs prescribed singly. Instead, they form combinations which functions something like a symphony. An herb with a particularly strong affect is quelled by a counterpart that soothes. Another set of herbs functions as a team, therefore making it possible to affect a problem from a variety of angles. Over thousands of years of study, formulas have arisen. Used correctly and for the proper amount of time, your custom formulas affects the body in a beneficial way. One could describe Chinese herbal medicine as a well matured branch of herbalism. Having such a long history and such a tremendous reach across large populations, it has found a rare level of refinement as it works powerfully and in harmony with body.
Cupping, Moxibustion, Guasha
Cupping is the process of applying suction to specific areas of the body where there is some sort of disharmony. You may have seen images of athletes with circular marks on their body. The technique is often used when there is some musculoskeletal problem or old injury that is causing some trouble. The basic idea is quite simple. When there is an injury, a kind of traffic jam occurs in the regular movement of blood and body fluids. By applying suction to the skin, some of the stagnation is displaced from the site of the injury, allowing fresh blood to nourish and heal the injury. What you may not have heard of, is cupping for difficult internal complaints. This fascinating technique can assist tremendously with such issues as childhood asthma or digestive concerns.
Moxibustion involves the smoldering of a specially processed herb over acupoints. The results of this therapy can be profound. Often times moxabustion is used in place of acupuncture when certain conditions are present. Patients will feel a warming sensation that penetrates deep into their body, a welcome effect for those who tend to feel cold. Moxabustion is a deeply fascinating process, practiced for thousands of years and known to have a positive effect on mind, body, and spirit when applied with skill.
Guasha is a technique using a variety of round edged tools which are scraped over the surface of the body. It is often effective when a patient has pain accompanied by a "knotting" of muscle or connective tissue. Guasha is also often used for lung complaints or the common cold. Ask Jeffrey for more details!
Shiatsu is a style of bodywork developed by the Japanese. It follows the courses of energy meridians to balance the relative under and over-expressions of systems within the body. Patients report a deeply relaxing and meditative experience.
Tuina is a style of bodywork which is rooted in the physical structures of the body. It involves physical testing to determine the nature and cause of pain or bodily injury, than uses hands on techniques to promote release of tissue and healing. Patients report an experience similar to a deep tissue massage.
Both forms of bodywork are often combined with acupuncture or other modalities.