Acupuncture has been used as a healing modality for over 3,000 years and is part of a system called Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). Chinese medicine takes into consideration the person as a whole and treats the underlying cause, or root, of disease, to increase function and improve vitality.
Acupuncture consists of the precise insertion of extremely fine needles at specific acupuncture points located on the body. These needles are pre-sterilized, individually packaged and disposed of after each use.
In the past three decades, electromagnetic research has confirmed the existence and locations of these acupuncture points. When a needle is inserted into these areas, it stimulates the nerve to send a signal that travels through the central nervous system (CNS) to the spinal cord and to the brain. This causes certain chemicals to be released that help with pain relief. These chemicals include endorphins and enkephalons which bind to our natural opioid receptors in the brain to create an analgesic (pain reducing) effect. Acupuncture also stimulates hormone balance by sending signals to the Hypothalamic Pituitary Axis (HPA) to enhance communication to the endocrine system (thryoid, adrenal, and ovaries). In addition, acupuncture has a benefit in local tissue (the surrounding area where the needle is inserted) to decrease inflammation, increase blood flow, and inhibit pain sensation.
Today the benefits of acupuncture and Chinese medicine have become widely recognized and integrated with mainstream healthcare. Acupuncture is currently one of the most thoroughly researched, practiced, and respected forms of complementary medicine available anywhere. The many benefits of acupuncture include: Pain reduction, stress and tension relief, increased energy levels, stronger digestion, hormone balance, relief from bad habits and addictions such as smoking and drug dependence, and a greater sense of overall health and well-being.
Auricular (Ear) Acupuncture
Auricular (ear) acupuncture is one of the more widely used micro-systems within eastern medicine. It is based on the principles of Traditional Chinese Medicine and has a long history of use in China. It was mentioned in the most famous of ancient Chinese medical textbooks, “The Yellow Emperor’s Classic of Internal Medicine.”
Auricular therapy is widely used for many conditions, including addiction treatment, mood disorders, obesity, pain, and other conditions. Acupuncture points found on the ear help to regulate the body’s internal organs, structures, and functions, and have been shown to stimulate the release of endorphins, the body’s own feel-good chemicals. Auricular acupuncture may be used as a primary mode of treatment or in conjunction with other treatments such as acupuncture, bodywork or herbal medicine.
Electroacupuncture blocks pain by activating a variety of bioactive chemicals through peripheral, spinal, and supraspinal mechanisms. These include opioids, which desensitize peripheral pain receptors and reduce pro-inflammatory cytokines, and serotonin and norepinephrine, which decrease pain receptor signaling. Additional studies suggest that electroacupuncture, when combined with low dosages of conventional analgesics, provides effective pain management that can forestall the side effects of often-debilitating pharmaceuticals.
Cupping has been a part of Chinese Medicine for over 2,500 years. It relieves aches and pains, improves circulation, and also helps with respiratory and digestive issues.
Specialized “cups” are placed onto specific points on your body (typically on the back), and then suction is created to draw your skin up into the cups. It doesn’t hurt — it simply draws fresh blood to that area of your body, which facilitates the cleansing and strengthening of your Qi (energy). The end result is a greater overall sense of health and well-being. Read more…
Guasha (Gwa Shah)
Although Gua Sha is an ancient healing technique used by Chinese Medicine practitioners for thousands of years, it is relatively unknown in the West. It is recognized throughout Asia as a highly effective treatment for chronic pain conditions, stress, fatigue, and a host of other ailments.
First, Gua Sha oil is applied to a specific meridian (energy pathway) on your body. Then a smooth round-edged object (such as a gua-sha tool) is used to apply short brisk strokes to that area. This creates red patches of skin (called “Sha”), detoxifying your blood and restoring the healthy flow if Qi (energy) to the area. There is no pain involved, and the Sha will fade in 2 to 3 days. But the sense of health and vitality you experience from it will last much longer! Read more…
Moxibustion is a Traditional Chinese Medicine technique that involves the burning of mugwort, a small, spongy herb, to facilitate healing and health. Moxibustion has been used for healing purposes throughout Asia for thousands of years. The purpose of moxibustion, as with most forms of Traditional Chinese Medicine, is to strengthen the blood, stimulate the flow of Qi (energy), and enhance your overall vitality and health.
Among other benefits, a landmark study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association in 1998 found that 75.4% of women suffering from breech presentations before childbirth had fetuses that rotated to the normal position after receiving moxibustion at an acupuncture point on the bladder meridian. Moxibustion is also very effective for chemo & radiation support in alleviating the side effects including nausea, vomiting, and hair loss, as well as helping to reverse chemotherapy induced leukopenia. Read more…