Acupuncture is a medical system focused on balancing the function of the nervous, circulatory, and endocrine systems of the body. It optimizes, regulates, and balances cellular function, circulation of blood, hormones, and oxygen.
Acupuncture is the insertion of a medically sterile, hair-sized, filiform needles into precise points on the body. Through careful observation of the patient and assessing his or her condition, an acupuncturist will help restore optimal function, returning the body back to the natural state of homeostasis. By improving circulation, balancing and regulating hormones, and improving nervous system function, symptoms of pain and dysfunction diminish and resolve.
Tui Na is considered the oldest form of manual therapy. It is the grandfather of massage, physical therapy, and chiropractic. By the use of soft tissue manipulation, a practitioner stimulates the meridians and acupuncture points, improving blood circulation, nervous tone, and reducing pain. Tui Na can be performed with the patient fully clothed, or with the use of herbal liniments. It is a highly regarded form of medicine in China, and is used in hospitals by doctors who specialize in Tui Na.
Acupressure is the use of thumbs, forearms, elbows, and knees on acupuncture points and meridians. It is very similar to Shiatsu, and is performed with the patient fully clothed. The practitioner works methodically, and meditatively, giving a treatment similar to acupuncture.
Manual Therapy is a very specific treatment with the relief of specific medical condition in mind. It is done, with the patient disrobed and draped. Manual therapy combines the knowledge of western functional medicine with the theories and practices of chinese medicine. This form of work may also be combined with hot or cold therapy, to enhance therapeutic effects.
Cupping is a therapy that involves glass cups that pull oxygen and nutrient rich blood up into sore, stagnant muscles. This modality is highly effective in improving the immune system, removing toxic blood from large areas, and improving nervous and muscular communication. It relaxes the muscles and reduces inflammation. Cupping hickeys have been seen on famous athletes and actors alike.
Intradermals, IDs, are tiny, “take home”, needles that are used to prolong a treatment. They are usually used in cases where a patient will be going on a trip or otherwise miss a scheduled treatment. IDs can be worn for up to 2 weeks, before needing to be removed. This type of acupuncture is used by the US military.
Gua Sha is the scraping of the surface of the body with a spoon, coin, or more traditionally, a water buffalo horn. It can be done lightly as a form of lymphatic drainage, increasing immune function by 400%. It can be performed moderately, as a form of cross fiber friction and breaking up connective tissue adhesions and scar tissue. Or it can be performed vigorously, as a myofascial release technique (graston technique).
TDP lamps are special infrared lamps that penetrate the surface of the body and improving circulation and reducing pain. In treatment they can be used in areas of poor circulation to improve wound healing.
Lifestyle or self-care training can be held in class or lecture settings, or can be personalized to the patient’s needs. Areas covered include: diet, therapeutic exercise, healthy habits, sleep patterns, and supplementation (if needed).
Community style acupuncture is way to receive the benefits of acupuncture, for those who don’t have a lot of time in their schedule. It is a form that focuses on pain or symptom relief, rather than corrective care, and is performed with the patient seated and fully clothed. Select points on the hands, ears, and sometimes feet and ankles are used.