Acupuncture & Chinese Medicine Modalities
Acupuncture is the gentle insertion of small, single-use, stainless steel needles into specific points along the body to achieve homeostatic balance or physiological change. The needles are very thin, and most people do not even notice the insertion, however, occasionally it can produce a quick pinching as it enters the skin. It is not uncommon to experience the sensation of the “energy arriving at the point” or “spreading to another area of the body.” Patients often are aware of radiating warmth, tingling or a dull heaviness. Depending on your individual needs, needles can be inserted and quickly removed, or left in for 20-30 minutes while you relax on the table. Once inserted, needles activate a crucial transition in your body from Sympathetic (fight-or-flight) to Parasympathetic (Rest-and-Restore) tone. This produces such a powerful result that it has been shown to impact both brain chemistry and scans of the body immediately.
By using targeted, healing touch, the body is encouraged to relax and release patterns of holding and injury due to stress, postural habits, and trauma. Palpatory massage is also a useful method of diagnosis and helps to distinguish which meridians and muscle to treat.
Shiatsu is a Japanese form of massage that uses firm finger and palm pressure to address patient’s muscle pain, emotional well-being and digestive complaints. Shiatsu massage can be used to assist in palpatory diagnosis and help fine-tune muscular skeletal treatments.
Tuina massage is a Chinese therapy that incorporates hands-on body treatment like kneading, rolling, pressing, pinching, rubbing, and supportive holding to balance the body’s meridians and get energy moving. Tuina massage is used for both acute and chronic issues.
Cupping is the Chinese technique of gently heating small glass cups and placing them on the body. The heat creates a vacuum that suctions the cups to the skin. The cups are then left in place or moved with oil – running cups – which in turn massage muscle and facia. Because cupping therapy reaches deeper into the musculature than most massage, the treatment dramatically invigorates the blood and removes toxins, as well as stagnant lactic acid built up in the body’s tissues. This result not only helps the body to fight off the common cold and flu but also significantly reduces pain.
GuaSha, also know as Scraping, is a Chinese term referring to repeatedly and forcibly rubbing the skin using a porcelain, jade or metal tool. GuaSha therapy is a technique used to alleviate pain, reduce fever and minimize the symptoms of common cold.
Electrical current can be added as supplemental to an Acupuncture treatment. Called Electro-stimulation or E-Stim. This therapy is often used to address spasmodic muscle fibers and can enhance rehabilitation, relaxation and pain relief. By using Electro-stimulation therapy, injured muscles and fascia can be re-educated and reintroduce to proper function and range of motion.
In moxibustion (or moxa, for short), a tightly-packed cone of Artemisia (or Mugwort) is lit, placed on the acupuncture point and allowed to heat the targeted area. Moxa warms and eases the pain of arthritis and menstrual cramps and is useful in promoting good circulation, digestion, and overall health. Moxibustion is an easy and powerful complement to any acupuncture treatment.
Meditation is a contemplative practice in which one pursues the state of awareness through focused, quiet sitting. It can be accomplished through solitary practice or via one-on-one or group classes. Meditation is linked to numerous health benefits and is an essential part of many cultures.
Though Tai Chi has it’s foundation in martial practice; it has been adopted by many for its health benefits. Known for assisting in balance, flexibility and cardiovascular health, Tai Chi’s low impact, and gentle movements have also been shown to lower blood pressure, reduce pain and burn calories.
Qigong uses intentional, rhythmic breathing coordinated with a fluid, repetitive motion to align the body’s energy and achieve balance. Along with Acupuncture, Herbology, Nutrition, and Tuina, Qigong is one of the Five Branches of Chinese Medicine.
Any consultation or treatment would be incomplete without discussing diet, health, and nutrition. Consistently eating nutritionally dense whole foods fortifies the body against disease. Eating in alignment with the seasons is incorporated as a foundational aspect of treatment.
Combining nutritional health and prescribed acupuncture treatments along with Herbal Medicine is known to enhance and expedite the healing process. Herbal formulas come in many forms (teas, tinctures, soaks, rubs, capsules, granules, etc.) and are GMP tested and certified for quality and purity. I partner with Portland-based Golden Cabinet Herbal Pharmacy to supply herbal formulas and remedies to my clients.
An essential aspect of moving through any pattern is to understand the beliefs and thought forms in which our patterns are based. Time is spent with each client shining light into areas in our lives that are hidden or blind to us. When we bring awareness and attention into the routine, habitual aspects of our life, we can profoundly address how the symptoms we feel arose in the first place. I offer mentoring sessions remotely using FaceTime or Skype.