Acupuncture is a method where needles are inserted into the body at very precise locations known as acupuncture points. This method stimulates the body to promote natural healing, stop pain, and improve functioning. Channels of energy run through the body and over it's surface. These energy channels called meridians, are like rivers flowing through the body to irrigate and nourish the tissues and organs. An obstruction in the movement of these energy rivers is like a dam that backs up in others. Needling acupuncture points can influence meridians; the acupuncture needles unblock the obstructions at the dams, and reestablish the regular flow through the meridians. Acupuncture treatments can therefore help the body's internal organs to correct imbalances in their digestion, absorption, and energy production activities, and in the circulation of their energy through the meridians.
Acupressure is a form of touch therapy that utilizes the principles of acupuncture and Chinese medicine. In acupressure, the same points on the body are used as in acupuncture, but are stimulated with fingertips and thumbs instead of with the insertion of needles.
Acupressure massage can be very effective both as prevention and as a treatment for many health conditions,including headaches, general aches and pains, colds and flu, arthritis, allergies, asthma, nervous tension, menstrual cramps, sinus problems, sprains, tennis elbow, and toothaches, among others. Acupressure points can also be stimulated to increase energy and feelings of well-being, reduce stress, stimulate the immune system.
Chinese Herbal Medicine
Chinese herbalism is one of the major components of Traditional Chinese Medicine, or Oriental medicine. Chinese herbalism is a holistic medical system, meaning that it looks at treating a patient as a whole person, looking at the mental and spiritual health as well as the physical health, of the individual. Illness is seen as a disharmony or imbalance among these aspects of the individual. Chinese herbalism has been practiced for over 4,000 years. There are hundreds of herbs that are used either singly or in combination to treat a variety of issues and disorders ranging from digestive(IBS, crohns, constipation, heart burn), respiratory (allergies and asthma),cardiovascular( poor circulation, high blood pressure), reproductive( infertility, impotence, low libido, irregular menstruation) to general well being, stress, and insomnia. Most herbs/herbal formulas are available in pill and tablet forms.
A partial vacuum is created in glass cups placed on the skin either by means of heat or suction. This draws up the underlying tissues. When the cup is left in place on the skin for a few minutes, blood stasis is formed increasing lymphatic and blood circulation. Cupping has been found to affect the body up to four inches into the tissues, causing tissues to release toxins, activate the lymphatic system, clear colon blockages, help activate and clear the veins, arteries and capillaries, and activate the skin. Cupping, like Gua Sha, will create "sha". See Gua Sha below.
An ancient Chinese secret, Gua Sha therapy is still practiced by many Chinese today. Gua means to scrape or rub. Sha is a “reddish, elevated, millet-‐like skin rash”(aka petechiae). Sha is the term used to describe blood stasis in the subcutaneous tissue before and after it is raised as petechiae. Gua Sha is one technique that intentionally raises a Sha rash or petechiae. It is a traditional ancient Chinese healing technique that dates back over two thousand years. This ancient method promotes "qi" or bioelectric vital life energy and blood circulation as well as the removes toxic heat, stagnant blood and lymph fluid from the body. Gua Sha treatments are generally not painful, and can feel similar to a deep massage. As the body is scraped it pushes a build-‐up of fluid ahead of it, and after it passes, it leaves an indention or vacuum behind which draws toxic fluid out to the surface of the skin from deep within the tissue. The toxic fluid (Sha), floods to the surface and can be seen in small red, deep purple or green pools of blood, it is also often hot on the area that the toxic heat is extracted. Gua Sha is an excellent tool for treating many pain syndromes, whether acute or chronic, by the increase of blood flow and the breaking up of stagnation and toxicity. Red spots are an indication that toxins are being released. Where the area is deep purple the blood is old and extremely stagnant.
In indirect moxibustion, a practitioner lights one end of a moxa stick (roughly the shape and size of a cigar) and holds it an inch or two away from the skin, usually around the inserted needles to bring mild warmth to the area without burning, until the skin becomes slightly red. Moxa sticks are usually comprised of the the herb Mugwort and sometimes a combination of Mugwort and charcoal. The intensity of the heat during a moxibustion treatment is adjusted according to the patient’s condition and comfort. Indirect moxa is considered to induce a gradual localized vasodilatation response. In addition to increasing the local blood flow, skillful indirect moxibustion is extremely comforting and can create a deep relaxation response. Moxibustion is great for the treatment of pain that is worse with cold and damp conditions, as well as boosting energy levels.