Acupuncture is part of the ancient practice of Traditional Chinese medicine. With over 2,000 points connected by pathways, these meridians create an energy flow through the body that is responsible for overall health.
Disruption of the energy flow can cause disease. By applying acupuncture to certain points, with the insertion of very fine, sterile, single-use needles into specific superficial locations on the surface of the body, it is thought to improve the flow of Qi, thereby improving health.
Chinese medicine is a rich medical system that has existed in some form for more than 3,000 years. Its basic concept is that a vital force of life, called Qi, surges through the body. Any imbalance to Qi can cause disease and illness.
It operates under the premise that humans are microcosms of the larger surrounding universe, and are interconnected with nature and subject to its forces. Balance between health and disease is a key concept. The Five Elements represent the five phases of Qi as it moves through nature and our bodies. The Elements work interdependently in an elegant and systematic balance, each one sustaining and supporting the next in the cycle. Treatment seeks to restore this balance specific to the individual through acupuncture, moxibustion, cupping, massage, herbal remedies, and movement exercises such as qi gong.
Moxibustion, also called “moxa”, is a form of heat therapy used to increase circulation and stimulate acupuncture points. Dried and aged plant material from Chinese mugwort is burned on or near the surface of the skin.
The intention is to warm and invigorate the flow of Qi in the body by strengthening the blood to encourage homeostatic balance. Moxa often feels warm and nourishing, bringing the patient into a deeper state of relaxation due to the aromatic nature of the plant.
Cupping is one of the oldest and most globally practiced medical treatments in human history. “Suction therapy” is seen in stone carvings and drawings throughout the world. It utilizes negative pressure to release stagnation in the fascia and surround tissues.
The term "stagnation" includes excess carbon dioxide and other cell wastes, lactic acid build up, or even food additives that our body cannot process. By allowing the tissue to be lifted upwards, it increases the space for underlying tissue, flushing out capillary beds, assisting the pores to expand and discharge some of these waste toxins, while revitalizing the area with new blood. It is used to release muscle tension, detoxify tissues, and boost circulation. Cupping can also be used to address digestive disorders, respiratory issues, pain and inflammation, immune dysfunction, and scarring restricted fascial adhesions.
Gua sha is a form of Chinese medical massage where the skin is pressed, in strokes, by a round-edged instrument. It is characterized by the unique petechiae that is left behind on the skin, little bruises with a sand-like appearance.
It promotes healthy circulation by extravasating blood, lymph, and metabolic waste which is often congested in connective tissues and muscles. Gua sha is a valuable tool in the treatment of pain, muscle spasms, upper respiratory and digestive conditions, acute infectious illness, and many chronic disorders.