How does it work?

Chinese medicine has included the use of acupuncture for over two thousand years. It requires the use of solid, sterile, single-use needles that are inserted into acupuncture points at various parts of the body with the intention of restoring balance, relieving pain, increasing blood circulation, and reducing inflammation. Diagnosis based on ancient Chinese medical theories uses eight principles: yin/yang, internal/external, excess/deficiency, hot/cold. 

According to Traditional Chinese medicine, there are as many as 2,000 acupuncture points on the body which are all connected by 20 different channels, or meridians. Within these channels flows qi ("chi") between the surface of the body and the internal organs. Each point has a unique influence on the qi that flows through it, helping balance the body with the ultimate goal of promoting health and well-being, preventing disease, and restoring balance.

Acupuncture effectively treats many conditions, such as:

  • Digestive disorders: acid reflux, indigestion, heartburn, gas, bloating, cramping, IBS, gastric ulcer, nausea, diverticulitis, Crohn's disease, ulcerative colitis, diarrhea, constipation, Celiac disease, belching, bad breath, gastritis
  • Migraines/headaches
  • Gynecological disorders: PMS, fibroids, cysts, amenorrhea, painful menses, PMDD, PCOS, infertility, heavy menses, endometriosis
  • Pregnancy: sciatica, heartburn, edema, breech position, delayed labor, morning sickness, varicosities, sinusitis
  • Postpartum: low milk supply, incontinence, prolapse, postpartum depression/anxiety, mastitis
  • Psychological disorders: stress, anxiety, bipolar, insomnia, obsessive thoughts
  • Respiratory disorders: asthma, shortness of breath, upper respiratory tract infection (URTI)
  • ENT: sinusitis, allergies, sinus infection, itchy nose, chalazion, blurry vision, floaters, sore throat, dry eyes, ear infection, tinnitus, vertigo, hearing loss
  • Circulatory disorders: high blood pressure, Raynaud's disease, cold hands & feet, orthostatic hypotension, angina
  • Endocrine disorders: hypothyroidism, Hashimoto's thyroiditis, hyperthyroidism, PCOS, Cushing's disease, Addison's disease, diabetes, menopause, SLE (lupus)
  • Pain conditions: fibromyalgia, neuropathy, arthritis, MS (multiple sclerosis), shingles, nerve damage, frozen shoulder, herniated disc, slipped disc, kidney stones, trigeminal neuralgia, gout, plantar fasciitis, low back pain, neck pain, muscle strain, tendonitis,, post workout muscle soreness, post-surgical pain, sciatica, thoracic outlet syndrome, knee pain, carpal tunnel syndrome, DeQuervain's tenosynovitis, stress fracture, Morton's neuroma 
  • Trauma: whiplash, broken bone, sports injury, contusion, ankle sprain
  • Dermatological disorders: acne, dermatitis, eczema, shingles, cyst, hyperpigmentation, hives, itching, rash, dry skin, rosacea, psoriasis, hyperhidrosis, premature aging, sagging skin/loss of elasticity, wrinkles

Various other modalities, such as cupping, gua sha, electrostimulation, and moxibustion contribute to a more holistic and effective treatment overall. 

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Cupping therapy is a form of myofascial decompression that is painless and involves the use of small glass or plastic cups. A vacuum is created in the cup with the use of heat or suction. Several are then placed over a specific area with the intention of helping the body relieve tension and soreness, and releasing pathogens that cause you to feel under the weather. It effectively decompresses the fascial layer, improving lymphatic drainage, nerve conduction, blood circulation to heal micro-tears that cause muscle soreness, and relaxes tense musculature that can lead to pain.

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Gua sha is a form of soft tissue manipulation that includes the use of a tool, usually made of jade or horn, along with an oil to rub the skin with the goal of raising "sha" (a reddish discoloration of the skin that signifies the presence of blood stasis in the muscle layer). Gua sha is commonly used to treat pain, but may also be used to treat respiratory infections, asthma, colds, fever, heatstroke, fibromyalgia, various injuries and muscle spasms. Gua sha works by increasing blood flow in the soft tissue, stimulating the body’s natural opioid system, as well as blocking pain pathways, resulting in pain relief. 

 

Electrostimulation is a painless supplementary therapy to acupuncture and involves the use of a small electrical current that passes between acupuncture needles after they are inserted. This allows the stimulation of the needles to be controlled and with goal of reducing pain and producing the release of endogenous pain relieving chemicals.

The use of moxibustion is an important aspect of Chinese medicine’s approach to restoring health. It is a form of heat therapy using the herb mugwort to facilitate healing. Moxibustion has been used for thousands of years in China to increase qi and blood circulation, relieve pain, and warm the joints.

The use of tui na, an ancient system of Chinese massage, is used as an integral part of the healing process. It uses Daoist and martial arts principles to balance the body using the eight principles of Chinese medicine (yin/yang, internal/external, excess/deficiency, hot/cold). Manual techniques such as brushing, kneading, rolling, pressing, and rubbing are used on the body to move qi and blood in the meridians and muscles.

The Kinesio Taping® Method is a definitive rehabilitative taping technique that is designed to facilitate the body’s natural healing process while providing support and stability to muscles and joints without restricting the body’s range of motion as well as providing extended soft tissue manipulation to prolong the benefits of manual therapy administered within the clinical setting. Latex-free and wearable for days at a time, Kinesio® Tex Tape is safe for populations ranging from pediatric to geriatric, and successfully treats a variety of orthopedic, neuromuscular, neurological and other medical conditions. By targeting different receptors within the somatosensory system, Kinesio® Tex Tape alleviates pain and facilitates lymphatic drainage by microscopically lifting the skin. This lifting affect forms convolutions in the skin thus increasing interstitial space and allowing for a decrease in inflammation of the affected areas.

Liniments are medicated topical oils that are applied over an area of injury with the goal of relieving pain, activating the lymphatic system to move out blood stasis, and increasing blood circulation. Heat may be applied using a heat lamp or heating pad to achieve similar goals. The patient will have the option to purchase a liniment to be applied at home.