Often the main modality used in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). Small, fine, sterile needles are inserted into various areas of the body to aid in the circulation and movement of energy or life force that is often referred to as Qi/Prana. Everyone has energetic pathways that travel all over the body and are known as meridians/channels/nadis. When in harmony, people feel well. However, there can be stagnation, excess, deficiency or any combination within the meridians and acupuncture works to harmonize the imbalances. The needles also work to increase blood flow and circulation, reduce inflammation, decrease pain, produce endorphins and signal systems within your body to activate and work (ex. immune system).
Herbal Medicine (Plant Medicine)
A pillar in TCM and has played a major role in health for thousands of years all over the world. There are many proven classical formulas in TCM utilized for a wide breadth of ailments. Herbal medicine is a stand-alone form of therapy but is often used in conjunction with acupuncture, nutritional and lifestyle suggestions. Herbs come in many forms including: raw, pre-made pills, powders, tinctures, patches and more. Herb formulas change and vary just as much as humans do. See the ‘Herbal Medicine’ page for further detail on this helpful treatment option.
A Chinese herb known as Folium Artimisiae Argyi/Mugwort Leaf/Ai Ye. This herb is traditionally burned and used directly on or near the skin to aid with issues relating to internal/external cold, men and women’s health, energy/fatigue issues, pain and more. It is commonly used in conjunction with acupuncture during a treatment.
Usually, a glass (using fire as the medium) or plastic/silicon cup (using air pumps) is placed somewhere on the body and either left stationary or moved around gently. Cupping works by creating a negative pressure or vacuum on the fascia and muscles. This results in capillary rupture which encourages cellular activity, blood flow, circulation and attention in the area, promoting healing and regulation at a faster rate. Cupping can produce spots that may vary in color from light pale to dark purple, and will disappear in visibility over the course of a few days to two weeks. Cupping is often used for musculoskeletal complaints and often provides immediate relief. Guasha has similar mechanisms, results and usage but is scraping of the skin aiding in the release of muscle and fascia tension.
Traditional Chinese Medicine Nutrition
Dietary choices can add to imbalances and blockages within various human systems. The food and drink we choose to put into our bodies become us. Part of the TCM umbrella is unique guidance on the types of foods right for you, at that time of season, in that part of your life, with your current lifestyle/disposition. Food is medicine. It can aid in healing minor imbalances quickly but is a lifetime commitment that naturally ebbs and flows. Often dietary changes are the cheapest lifestyle adjustment with the biggest impact.
Providing suggestions of asanas (postures) and pranayama (breath) – yogic techniques and systems are integrated into the treatments as called for, in relation to the TCM diagnosis. Meditation instruction is also provided for those interested in exploring the long list of benefits! It is quite common that we forget to breathe during the day, have unhealthy patterns of thought or our everyday posture and ways of moving are creating blockages and imbalances that we aren’t even aware of. Sometimes, simply allowing five minutes a day for deep, mindful breathing or focused awareness can change a life forever.