An initial treatment usually lasts about 90 minutes, during which time we do a comprehensive initial intake. We ask about your health history, the condition(s) for which you are currently seeking treatment, and your short- and long-term goals and expectations of treatment. We will also use the ancient Chinese diagnostic techniques of observing your tongue and feeling your pulse. This information allows the practitioner to come up with a suitable Chinese medical diagnosis and recommend a treatment plan.
A treatment may include one or more of the following:
Acupuncture consists of inserting very fine, sterile, stainless steel needles into specific points on the body that are located on energy channels In Chinese medicine, qi (“chee”) or vital energy flows through the body along these channels and provides the body with strength and nourishment. If this flow is blocked or disrupted, disease can result. Acupuncture can help remove these blockages and disruptions and restore the free flow of qi. When the qi is flowing freely, the body is in balance and disease can more easily be kept at bay.
Cupping is a treatment modality used to help break up obstructions in the body’s energy channels. Glass or plastic cups are used to create a vacuum seal on the skin to promote the movement of blood in the area. Cupping can often leave bruise-like marks that may last for a few days after the treatment.
Gua Sha involves scraping (“gua”) across the skin with an instrument in order to bring up raised, red marks (“sha”). Gua Sha tools are made from a variety of materials, from the more traditional buffalo horn to the more modern porcelain or metal. Gua Sha is frequently used to treat neck and shoulder stiffness and headaches, but it can be used in other places as well. The color of the “sha” will vary from pink to blackish purple. Like cupping, the marks can last up to a few days, but generally fade quickly.
Chinese herbal medicine can be used in combination with acupuncture in order to treat a specific condition or it can be used preventatively, such as in flu season, allergy season, or times of significant stress. Our pharmacy is fully stocked with Chinese herbal formulas in pill form.
Moxibustion consists of burning moxa, an herb derived from mugwort leaves, on or near the skin. When the moxa is burned directly on the skin, it is considered direct moxa. This technique is used less frequently because of the risk of burning the skin. Indirect moxa consists of lighting a cigar-like moxa stick and then holding it near the skin, often near acupuncture needles. Moxibustion is effective at moving blockages and warming and is used to treat a variety of ailments, including muscle aches and pains and menstrual cramps.
Tui Na is Chinese medical massage. Through Tui Na, the practitioner aims to not only relax the patient, but also to correct physical issues. Like the other treatment modalities, Tui Na aims to adjust the energy flow in the body to make sure it’s flowing properly.
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