Gentle insertion of thin, flexible needles just below the skin. Learn more about the needles.
A needleless Japanese technique called Shonishin (pronounced show-knee-shin) uses specific tools to stimulate points and meridians with acupressure. Sometimes acupuncture needles may be used with a simple in and out technique rather than leaving them in for a prolonged amount of time as with adults. Children respond very quickly and easily to acupressure because they are so young and vibrant, so this subtle interaction with the body’s energy is very effective. Learn more about treatments for children.
Moxa, for short, is the application of heat to a point or region of the body with the herb mugwort. The mugwort is rolled into a cone or cylinder of applied to either the handle of needles or indirectly held over the skin. This technique is often used to help stimulate and nourish the body’s resources. The gentle warmth with indirect and needle-top moxa makes you feel like you are being warmed by the sun or next to a cozy camp fire.
Traditional Chinese medicine includes nutrition based on the energetics of food and how it supports movement of fluid and qi in the body. During an acupuncture session or herbal consult information on nutrition may be offered. For example, foods or supplements which may be adding to complications of a specific condition and/or suggestions of foods that may be more helpful. If your diet is wreaking havoc on your body because of inefficiencies caused by certain conditions, then giving your system a break to rebuild its resources will go a long way in recovery. Once your body is at an optimal level again it seems realistic to consume most things in moderation without causing major problems. This isn’t a “cheat day” but rather a level of health where the body is able to digest and transform just about anything more easily.
Cupping and Guasha:
These are Traditional Chinese techniques used to release muscle tension or relieve acute cough and cold. Cupping uses heat and suction to relax muscles and move energy to the surface. It will usually leave circles of discoloration on the skin. Guasha uses a ceramic spoon or smooth edged tool to rub the skin after oil is applied. This also moves energy and toxins to the surface and will usually leave a pink or red discoloration on the skin. These discolorations will naturally lessen and go away after a few days.
Asian Bodywork (Traditional medical massage):
TuiNa is a Chinese bodywork technique that can be very effective for neck and back pain, insomnia, mental restlessness, and digestive conditions. This practice is done over clothing and addresses acupuncture points and meridians with firm but gentle handwork rather than acupuncture needles. It can be used for relief of symptoms and also aids in diagnosis of underlying patterns of disharmony.
Shiatsu is a Japanese bodywork technique that also uses acupuncture points and meridians with handwork to stimulate movement of energy through the body. This can be helpful for relief of pain symptoms and to aid in the optimal function of internal organs. Japanese style bodywork is generally isolated pressure as opposed to some other massage therapies which may use the whole hand with a rubbing or kneading motion. Shiatsu does not use oil so there is no need to remove light clothing.
Hara work is a Japanese abdominal therapeutic massage. The digestive, cardiovascular, nervous, endocrine, and musculoskeletal systems all cross this area of the body and so Hara work can be effective for virtually every condition.
This technique uses a lancet similar to that used for Diabetic sugar level testing to pierce the skin and then 5-10 drops of blood are removed, usually at the tips of fingers or toes. There is no need to worry about large quantities of blood being removed, as it is less than a teaspoon. The purpose is to promote movement of blood and energy in a particular meridian where there may be advanced stagnation such as after an acute injury or long term poor circulation.
Auricular (ear) acupuncture:
The ear is one of the acupuncture point microsystems that has been studied for its relation to all functions and structures of the body. Through observation of specific regions of the ear, a wide range of conditions may be diagnosed and treated. It is particularly good for addiction and stress therapy.
Herbal consults are offered alone or in combination with acupuncture treatment. The herbalist looks carefully at the energetic nature and functions of herbs to balance these qualities with the patient’s body constitution while treating a disorder. Chinese herbs are usually used in combinations in order to be more effective and establish balance in the body.