Acupuncture is the art of inserting filiform needles into carefully selected points on the body to influence the flow of Qi. The needles used are extremely fine, pre-sterilized, single-use and disposable. Acupuncture needles are very gentle and are tapped into the body quickly. Once the needles are in place, you may feel a sensation of tingling, warmth or heaviness at the insertion site. This indicates the arrival of Qi at that point. Acupuncture stimulates the central nervous system to normalize physiological function, reduce pain and enhance the immune system. Most people find acupuncture treatments very relaxing and experience a sense of well-being after a session. General benefits include decreased anxiety, improved sleep quality, increased energy and circulation, and greater concentration.
Herbal Medicine is an important healing therapy of Traditional Chinese Medicine that has been in use for over 3,000 years in China and throughout the world. Like acupuncture, Chinese herbs help bring the body back to a balanced state of health and are an effective way to address many common complaints. Unlike western herbs, Chinese herbs are used in specific combinations, or formulas, as opposed to using them singularly. An herbal formula may be comprised of as many as 15 herbs, all having specific functions and working synergistically to unblock the Qi, nourish the body and restore balance.
Cupping is a centuries-old technique found around the world and is used to regulate Qi and increase blood flow in the body. Glass cups are used to create a vacuum, either by combustion or a suction pump, and are applied to the skin over the affected area. The action of the vacuum created with this technique works to pull the skin up into the cup. This draws fresh blood and nutrients to the area. The cups are either left in place, or are moved around for a few minutes, and then they are removed. This treatment relaxes muscles and can help remove toxins from the body.
Moxibustion is a therapy in which the herb Artemesia is burned over specific acupuncture points or parts of the body. This treatment warms the skin, relaxes muscles and improves the flow of Qi and blood to the area. The leaves of the herb are often pulverized and tightly rolled into a cigar-like incense stick to be held over the chosen points, but can also be applied directly to the top of an acupuncture needle to direct the warmth more deeply into the body.
Qigong is a generic term that refers to the many methods by which we practice or cultivate energy for health maintenance, healing or increased vitality. Qigong is the cornerstone and the oldest form of Traditional Chinese Medicine.
Qigong practices generally involve a posture, (whether moving or stationary) and mental focus. Some include specific instructions about breathing. Others do not. Some practices increase the Qi, others circulate it, use it to cleanse and heal the body, store it, or emit Qi to help heal others.
The slow gentle movements of most qigong forms can be easily adapted, even for the physically challenged, and can be practiced by all age groups.
Diet and Lifestyle Recommendations
Our daily habits have enormous influence over how we feel. Proper nutrition is considered one of the most important foundations to health and disease prevention. A healthy lifestyle which includes a balance of rest and activity supports the body's ability to handle stress.
Recommendations for improved nutrition and lifestyle choices are gently given and supported during treatment. Acupuncture can also be used as an adjunct therapy to improve lifestyle habits with protocols for smoking cessation, reduced caffeine and refined sugar consumption and weight loss.