The placement of fine, sterile needles into specific areas of the body in order to activate the body’s internal energy system or “qi.” When this system is activated, the body’s own recuperative power is stimulated, promoting natural healing for a wide variety of medical problems.
Herbal medicine has been used in China for more than 5000 years. Even today, most pharmaceutical drugs are derived from the active ingredients found in herbs, plants and trees. Chinese herbal formulas were traditionally prepared as teas, which many westerners have found challenging to ingest. Fortunately, many herbal medicines are now available in a variety of forms, such as tablets, powders, tinctures, and capsules. Herbs may be prescribed for numerous ailments as an adjunct to acupuncture, since they assist in the body’s healing process.
If you have any food allergies or sensitivities, let your acupuncturist know prior to taking herbal formulas.
Usually performed on the back and neck, cupping is a suction technique that uses glass or plastic jars to stimulate the flow of blood and qi in the superficial muscle and skin layers of the body. It is commonly used in cases where there is an old injury, chronic pain or an acute cold. Although cupping can sometimes be uncomfortable for patients, particularly the first time they have it done, most people report tremendous relief from their symptoms almost immediately after treatment. It is normal for the skin in an area that has been cupped to show discoloration. The skin color may take 3-7 days to return to normal. It is very important to protect a recently cupped area from exposure to wind or cold drafts.
A heat therapy that utilizes an herb called “mugwort,” moxa penetrates heat deeply into the body, helping to eliminate problems caused by cold-related conditions. Moxa comes in various forms, including: sticks, loose herbs, and preformed cones.
Chi Nei Tsang:
An abdominal massage that stimulates qi and blood flow through the internal organs and aids in digestion and elimination.
Aromatherapy, used since antiquity, is the practice of applying natural oils extracted from flowers, bark, stems, leaves, roots and other parts of a plant to enhance psychological and physical well-being.
Inhaling the aroma from these “essential” oils is believed to stimulate brain function; absorption of the scents can promote whole-body healing.
Food is a form of medicine. Therefore it is helpful to identify dietary changes that might assist the body in its natural healing process. When the body receives what it needs, it is capable of healing itself.