Chinese Medicine has a history of over 3000 years and is based on the condition of an individual at any given moment. The focus of a treatment is the individual, NOT the disease. Chinese Medicine is a comprehensive healing system that encompasses acupuncture, herbs, massage, nutrition, and exercise. It is a lifestyle that honors each moment, each cycle, each individual, and each change.
There are numerous types of acupuncture being practiced around the world today. The most widely practiced form in the States is called Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) and is not that traditional. It is nicknamed Mao medicine because it was organized under Chairman Mao as an inexpensive means of health care for the masses. It is a neatly organized system and is taught throughout China and the US . Other forms of acupuncture are also available, and each practitioner has their own style and manner. If you find that acupuncture did not work for you, it would behoove you to try another practitioner. Some practitioners treat only the ears or hands. Some treat you in a chair by inserting a minimal number of needles in your extremities. Some use scalp acupuncture. Some have you on a table and treat the entire body. Some use electrical stimulation or infrared lasers on the points. Some burn herbs on the needles. The possibilities are grand in a medicine that has such a vast history in so many cultures. It may take some trial and error to find the practitioner that meets your individual needs, but do keep trying. The benefits of Chinese Medicine are vast. I offer a wide variety of treatment options and go to great lengths to find the type of treatment that works best for each individual. I offer a wide range of treatments in the following:
Acupuncture is the insertion of very fine needles into the skin in order to balance the body’s energy and provide relief for a variety of health concerns. Acupuncture addresses the underlying causes of disease and its effects are cumulative. It can be used to restore disorder or preventatively to maintain good health. Only sterile, disposable needles are used.
Acupuncture is a safe, cost-effective form of health care. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) claims in its Acupuncture Consensus Statement of 1997 that over 1 million Americans use acupuncture each year, and that “promising results have emerged, for example, showing efficacy of acupuncture in adult postoperative and post chemotherapy nausea and vomiting and in postoperative dental pain. There are other situations such as addiction, stroke rehabilitation, headache, menstrual cramps, tennis elbow, fibromyalgia, myofascial pain, osteoarthritis, low back pain, carpal tunnel syndrome, and asthma, in which acupuncture may be useful as an adjunct treatment or an acceptable alternative or be included in a comprehensive management program. Further research is likely to uncover additional areas where acupuncture interventions will be useful.”
Acupuncture is also used around the world with varying degrees of success on skin conditions, pain disorders, reproductive disorders, digestive problems, respiratory ailments, cardiovascular disorders, disturbed sleep, stress, and emotional conditions. Acupuncture is traditionally used in Asia to help the body smoothly adapt to changes in the seasons when people are often more prone to catching colds.
Although acupuncture treats a wide variety of physical, emotional, and mental disorders, it has gained its greatest acceptance through the success in managing musculoskeletal pain. Types of pain that are frequently and effectively treated are: acute muscle spasms, soft tissue bruising, musculotendinous sprains and strains, acute nerve entrapment pain, repetitive strain disorders such as carpal tunnel, tennis elbow and plantar fasciitis, myofascial pain such as TMJ, tension headaches and muscle pain, arthritis, degenerative disc disease, post surgical pain, shingles, and neuropathic pain.
Shiatsu Massage is a full body massage utilizing thumb pressure along the energy meridians to treat physical and emotional imbalances. The patient is fully clothed in loose-fitting garments and socks and lies on a futon for this massage. There is much moving and stretching of the joints to aid the patient in flexibility and pain relief. This massage is relaxing, yet quite invigorating as well.
Pediatric Tuina Massage is a gentle technique designed especially for children under 12. Children respond quite quickly to treatments, often only needing a few gentle treatments to guide them back to health. I show the parents some techniques to administer at home. This massage works well for coughs, colds, constipation, diarrhea, vomiting, bedwetting, fevers, and poor digestion. It can be used to calm overactive children as well.
Foot Reflexology can treat the entire body by concentrated massage on specific zones of the feet. This 15-30 minute massage uses finger pressure and massage tools to aggressively stimulate the feet to enhance overall health and detoxification.
Chinese Nutrition focuses on eating in harmony with our body’s needs and the seasons. In China , nutrition is always the first step in healing oneself. I have many books available in the waiting room for patients to read and copy. Also I recommend specific ingredients to eat or avoid during treatment courses. Occasionally I offer specific recipes, especially for post partum or blood deficient patients. I also have books available for sale and am always available for specific dietary consultations.
QiGong Exercises work both the body and mind to increase concentration, flexibility, strength, and vitality. I am a certified instructor of Soaring Crane QiGong, Essence QiGong, Turtle Longevity QiGong, and Super Energy QiGong. These are wonderful lifestyle additions for patients who want to actively participate in achieving or maintaining health.
Cupping is an ancient technique of performing suction with glass jars along specific acupuncture points. This is a great technique for colds and pain relief. It does leave red-purple suction marks on the skin which may last for 3-7 days, but is not painful.
Gua Sha is a form of massage that uses tools to scrape the skin surface in order to increase blood circulation and clear away scar tissue, toxins, and pain. It is a very useful tool for muscular pain and stiffness. I find it also works extremely well on patients with a history of physical or emotional abuse. Again, red-purple bruising is the goal of this technique and may last up to 3-7 days. It is often sensitive to pressure for 24-48 hours and the treated area needs to be covered and warm until the discoloration fades.
Visceral Manipulation (VM) was developed by world-renowned French Osteopath and Physical Therapist Jean-Pierre Barral. Leah has taken the full series of 6 VM classes with the Barral Institute whose website explains that “VM assists functional and structural imbalances throughout the body including musculoskeletal, vascular, nervous, urogenital, respiratory, digestive and lymphatic dysfunction. It evaluates and treats the dynamics of motion and suspension in relation to organs, membranes, fascia and ligaments. VM increases proprioceptive communication within the body, thereby revitalizing a person and relieving symptoms of pain, dysfunction, and poor posture.” It is a gentle manual therapy technique that works alone or in combination with Acupuncture.
Chinese Herbal Medicine is also available at this clinic. I use mostly patent herbal formulas to supplement the acupuncture treatments or alone as a therapy. Herbs can be used for a wide variety of conditions and are monitored regularly to achieve optimal effects. Herbal treatments may be for as little as 2 days to as long as several months depending on the health concern. Some common uses of herbs are sinus infections, allergies, colds and flu, cough, digestive disorders, poor memory, blood deficiency, hypertension, arthritis, bursitis, degenerative disc disease, migraines, chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia, eczema, psoriasis, muscle pain, pms, excessive phlegm, and irritable bowel. Herbs are not recommended for patients taking the prescription drug warfarin or for patients taking more than 3 prescription drugs. They should be taken 2 hours apart from prescription drugs.
Group Treatments are an inexpensive way to experience acupuncture. For a reduced fee patients sit in a lounge with other patients and receive auricular acupuncture to help quit smoking, for stress reduction, or to increase immunity or work/sports performance. Sometimes points on the hands, feet or scalp are also used in general balancing treatments. The intake/health history for these treatments is very limited and the patient remains fully clothed. This is a great way to experience the mingling of group healing energy.