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Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) is among the oldest healing practices in the world. It is a whole medical system that has been practiced in China and other Asian countries for thousands of years. Acupuncture, the most popular modality of TCM here in the West, is a technique of inserting and manipulating fine sterile filiform needles into acupoints with the aim of unblocking Qi. Qi is our vital energy or life force that permeates all living things. According to TCM theory, Qi flows through meridians or energy pathways of our bodies. When a person is diseased, or injured, there is an obstruction of Qi along one or more meridians. By inserting needles into acupuncture points we can rebalance our Yin & Yang energies. When Yin and Yang are in harmony, Qi flows freely within the body and our ability to heal is enhanced improving our spiritual, emotional, mental and physical health.

Acupuncture

Acupuncture is among the oldest healing practices in the world. It is a whole medical system that has been practiced in China and other Asian countries for thousands of years. Acupuncture is a technique of inserting and manipulating fine sterile filiform needles into acupoints with the aim of unblocking Qi. Qi is our vital energy or life force that permeates all living things. According to traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) theory, Qi flows through meridians or energy pathways of our bodies. When a person is diseased, or injured, there is an obstruction of Qi along one or more meridians. By inserting needles into acupuncture points we can rebalance our Yin & Yang energies. When Yin and Yang are in harmony, Qi flows freely within the body and our ability to heal is enhanced improving our spiritual, emotional, mental and physical health.

Acupuncture is both safe and effective for acute and chronic illness as well as preventative measures. Auriculotherapy or ear acupuncture is also practiced at Acupuncture del Soul. Acupuncture points in the ear can affect the flow of energy in any organ or meridian. Auriculotherapy is affective for addictions, allergies, pain, stress management and much more.

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Chinese Herbal Therapy

Chinese herbs have been used for many centuries to restore balance to the body. Chinese herbal formulas have been passed on by word of mouth from generation to generation. There are over 5,000 substances used for medicinal therapy originating from plants, animals and minerals. The average herbal pharmacy is made up of approximately 150 to 300 individual herbs. A formula can be made from two or more herbs and are most often ingested. For internal medicine, formulas are prepared in one of for ways: teas, granules, patents or pills and tinctures. Herbs can also be prepared for external washes, plasters, salves and other remedies.

Herbal formulas are made to address the specific needs of an individual’s pattern of disharmony, taking into consideration ones signs & symptoms and constitution. The duration of herbal consumption will depend on the length of one’s illness and the strength of one’s constitution. Chinese herbs have shown their effectiveness under the scrutiny of both empirical study and modern clinical trials. In China, herbal therapy is often used in state hospitals alongside modern medicine. Unlike western medications, traditional Chinese herbal formulas rarely cause unwanted side effects. Chinese herbal medicine is safe and effective when supervised by a well- trained practitioner. My office has a dispensary of herbal products including raw materials, pills and powders.

In Chinese Medicine, the properties of foods and their actions on the body have been well studied. Like individual herbs, a food is categorized by its taste. Each taste corresponds to one of the five elements (Wood, Fire, Earth, Metal & Water) and the viscera or organs and hasa particular effect on the body. Therefore foods may be added to or eliminated from the diet to prevent disease and promote healing.
The five flavors and their associations are:

Sour – Wood – Liver, generates fluids & Yin and astringes
Bitter – Fire – Heart, clears Heat & Dampness, Sedates & subdues rebellious Qi
Sweet – Earth – Spleen, Tonifies, balances, moderates or harmonizes
Pungent – Metal – Lung, scatters and expels pathogens
Salty – Water – Kidney, flows downward and softens hardness

Moxa & Cups

Moxa is a modality of Chinese medicine that can be used with acupuncture needles or alone. Moxa involves the use of dry herbs, usually Mugwort (Artemesiae Vulgaris) to warm and activate acupuncture points and meridians. It is mostly used for warming and tonifying deficient Qi and Yang. Moxa can be burned in the form of a stick, a cone or loose in a “moxa box”.

A Moxa stick consists of tightly rolled herbs in cigar form, it is used to stimulate acupuncture points alone or where a needle has been inserted. The moxa is held approximately one half inch from the acupuncture point but does not touch the skin.

Loose moxa is formed into cones and burned directly on the acupuncture point. Vaseline is usually used to hold the cone in place over the point. The moxa cone is burned approximately two thirds down or just before the heat is intolerable and then removed from the skin with tweezers.

A moxa box is place on the patient’s abdomen or back allowing moxa to burn over a broad area. Inside the moxa box is a screen that holds burning moxa one to two inches above the skin surface. Some traditional used of the moxa box are for aiding digestion, menstrual cramps and excess bleeding and some causes of back pain.

Other clinical uses of moxa are for arthritis, asthma, cold hands and feet, diarrhea, excess sweating, incontinence, muscle pain and turning breech babies. It is used to expel Cold and Dampness, Invigorate Qi and Blood flow and is helpful in disease prevention. Moxa sticks are often prescribed for home use.

Cupping is the use of glass globes or bamboo jars and heat to create a vacuum suction on the patient’s skin. The jars are usually placed on the back or chest areas. This technique is used to Invigorate Blood and Disperse Wind, Heat and Damp. Some conditions it is use for are asthma or bronchial congestion, muscle pain and Injury, joint pain, and headaches.

Tuina

The words Tui Na translate into “push-grasp” or “poke-pinch” in Chinese. It is an integral part of TCM and is part of formal training in Oriental medicines schools. Tuina is a series of pressing, tapping, and kneading with palms, fingers, knuckles or implements that help the body to remove blockages along the meridians to stimulate the flow of Qi and Blood and promote healing. Tuina’s massage-like techniques range from light stroking to deep-tissue work. Clinical practitioners often use herbal liniment and plasters to aid in the healing process. Tuina is effective for both acute and chronic musculoskeletal conditions, as well as many non-musculoskeletal conditions.

Swedish Massage

Swedish massage uses five basic strokes: effleurage, petrissage, tapotement, friction and vibration. Respectively these translate to light touch, kneading, rhythmic tapping, compression and vibration. These techniques are used with varying degrees of pressure to manipulate soft tissue reducing pain and joint stiffness and improving circulation. Other benefits of massage include, reduced anxiety and depression, temporarily reduced blood pressure, heart rate, and can improve sleep.

CranioSacral Therapy

CranioSacral Therapy (CST) is a gentle, hands-on method of evaluating and enhancing the functioning of a physiological body system called the CranioSacral system. The CS system is comprised of the membranes and cerebrospinal fluid that surround and protect the brain and spinal cord. Using a soft touch generally no greater than 5 grams, or about the weight of a nickel, practitioners release restrictions in the CranioSacral system to improve the functioning of the central nervous system. By complementing the body’s natural healing processes, CST is used as a preventive health measure and is effective for a wide range of medical problems associated with pain.

Reiki

Reiki is a technique of moving universal energy or Qi through the palms. It is a holistic therapy which brings about healing on physical, mental, emotional and spiritual levels. Practitioners gain access to this energy by means of an attunement process carried out by a Reiki Masters. A second level of training includes another initiation or attunement process to equip the practitioner to perform Reiki treatments from a distance. This method involves the use of special symbols to form a temporary connection between the practitioner and the recipient, regardless of location, and then to send the Reiki energy.

Shiatsu

Shiatsu, meaning finger pressure, originates in Japan. It is an evolving form of therapy, and its various styles incorporate aspects of Japanese massage, TCM theory, and Western anatomy and physiology. Shiatsu techniques use fingers, thumbs and palms to apply pressure along meridians for the purpose of correcting imbalances of the body and for maintaining and promoting health.

For CranioSacral, Reiki, Shiatsu and Tuina the patient usually wears loose clothing and lies on a massage table or floor pad.