Acupuncture - Oriental Medical Modalities

Acupuncture is a treatment derived from ancient Chinese medicine in which fine needles are inserted at strategic points in the body for therapeutic or preventative purposes.  This treatment method is used for balancing the flow of energy or life force — known as qi or chi (CHEE) — believed to flow through pathways (meridians) in your body.  Acupuncture is a healing science that treats the patient holistically and focuses on restoring harmony and balance to the person rather than treating individual symptoms.

Gua Sha is an ancient tissue massage technique in which small smooth tools are rubbed across the skin, breaking adhesions and facilitating increased circulation.  It works by helping to flush out toxins and bring in fresh oxygenated blood. It is often helpful for problems such as chronic neck, shoulder, and back pain, sprains, and strains.

Cupping involves applying small suction cups onto the skin along acupuncture meridian lines.  The suction created can loosen muscles, encourage blood flow, and sedate the nervous system. Cupping is commonly used to treat coughs, asthma, and symptoms of the common cold, as well as to relieve muscle aches and pain, especially back and neck pain. Additionally, it can be used for cellulite treatments by first applying oil to the skin, and then sliding the cups up and down the surrounding area. 

Moxibustion (Moxa) is a type of heat therapy which uses the burning of mugwort (an herb that burns slow and hot) to facilitate healing.  The most common application of moxa involves the practitioner burning one end of a moxa stick, roughly the shape and size of a cigar, and holding it close to the area being treated for several minutes until the area is warm. The moxa is used to expel cold and warm the meridians, which leads to smoother flow of blood and qi.  Since Moxa can be a fire hazard or have a smell that is offensive to some people, some practitioners opt to use infered light for a similar treatment effect. Moxa is commonly used to treat cold-type arthritis, digestive problems, gynecological issues such as PMS, and to help turn breech presenting fetuses (in late term pregnancy) to normal presentation.

Electro-acupuncture (EA) is sometimes used in addition to manual stimulation of acupuncture needles.  It is done by attaching the needles to a device that sends electrical currents or pulses into the body.  Electro-acupuncture stimulation enhances both the duration and intensity of acupuncture’s analgesic effects.  While most electrotherapy techniques, such as "TENS," are transcutaneous, only allowing the electricity to flow over the skin, EA channels it into the body tissues. Electro-acupuncture is used to treat a variety of conditions, particularly those that are chronic, such as pain, muscle spasms, and neurological issues.  Since EA stimulates a variety of systems in the body, it can be used for a wide range of conditions.
 
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