Clients may opt for only one of the therapies I offer or can receive a combination of them during a treatment. If you are unsure of which treatment(s) may work best for you, we will determine together at your first session which therapies are likely to be most suitable to your needs.
A branch of Traditional Chinese Medicine, acupuncture involves the application of tiny single-use needles to specific points on the body. How the needles feel varies from person to person, but they should not be uncomfortable. The historical premise of Acupuncture is that Qi (vital energy) flows through the channels of the body. When Qi is blocked or deficient, pain, discomfort or disharmony is felt. In recent years, acupuncture is experiencing more widespread acceptance in Western medical circles as there is an increased understanding of the affect of acupuncture on the nervous system.
The scope of practice of acupuncture includes any combination of tu-ina (Chinese massage), needles, cupping, moxa and gua sha. See each section below for more details about each of these modalities. Acupuncture rebalances the body and ensures the smooth flow of Qi. This therapy can be effective for a wide variety of complaints. Acupuncture has been shown to relieve muscle tension and pain, treat digestive complaints, improve mood and energy, and generally improve the function of areas of the body where it is applied. Acupuncture is indicated for treatment of all types of pain, headaches, insomnia, digestive complaints, menstrual problems, coughs and colds, etc.
Tui-na (Chinese massage) is a hands-on therapy often involving dynamic, moving pressure. This style of massage is very useful in helping to release tension that has built up in the body. In tui-na, which literally means ‘push and grasp’, the practitioner may brush, knead, roll or press the body to get blood and energy moving in the meridians and muscles.
Tui-na can be used in conjunction with acupuncture to help treat a wide range of complaints, including muscular aches and pains, headaches, migraines, digestive issues and menstrual complaints.
Moxibustion is a Traditional Chinese Medicine therapy that makes use of the herb mugwort (Artemisia Vulgaris). The therapist burns the herb near or lightly in contact with the client’s skin. The heated moxa promotes healing, enhances energy flow, and encourages the circulation in areas being treated, and may be used to prepare the region for acupuncture or massage, or to supplement such treatment. Moxibustion has been shown to have various positive effects for pregnant and menstruating women. Especially when used in conjunction with acupuncture, shiatsu, or other therapies, it can be used to treat menstrual discomfort, low back pain, headaches, digestive complaints and poor circulation. It is the therapy of choice for encouraging the turning of a breech baby.
Cupping is a Traditional Chinese Medicine practice in which a cup, often made of glass or silicone and applied to the skin through suction. Cupping may be applied to acupuncture points or to areas where the client is experiencing pain. It can be used to treat muscular aches and pain, gastrointestinal disorders, lung diseases (especially chronic cough and asthma), and other conditions.
Gua sha is another tool that we commonly use in Traditional Chinese Medicine for pain, inflammation and immune support. Gua means ‘to rub’ or ‘press stroke’. Sha is a term that describes the blood congestion in surface tissue in areas where the client may experience stiffness and pain; sha is also the term for the little red dots that are raised from applying Gua sha These markings disappear within a few days of after treatment.
Therapies offered that do not fall under the scope of practice of Acupuncture include:
Shiatsu (although not common, some insurance plans cover shiatsu. Check the specifics of your own plan)
Shiatsu is a Japanese, non-invasive physical therapy designed to stimulate the body’s inherent ability to heal itself. It is rooted in ancient Chinese medicine, and is founded upon similar principles to acupuncture. While literally meaning ‘finger pressure’, shiatsu involves the use of hands, thumbs and elbows to manipulate the body using various techniques. Pressure is adjusted to the client’s comfort level and can range from light and gentle to strong and vigorous. Treatments directly address the nervous system, helping to down-regulate the sympathetic (fight & flight) and up-regulate the parasympathetic (rest & digest) nervous systems. When we feel calm and relaxed, sleep is improved and we feel less pain. The goal of shiatsu is to improve body functions, prevent illness and promote overall health and well-being.
Craniosacral therapy is a light-touch therapy that was developed by John Upledger, an American osteopathic physician. Very light pressure is used to help release tensions, particularly at the skull and sacrum (the flat bone at the base of the spine), in an attempt to improve and regulate the rhythm.
Craniosacral therapy helps to release tensions on the central nervous system, allowing the entire body to relax and self-correct, thereby improving whole-body health and performance. Craniosacral therapy is used to treat a wide variety of issues, including physical and emotional stress, neck and back pain, headaches and migraines, jaw pain and tension, and chronic pain conditions such as fibromyalgia.
Developed by French osteopath, Jean-Pierre Barral, Visceral Manipulation is a gentle manual therapy which helps your body to release long-standing restrictions in the connective tissue and compensations which cause pain and dysfunction. It uses local work on the abdomen to address restrictions on the viscera (organs). Like Craniosacral therapy, it ultimately helps the body to adapt and restore itself to health.