A little About Acupuncture
Chinese Medicine is an ancient holistic healing modality that dates back thousands of years. It outlines our energetic makeup and can unravel complex health patterns leaving patients feeling empowered and in control of their own healing. It includes body work components such as cupping, gua sha, and massage. (See descriptions of each below)
We have 12 Primary channels that run through our bodies, each energetic “highway” corresponding to major organs in the body. Then we have 365 traditional acupuncture points along these highways and over 100 in each ear. More and more points are being found resulting in great health outcomes for patients.. So these highways, or meridians, are essentially our energetic makeup. Qi (people start to freak out when you use this word but hang in there!) or energy if you will, flows through these systems and can sometimes pool or get blocked along the way. (Think traffic jam.) Many things can cause this such as an actual physical injury to a limb, or something tangible like a growth, or something not tangible like energy. Acupuncture can open the highways and allow for free flow of energy in the body bringing it back to homeostasis and balance.
A disease can be classified in Chinese Medicine in many ways. It can be of yin or yang nature, interior or exterior in the body, impacting one or more of the five elements (wood, earth, fire, water, metal), or involving the emotions (anger, sadness, pensiveness, joy, worry, sadness). Mostly in modern days it is a combination of the above.
Most people discover acupuncture and its many benefits when looking to manage pain syndromes. However, traditionally acupuncture was used as a preventative to illness with focus being on maintaining free flow of these energy highways. Acupuncture works on our subtle energy bodies and there fore its effectiveness is not totally understood. What we do know is that it releases endorphins to help manage pain, allow the patient to reach deep states of relaxation which allows for better healing and it brings blood to the area to allow for proper nutrients to aid in healing. There continues to be many advancements in the understanding which is leading to more financial support. MSP covered $17 of 10 acupuncture treatments a year, ICBC now covers initial and subsequent visits after accidents and it is covered under most benefit plans.
For those of you who need a little science in your back pocket, the World Health Organization (WHO) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) released a report called “Acupuncture: Review and Analysis of Reports on Controlled Clinical Trials.” Below is a list of the conditions mentioned in that report. It's important to note that there are many additional conditions which centuries of empirical data have shown acupuncture treats effectively, but there is little or no modern western research yet.
Headache and migraine
Facial palsy (early stage, within three to six months)
Paresis following stroke
Neurogenic bladder dysfunction
Muscle pain, swelling, stiffness and weakness
Localized traumatic injuries, sprains, strains, tendinitis, contractures
Work and sports related injuries
Low back and/or neck strain
“Frozen shoulder”, “tennis elbow”
Respiratory System Conditions
Common cold and allergies*
Conditions of the Eye, Ear, Nose & Mouth
Myopia (in children)
Cataract (without complications)
Toothaches, post extraction pain
Acute and chronic pharyngitis
Spasms of esophagus and cardiac
Irritable bowel and colitis
Acute and chronic gastritis
Gastric hyperacidity (i.e. acid reflux)
Chronic duodenal ulcer (pain relief)
Acute duodenal ulcer (without complication)
Acute and chronic colitis
Acute bacillary dysentery
Benign irregular menstruation
Withdrawal from street and pharmacological drugs
Essentially Chinese Medicine has always stayed true to its roots. Its this beautiful paradox of both complexity and simplicity together. A modality that treats holistically both the symptoms (branch) and the underlying imbalance (root). Give it a try!
I tend to do myo-facial cupping over fire cupping (but i’m not opposed to a little fire from time to time!) Myo- facial cupping allows me to maximize coverage and time allowing for more hands on for other modalities during treatment times. Cupping can be used for many reasons. It can support digestive and respiratory health, it warms the body, it brings toxins in the body to the surface to allow them to pass out of the body, it increases blood volume and circulation to the area that has been cupped allowing for more nutrient distribution, it supports free flow of energy in the body, untangles muscles and also can help remove adhesions between facia and muscle for easier movement in the area.
Gua sha is a traditional Chinese Medicine technique that involves scraping the body with a special tool that produces petechiae. It can release toxins from sore, tired or stiff muscles. It also brings more oxygenated blood to the area creating more metabolic cell repair, regeneration, healing and recovery.
Massage is pretty self explanatory I’d say. But offered as part of the treatments as needed :)