Treatments & Services
Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) is a comprehensive system of health care with a continuous history of over 3000 years. TCM has its origins in the ancient Taoist philosophy of the Tao Te Ching. This philosophy views a person as an energy system in which body and mind are unified, always influencing and attempting to balance the other.
TCM emphasizes a holistic approach to health for the whole person rather than only focusing on one particular symptom as if it were isolated from the rest of the body/mind/person.
Acupuncture is an ancient Chinese healing practice that has been used for over 3000 years to relieve pain and treat a wide range of illnesses. It is based upon an energetic model rather than the biochemical model of western medicine. The ancient Chinese recognized a vital energy behind all life forms and life processes. They call this energy Qi (pronounced Chee). This energy is said to circulate throughout the body along specific pathways that are called meridians. As long as this energy flows freely throughout the meridians, health is maintained. If the flow of energy is blocked or depleted, the system is disrupted and pain and/or illness occur.
Imagine a tram that travels along a freeway system throughout your entire body carrying needed energy to each organ and tissues. If emotional or physical trauma causes the tram on the freeway to gridlock or the movement to be haphazard, the tram is unable to deliver the appropriate vital cargo to the right place in the body when needed. Acupuncture works to remove gridlock by stimulating certain points (with acupuncture needles) on this freeway system (meridians) to restore free and normal functioning and allow the free flow of Qi.
What to Expect from an Acupuncture Treatment
Modern acupuncture needles are from one to three inches long, ultra fine and made from flexible stainless steel. We use disposable needles. Ten to twenty needles are typically placed in several acupoints and are usually left in for about 20-40 minutes each treatment. When the needle is inserted into the skin, there is usually a slight prickling sensation that is rarely painful. Once the needle is in place, there is often a tingling, numbness, heaviness or a feeling of warmth around the needle. This is a desired effect, indicating that the body is responding and balancing itself effectively. Acupuncture treatments are usually deeply relaxing and rejuvenating.
The wisdom that what you eat is a direct reflection of your health is now widely accepted as science continues to prove that certain foods do in fact improve your overall health and sense of wellbeing. TCM always takes the whole individual in consideration and doesn’t adhere to a one size fits all in medicine nor in nutrition. However, nutritional advice is always based on a whole food diet, using local, organic produce and protein sources and complex grains if appropriate for the individual. We offer nutritional advice to all our patients as part of their treatment plan. We are also fortunate to have Kathryn Simmon Flynn as part of our team. Kathryn Simmons Flynn is the author of Cooking for Fertility as well as creator of Moontime Teas. If you want to go deeper and have a customized nutritional plan created for you please click here. If you are interested in Moontime Teas or want to read her fantastic book please click here.
Herbal Prescriptions are a central part of Chinese Medicine. We prescribe herbal formulas to help with many imbalances as well as enhance health to it’s most optimum. We use ready made formulas (patents) and we also customize formulas. Our herbal formulas are sourced from trusted growers and distributors.
Supplementation of vitamins and nutrients is an important part of treatment. Although this isn’t particularly within the scope of Traditional Chinese Medicine, it is an important part of health in our current time. Natural high quality supplementation can help restore the body’s balance and support it’s natural processes. Supplementing our diet is important for many main reasons including:
1. Depleted Soils: Even if you eat a healthy, predominantly plant-based diet with lots of fruit and vegetables, chances are good the food comes from soils that have insufficient mineral content. When foods are grown over and over again in the same soils, the mineral content of that soil becomes depleted over time. This is ANOTHER reason why it is so vitally important to consume organic foods as much as possible. Organic farming practices include “crop rotating” so that soil depletion does not occur. Unfortunately, even buying organic doesn’t always mean you’re going to get superior foods because organic soil can also get depleted.
2. Long Transit Time for Delivery: It’s very often that the foods available to us at the grocery store came from another country. Sometimes, foods are picked weeks and even MONTHS before we see it on our shelves, so by the time we consume them they’re out of their window for giving us the maximum amount of nutrition. Buying from local growers to reduce transit time and pollution as well as improving nutritional value of the food we’re eating is a great!
3. Not Eating Regular Meals: So many people skip meals and overeat to make up for it. Grabbing a bagel or doughnut while slamming down some coffee and rushing to work does NOT constitute a meal. Making up for it later in the day at an “all-you-can-eat” buffet isn’t in the best interest of our bodies either, as it puts much undue stress on the digestive system and will eventually lead to many health problems.
4. Normal Aging = Digestion Issues: As we age, our bodies produce fewer enzymes, including all the important ones needed to properly digest and assimilate the foods we eat. Eventually, this results in “common” stomach complaints, like reflux, heartburn, upset stomach and chronic constipation.
5. Stress + Stress, + Stress = Compromised Immune System: No question, we all lead busy lives and feel stress a lot of our waking hours. All of this stress takes a toll on your body, causes systemic inflammation and weakens your immune system. Taking supplements can help to bridge that gap and give your body some of the nutrition it needs to function optimally.
Nothing will take the place of eating a good and healthy diet. But taking quality, whole food-based natural supplements can go along way towards helping you maintain a better level of health.
Cupping is an ancient Chinese therapy in which a jar is attached to the skin to cause local congestion through the negative pressure (vacuum) created by cups affixed on the skin either by means of heat or suction. This produces increased circulation to the underlying tissues. The cup can then be left on the skin whereby blood stasis is formed and localized healing takes place and/or runs along the meridians of the body. Meridians are the conduits in the body through which energy flows to every part of the body and through every organ and tissue.
Cupping has also been found to affect the body up to four inches into the tissues, causing tissues to release heat and toxins, disperse swellings, release muscle tension, reduce fever, activate the lymphatic system, clear colon blockages, help to clear the veins, arteries and capillaries, invigorate the skin, clear stretch marks and improve varicose veins.
Moxibustion is a TCM technique that involves the burning of mugwort, a small, spongy herb, to facilitate healing. Moxibustion has been used throughout Asia for thousands of years. The purpose of moxibustion, as with most forms of TCM, is to strengthen the blood, disperse scar tissue and maintain general health. Moxibustion applies focused heat from a slow-burning herb over acupuncture points to stimulate the flow of Qi. It may be used to relieve traumatic pain or alleviate debilitating conditions such as weakness and fatigue. Moxibustion is also quite effective for gynecological problems.
Acupressure is the pressing of acupoints, but Tui Na (pronounced “twee-nah”) makes use of many different strokes that are applied to acupoints, channels and muscle groups. Most importantly, Tuina is a physical expression of the flow of Qi energy from one human being to another. When done with correct intent, the strokes and techniques stimulate an exchange of Qi energy between the practitioner and the patient. This is the secret healing power of Tuina.
An Acupuncturist’s diagnosis is determined in part using methods similar to western practitioners, by asking for a patient’s complete medical history, performing a physical examination and by ordering any necessary lab tests.
Additionally, acupuncturists use unique diagnostic techniques that include taking the patient’s pulse on both wrists and observing the tongue, complexion and other subtle signs of illness or pain.
Today, acupuncture is one of the newest primary health care professions in the United States. Its benefits, along with herbal therapy, are widely recognized and are being increasingly integrated with mainstream healthcare. Patients range from infants to seniors. Acupuncture has been scientifically proven as an effective treatment for a wide range of both chronic and acute conditions.
Both the World Health Organization and the National Institutes of Health recognize that acupuncture can be a helpful part of a treatment plan for many illnesses.