Acupuncture & Massage

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) dates back over 3000 years and quickly spread to Japan, Korea and beyond.   It is a comprehensive system of preventative health care and maintenance. It includes acupuncture (with both gentle needle insertion and Japanese style needle non-insertion), acupressure,  hara (abdominal) and pulse diagnosis, massage, cupping, moxabustion (mugwort), gua sha (dermal friction), herbal recommendations, and dietary/lifestyle counseling.   The body’s energy, “Qi” or “Ki”, circulates and is accessible in a network of pathways called meridians. A disruption in this energy flow leads to an imbalance or “dis-ease”. The acupuncture points along these meridians are locations in which the body’s Ki can be accessed and unblocked, thereby restoring the circulation of energy and balance.

The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that more people worldwide use acupuncture than any other form of health care. In the United States alone, 9-12 million people are treated with acupuncture each year.

Commonly treated conditions: The World Health Organization and the National Institutes of Health recognize acupuncture’s ability to treat over 200 conditions, including: allergies/asthma, anxiety/depression, arthritis/joint pain, back pain, carpal tunnel syndrome, digestive disorders, fatigue, headache/migraine, insomnia, infertility, knee/shoulder/elbow pain, menopausal symptoms, neck pain/stiffness, premenstrual syndrome, sciatica, stress/tension, stop smoking, weight loss…

This is a complete medical system based largely on the understanding of yin & yang, the five elements, and channel/meridian theory. These elements can also describe the inner and outer workings of our entire universe.  This medical philosophy and the art of acupuncture seem almost impossible to explain within a restrictive western paradigm. However, when patients ask ‘how does it work?’ seeking an understanding of acupuncture in familiar terms, I recommend The Web That Has No Weaver by Kapchuck, or Between Heaven and Earth by Beinfield and Korngold.

Western theories about why acupuncture works include its ability to increase the body’s own endorphins and white blood cells thus increasing immune function. Acupuncture can decrease the body’s stress and inflammatory response (sympathetic dominance) and allow the body to operate in a more relaxed, healthy state. A stressed body and mind is much more susceptible to illness and disease. A body/mind/heart/spirit at ease remains healthy and strong.

The art of Massage was first mentioned in writing around 2000 BC. It has strong roots in Chinese Folk Medicine. Touch as a healing method developed from multiple cultural origins. Therapeutic massage is a universal core healing art used throughout history.

Massage: the systematic application of touch to the superficial soft tissues including muscles, tendons, ligaments, and fascia by using compression, kneading, stroking, friction, stretching, or joint mobilization to promote health and enhance the mind / body connection.

Benefits of massage:
° Promotes relaxation
° Relieves stress and enhances well being
° Relieves muscular tension and prevents injury
° Improves posture and body awareness
° Increases circulation, delivering nutrients and oxygen to the affected areas
° Relieves acute and chronic pain and increases endorphins, the body’s natural pain killers