Acupuncture is an essential part of East Asian Medicine in which very fine, single-use, sterile needles are inserted into specific acu-points located on the body. It is used to treat various physical, mental, and emotional conditions.
How it works
Western Perspective: New studies are coming out all the time that reflect fascinating ways acupuncture impacts our bodies and minds. What research has shown is that acupuncture has an effect on every system of the body. Its therapeutic effect stems mainly from its ability to relieve pain, reduce inflammation, restore homeostasis, promote circulation, facilitate the release of endorphins and other natural pain killers, and calm the sympathetic nervous system, our bodies natural stress response. Nearly all diseases involve some degree of imbalance of these mechanisms which is why acupuncture is considered a natural internal medicine.
Eastern Perspective: In Chinese medical theory, there are channels of energy, or “qi,” that run through the body. The body needs access to this energy for proper function and vitality. However, these channels can become blocked due to illness, injury, or emotional stress. By stimulating points along the channel through acupuncture, previously blocked energy can flow freely again to all the systems of the body, thus restoring balance and health.
Guasha is the practice scraping the surface of the skin with a porcelain spoon. The practice relieves tissue stagnation and surface tension and brings fresh, oxygenated blood to the surrounding tissues. The benefits of guasha include improved local circulation, resolution of local muscle tension, increased energy levels, and stimulation of the immune system. It is also a valuable tool to treat the initial stages of a cold. It should be noted that in the process, temporary red marks, called petechiae, or “sha,” are produced. The marks produced normally take about 3-7 days to diminish.
Cupping is the practice applying suction cups to the skin in order to relieve pain, tension, and inflammation. It works by promoting local blood flow and removing metabolic waste from the surrounding tissues. It can also be used to treat anxiety, digestive issues, colds and other respiratory issues. Like guasha, cupping causes temporary bruising which usually resolves within a week.
Moxibustion, or Moxa, is a heat therapy in which the herb mugwort is burned near the surface of the skin. It has therapeutic effects of warming the body, improving circulation, increasing white blood cell count, and benefiting the immune system.