Acupuncture is the insertion of sterile, hair-thin needles into particular places on the body to affect and balance the way the energy flows. In Western science, we have learned that acupuncture increases beta-endorphin (the body's natural morphine), anti-inflammatory compounds, and several factors of the immune system. It can also promote the release of stem cells to repair damaged tissue. So it not only helps with the pain, it helps with the healing.
In The Chinese understanding, energy (called Qi, pronounced "chee") runs through through the body, similar to blood in the vessels. For a variety of reasons, the flow of Qi can become obstructed, like a clogged pipe, and throw the body out of balance. Accessing special points with tiny acupuncture needles can tap in to this network of energy and bring it back into balance.
Herbs were commonly used before western pharmaceuticals were introduced. Most Western drugs are made from natural sources. The problem is that they are not customized to each individual patient and can therefore cause unwanted side effects. There is a saying in Chinese herbs that, "If a formula causes unwanted side-effects, it is clearly not the right formula." photo credit: nutraingredients.com)
Olympic champion Michael Phelps brought cupping to the public's attention when people saw pictures of him with red circles around his shoulders. Cupping has been a part of many cultures' folk medicine, but its oldest written reference is in Chinese. It is the application of suction cups to certain parts of the body to both increase circulation and to stretch tight muscles. Guasha can leave similar, temporary discoloration on the skin, but this is obtained by scraping the skin with a tool to encourage the muscles beneath to release stored toxins.
(photo credit https://www.rachaelsummers.com)
Diagnostic consultation and acupuncture treatment
Brief check-in and acupuncture treatment
20 minute health consultation
Cupping or guasha in addition to acupuncture