Acupuncture is the insertion of tiny sterile needles into specific anatomical points on the body which have the ability to alter various biochemical and physiological conditions. Ancient Chinese practitioners developed a system of medicine that has been successfully utilized for thousands of years. By integrating this wisdom with the current scientific research, acupuncture treats both the symptoms and the root causes of the patient’s illness.
In North America, acupuncture is often used when other treatment approaches have failed. There is a growing and substantial amount of western research that concludes acupuncture is a safe and effective treatment for many health concerns including, but not limited to:
Electro-acupuncture is similar to traditional acupuncture in that the same points are stimulated during a treatment. As with traditional acupuncture, needles are inserted at specific points along the body, and the needles are then attached via small clips to a machine that generates a continuous electric pulse. Due to the electrical current, patients may experience a tingling sensation while being treated. Electro-acupuncture can be especially useful in the treatment of both chronic or acute pain.
Gua sha is a natural therapy that involves scraping your skin with a massage tool that helps to promote circulation and facilate the breakdown of scar tissues. Gua sha is often used to treat muscle pain and tension and can be administered as a stand alone treatment or in conjunction with acupuncture.
Cupping applies suction to the surface of the body to draw out pathogenic factors or to invigorate the flow of blood at the surface of the body.
Cupping is usually done by inserting a flame into a small glass cup to remove the air and create a vacuum. The cup is then inverted onto the surface of the body where the cup is held firmly in place by the suction created by the vacuum effect. This method is called "fire cupping." There are also specially designed cups fitted with air lock valves that allow practitioners to remove the air with a hand-held pump.
Frequently, your practitioner will apply a hypoallergenic lubricant to the skin before placing the cups, and then move the cups back and forth across certain area of the body. This combines the effects of cupping with dermal friction therapy (gua sha) and is called "sliding cup" technique.
Cupping is frequently used to treat early stage colds and flu, trauma, and muscle pain, especially in the back and shoulders.