"Health is the natural state of the body. Wisdom, the natural state of the mind. Happiness, the natural state of the spirit. Day comes and the sun rises by itself." -Dr. Sean Marshall
Did you know that the human body has a self-generating, healing system in place? That it has it's own innate intelligence? The human design is a complex and complete system, constantly regulating and adjusting to adapt, heal and survive.
Classical Chinese Medicine works at the level of our natural, original design which is linked to and interdependent with our environment, to re-establish that balance of health. There are two environments at play here, the external and internal. The external environment includes the elements that we are regularly exposed to; wind, cold, heat, humidity and dryness. The internal environment relates to the organ systems and how they interact with each other. This environment is greatly influenced by diet, lifestyle, and emotions.
Just as nature is full of diversity of life, each individual person has their own unique manifestation of the balance between disease and wellness. Disease follows the path of least resistance and existing vulnerabilities. The Chinese Medicine practitioner tracks the symptoms through these pathways to discover where health is breaking down. Thus, the diagnosis and treatment plan are specific to each patient's particular presentation. This allows for a healing process that is thorough and comprehensive, and is in essence what we've come to know as “holistic”.
Some of the methods a Chinese Medicine practitioner utilizes in treatment include Acupuncture, Herbs, Moxibustion and Cupping.
Acupuncture has been safely used for thousands of years to promote health by regulating the proper circulation of Qi and blood to correct imbalances in all systems of the body. Acupuncture channels carry vital energy throughout the body to nourish the tissues and ensure harmonic relationship between the organ systems. When open and circulating properly, the tissues and organs can receive the vital nutrients to remain healthy. When the channels are blocked, the tissues and organs can become starved, much like the earth during a drought.
Sterile, single-use needles, about the width of a cat's whisker, are inserted into the acupoints and gently stimulated to attain the "arrival of Qi". The patient may feel a warm sensation, a slight ache locally, or a traveling sensation along the course of the channel. This sensation activates the intrinsic qualities of the acupoint releasing information that sends a particular message to the body/mind. When points are selected in combination with each other, that message becomes stronger and more tailored to the individual's unique presentation of symptoms and underlying root cause of their imbalance.
Herbs are often recommended in conjunction with Acupuncture. Where acupuncture is most effective at changing the energy, herbs act on a more direct physical level. There are many things that herbs can do. From nourishing depleted resources, increasing energy and helping regulate hormones, to clearing heat and fevers, boosting the immune system, and fighting infections.
Essential Oils are concentrated plant extracts that have been used safely for decades in aromatherapy, cosmetics and food additives. Most are generally recognized as safe (GRAS) by the FDA. Medicinal properties of essential oils include anti-microbial, analgesic, anti-inflammatory, immune support, digestive, and anti-depressant, to name a few.
Quality and efficacy are of utmost importance in selecting herbs and essential oils to be used as medicine, and I source organically grown and wild-crafted when possible.
Moxibustion (or moxa for short) is a technique that uses an herb to heat acupoints. Not only does moxa stimulate the functions of the acupoint, but it also adds energy in the form of heat and can be likened to "charging a battery". Moxa is also commonly used to help alleviate pain and move stagnation.
Cupping is a technique that utilizes a sucking action to pull up stagnation from deep in the tissues and to"release the exterior". It is good for alleviating pain from old injuries or new trauma and it also helps the body to release toxins.
Tuina is a type of medical massage and is sometimes used to prep the body for acupuncture. It can also help rectify structural imbalances and physical injuries such as back, neck and shoulder strain or repetitive use injuries.
Craniosacral Therapy is a gentle, non-invasive technique that releases pressure on the central nervous system and supports circulation of cerebral spinal fluid, the nourishing substance that surrounds and cushions the brain and spinal cord.