Acupuncture 



Acupuncture is the gentle insertion of very fine needles into specific points on the body. This process stimulates the lymphatic and vascular systems, manipulates blood and oxygen circulation, and influences the nervous system and organ function. Acupuncture is one of the main modalities in Traditional Chinese Medicine and acupuncturists are required to be trained in the anatomical location of acupuncture points and the physiology of the body. There are 14 major meridians in the body creating a grid system that traverses the body from head to toe. The meridians travel along the arms, hands, feet, legs, torso, and connect with the internal organs.  The meridians may become blocked or disturbed as a result of stress, poor nutrition, internal and external noxious substances, injury, excessive exposure to wind, damp, heat, cold, and emotional responses such as worry, anxiety, and over thinking. Stimulation of these meridians via acupuncture points helps restore the normal balance and flow of Qi in the body. Qi is the vital energy or the life force of the body. By keeping these energy pathways open and balanced the body is able to heal naturally and promote physical and emotional wellness.
Physiologically through the stimulation of acupuncture points the body will respond by:
  • Releasing endorphins which make us feel good.
  • Release the natural opiates of the body that reduce pain.
  • Release the neurotransmitters affecting the central nervous system thus influencing involuntary body functions such as boosting the immune system.
Acupuncture should not be painful but it is not without sensation. When the needle is being inserted into the acupuncture point you may feel a quick pinch, heat, itching, or pressure at the site of the needle. This is a normal response and you should not feel anything sharp or painful. Generally during the treatment people will feel a deep sense of relaxation and some people fall asleep. Following the treatment people generally will feel an overall increase in energy. Our clinic uses presterilized disposable needles that are discarded after each use.

Cupping
This technique involves glass jars being placed over areas of the skin. A flame is placed in the cup removing the oxygen creating a vacuum resulting in suction that draws the tissue up into the jar opening the pores of the skin. The suction also helps stimulate blood flow, balances and harmonizes the flow of Qi, breaks up obstructions, and creates a pathway for toxins to be drawn out of the body. A temporary discoloration of the skin can occur over the area where the cups are applied, light red indicates heat and inflammation while purple signifies blood not flowing through the muscles properly. The discoloration will dissipate over a few days. Cupping is indicated for conditions like muscle pain and tightness, swelling, asthma, and colds with fluid accumulation.
Gua Sha
This technique involves stimulation or scraping of the skin using a flat edged tool and massage oil. The scrapping will cause a reddening of the skin and small red petechiae know as “sha”. The principle of raising sha to the skin surface is to remove Qi and blood stagnation to promote normal circulation and metabolic processes of the body. Gua sha is indicated for muscle pain and tightness and colds to reduce fever and congestion.
Electrical Stimulation
E Stim is the use of applying a pulsating electrical current to acupuncture needles to stimulate certain acupuncture points or channels within the body. This technique helps decrease pain via the gate theory and can also tonify acupuncture points to move stagnation in the body.

Mei Zen Cosmetic Acupuncture
Drawn from the ancient texts of Chinese medicine, the Mei Zen cosmetic acupuncture is a relatively painless, natural technique. Small, less than hair-width acupuncture needles are placed in a precise configuration just under the skin’s surface to stimulate the production of collagen and elastin. It is an excellent natural alternative to cosmetic surgery facelifts and Botox treatments.
Moxibustion
Moxa is the dried leaves of Artemisia vulgaris (mugwort) that is burned along a meridian or placed indirectly on an acupuncture point. This technique is generally used in conjunction with acupuncture. It can be used to warm acupuncture points and channels by placing moxa on top of the needles during treatment or  to remove cold, tonify Qi and blood, increase circulation, and strengthen vital energy. Moxa can also be used to induce labor or to turn a baby in the womb prior to delivery.
Transdermal Needles
Are mini needles, also known as tacks, that are attached to adhesive tape. The needles are placed on acupuncture points on the body or within the ear and the needles penetrate the skin on a superficial level. They are used to stimulate acupuncture points over a period of time and the tacks can be left on the skin for up to 5 days. This minimally invasive technique is an excellent way to treat children.  It is also used for a variety of conditions and helps with smoking cessation and weight loss. 



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