What to expect in your appointment
There are many branches to Traditional Chinese Medicine including: Acupuncture, Qigong and Taichi (practices of mindfulness, stillness, and embodiment), Tuina (bodywork), Reflexology, Dietary Nutrition, and Herbalism. I have a Master’s degree in Traditional Chinese Medicine, intensively studied meditation and related energy cultivation techniques for 5 years, became certified in Arvigo Maya Abdominal Therapy, and am trained in Medical Qigong, Reiki, and Craniosacrol. This means that your appointment could include any of the following, though most sessions are primarily acupuncture. If you have a preference for a certain modality, or there is one you do not want, please let me know at the start of your appointment.
For your first appointment you may want to come early to fill out the New Client Intake Forms which can also be found on this Page. The strength of Traditional Chinese Medicine and the other holistic techniques I have learned is that they recognize the interconnectedness of the body. The more information an Acupuncturist has on your health history and the functioning of all of your body systems, the better they will be able to identify the source of your complaint and effectively treat it.
While sometimes accidents happen, and that is where allopathic medicine excels, most causes of pain and disease have been building in the body over many years. It is very common for individuals to wait years until something is really bad before they see a doctor or therapist. That kind of damage cannot be undone in one or two sixty minute sessions. Expect to need a series of appointments and gradual improvement over months.
The foundation of my appointments are Acupuncture. The first part of an appointment is a check in on your experiences and goals for the session and to answer any questions you may have for me. My goal is for the client to be alone with the acupuncture treatment for at least 20 minutes. When there is extra time in the scheduled appointment I may incorporate cupping, craniosacral therapy, castor oil packs, Arvigo abdominal massage.
Working with the electromagnetic frequency of the body using metal tools and known points to modulate under- or overactive areas. Many people think of acupuncture as working with the nerves. While it certainly has an impact on the nervous system it is not my impression that acupuncture works through stimulating nerves. Rather, it activates an overarching system; the electromagnetic system, which influences so many of the body’s systems. Through feeling the pulse and other diagnostic tools the acupuncturist can feel where imbalances are in the body and what type of imbalance it is. By understanding how points on the channels influence the entire system as well as how they relate to each other the acupuncturist is able to impact the movement of energy in the system and thus also the pulse.
Many studies have been completed trying to understand how acupuncture works and what exactly it does. In this way it has been shown that acupuncture impacts inflammatory factors in our bodies, resulting in an overall reduction in inflammation. The stimulation of acupuncture points can impact the body’s release of endorphins, white blood cells, antibodies, and neurotransmitters to name a few. This initiates a set of chain reactions in the body’s self regulating system to result in self-healing. With the advancement of technology, researchers are able to observe and study electromagnetic pathways in the body. My understanding of acupuncture meridians fits with these newer observations and I am excited to see the information that will come out on this topic in the coming years.
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Qigong works with energy and movement to promote circulation of blood, lymph, and our body’s innate electromagnetism. I offer subtle energy work through CRANIOSACRAL THERAPY and NEAR INFRARED & RED LIGHT THERAPY. My background includes training in Medical Qigong and Reiki so when I do craniosacral work it is most likely a blending of those three energy modalities. I have observed these modalities in combination with acupuncture to have profound impacts with pain, healing, and supporting the body’s natural detoxification methods.
Craniosacral Therapy was created by an Osteopath. It is a very light & gentle technique that involves the practitioner working with very subtle rhythms of the body. It is a tool to support healthy circulation of the craniosacral fluid as well as helping to release fascial adhesions anywhere in the body.
Qigong and Taichi are a range of practices from moderately active to completely still. I do not teach either of these modalities though occasionally will assign “homework” that may be considered a type of Neigong or internal work. One of the challenges of most people is that we are so busy thinking and receiving input from the sensory organs on our head (smell, sight, sound, taste), that we are fairly disconnected from the rest of our bodies. These practices help us to get more in touch with the rest of our bodies, supporting relaxation and healing. I often incorporate guided relaxation to clients, helping them to pause thinking and get in more healing states.
I incorporate elements of MAYA ABDOMINAL THERAPY, CUPPING, GUA SHA, FACIAL REFLEXOLOGY, AND TUINA. These are manual therapies that work with the principles of the meridians without the use of needles.
Cupping & Gua Sha are examples of manual therapy that are a type of Oriental Medicine. Cups and Gha Sha are tools utilizes to promote the movement of blood and lymph in areas where it may have become congested. These are also ways to work with acupuncture points when acupuncture needles are not preferred. Both of these tools can help relax muscles, and stimulate the flow of nutrients as well as antibodies and white blood cells to that area, promoting healing. It is extremely effective in alleviating respiratory and musculoskeletal complaints.
Tuina is a type of hands on bodywork typically done over clothing. It involves a lot of stretching and rocking techniques as well as acupressure alleviate complaints of the internal organs, as well as musculoskeletal discomfort. As with cupping, Tuina promotes lymphatic drainage and blood circulation to release congestion in the body that is blocking the transportation of vital nutrients and causing discomfort and illness. I have noticed a strong overlap in the treatment methods of Tuina and Arvigo Abdominal Therapy. Depending on the needs of clients I may provide an entire session of this bodywork, or combine elements of it before or after acupuncture.
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Food CAN be used as medicine. Many traditions and schools explore the impact of diet and nutrition on our health. Weston A Price is well known for his studies of indigenous communities around the world, the types of food they ate, and how that influenced their skeletal structure. We benefit from different foods depending on our body types, the amount of environmental toxins we are exposed to, and our level of health. Thanks to modern agricultural practices our food often does not contain the level of vitamins and minerals that it would have in the past. Additionally we are exposed to compounds such as glyphosates, which are gaining attention for their negative impacts on our digestive and therefore the rest of our body’s health. For these reasons many people who eat “healthy” still benefit from supplements to bridge the gap, as well as ways to safely and gently remove substances such as glyphosates. I have a list of some of my favorite supplements and brands here.
Herbal Medicine is a branch of Oriental Medicine that is even older than Acupuncture. Starting out as folk medicine in China, Doctors took over studying and recording the impacts of different plant materials on individuals. As early as the 3rd century Doctors were aware that specific compounds in the plants were responsible for certain medicinal properties, and continued to use the plant in the whole form because they also noticed that other substances in the plant counterbalanced potentially negative side affects. Over time, observation, and recording of knowledge the current system of using formulas developed. Through an intimate knowledge of the impacts different plant materials have on different conditions, as well as the ways they interact with each other, patients receive extremely personalized herbal formulas geared towards them specifically.
There is a saying, “To heal you need to remove yourself from the environment.” Sessions are in a peaceful and relaxing setting to support you physically and psychologically getting the most out of your experience.
When we are not functioning at our optimum, our bodies usually need repetition to shift their way back to health. Acupuncture sessions build off of each other so that with each session, if not spaced too far apart, you should notice more improvement. Also, our bodies do not always mend in the exact way we want. For this reason pay attention to all improvements. Your emotions may become more level before your sleep improves or maybe your bloating goes away before your shoulder pain. Keep in mind that all the parts of your body are just that; parts of the whole. Illness in one part impacts the others, and thus optimal health means healing the whole.