The full repertoire of Traditional Chinese Medicine contains more than just acupuncture, herbs, and bodywork therapy. Most patients of ReturningSpring® have at least one of the following therapies included in their treatment. These techniques offer a range of applications, and are customized to your particular case, enhancing your treatment. Here are just a few of the adjunct therapies we utilize:
Moxibustion – The Power of the Mugwart’s Fire
Moxibustion involves the heating of acupuncture points with smoldering mugwort (Artemesia spp.) known in Chinese as Ai Ye or moxa). Moxibustion stimulates circulation, counteracts cold and dampness in the body, and promotes the smooth flow of blood and qi. This safe, non-invasive technique may be used alone, but it is generally used in conjunction with acupuncture treatment. Recent studies have even shown it to boost red and white cell counts in patients undergoing chemo and radiation therapy! It is fabulous for certain types of menstrual issues (including infertility), and if you have arthritis that gets worse when cold weather hits… this is the stuff for you. I use multiple techniques to administer moxa to my patients, and often suggest at-home treatment to supplement what we do in the clinic. I was fortunate to have studied with the very talented Lorraine Wilcox (author of several books on the therapy) during my Master’s Program, and have grown to love moxa… and I believe you will will too!
Auriculotherapy – Seeds or Needles, Powerful Stuff
The ear is one of the most widely used (and studied!) microsystems of acupuncture. Traditionally, it was, and is, viewed as a reflection of the whole body and observation and palpation of areas of the ear are useful for diagnosis and effective for treatment. We know that the ear is innervated by a branch of the Vagus Nerve, a nerve that forms part of the involuntary nervous system and commands unconscious body procedures, such as keeping the heart rate constant and controlling digestion. Electrical stimulation of the vagus nerve is even used in western medicine to treat epilepsy and depression. Popularized recently by celebrities such as actress Penelope Cruz, auriculotherapy can be used to treat a wide variety of disorders, including PTSD, anxiety, and addiction, and is a wonderful supplemental treatment. I use ear points on most patients and often provide “ear-seeds” to provide continuous stimulation after your appointment. And for you fashionistas, I can even provide ear seeds with crystals on them, to provide a little flair.
Cupping Therapy – Good for the Olympian and the Weekend Warrior
Cupping is an ancient technique, used in many cultures, in which a special cup is applied to the skin and held in place by suction. The suction draws superficial tissue into the cup, which may either be left in place or moved along the body. Cupping brings fresh blood to the area and helps improve circulation. Traditional cupping, sometimes referred to as “fire cupping,” uses heat to create a vacuum-like suction inside of glass cups. In modern times, cups that use a small pump to create suction have been introduced and this is what I use. Anyone who followed the Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps, saw the marks of cupping on his upper back. A favorite with athletes on any level, cupping is wonderful for treating pain disorders and injuries. Because of the marks, which look like bruises, people often ask me if it hurts. Actually, it feels like a very good deep tissue massage, and can break up adhesions and scar tissue quite readily.