| Healing Process
| Asian Medicine Modalities -
A Short History of Medicine:
2000 B.C. - "Here, eat this root."
1000 B.C. - "That root is heathen, say this prayer."
1850 A.D. - "That prayer is superstition, drink this potion."
1940 A.D. - "That potion is snake oil, swallow this pill."
1985 A.D. - "That pill is ineffective, take this antibiotic."
2000 A.D. - "That antibiotic is artificial. Here, eat this root."
- (Author Unknown)
Traditional Asian medicine employs a multitude of modalities (treatment types) as a way
to treat the totality of the mind-body phenomenon. The modalities
discussed here are those more commonly employed at our clinic.
Acupuncture consists of inserting very fine, sterile, single-use
needles into key energy focal points located along various energy
pathways within the body. At certain depths after insertion, the
needles may activate the body's central and peripheral nervous systems,
their neurotransmitter mechanisms, and local and central immune
systems. The Asian medicine view of this is known as activating and
balancing the body's various forms of energy including Qi, Blood, Yin
and Yang. By activating Qi and Blood and balancing Yin and Yang,
acupuncture not only brings about symptomatic relief, but also calms
the agitated mind and induces actual healing utilizing the body's own
homeostatic healing mechanisms.
Upon needling to the appropriate acupuncture depth, a sensation should
be elicited at most points. If no sensation is felt, there may be very
little therapeutic results. The appropriate sensations may include
warmth, coolness, tightness, pressure, heaviness, numbness, tingling,
slight aching, slight soreness or a mixture of the foregoing. The
occurrence of any one of these sensations is known as the 'arrival of
' or 'De Qi
'. The sensation usually subsides soon after, or up to a
few hours after the needles are removed.
Acupuncture can be performed on most all areas of the body including
the external ears and scalp regions. The techniques utilized at our
clinic include: traditional Chinese acupuncture based on Meridian
Theory and Zang-Fu Organ Theory; Chinese and European ear acupuncture;
Chinese and Japanese scalp acupuncture; Master Tong acupuncture; and
Korean acupuncture forms.
For additional information on this topic please see the section on Acupuncture
Cupping consists of using glass suction
cups placed over the skin at acupuncture energy points. The suction
creates an air-tight seal enabling a portion of the skin area to be
lifted and elevated. The cups may be kept stationary over the point or
may be moved by gliding them over a larger area. This has the
therapeutic effect of drawing out certain pathogenic factors which have
settled in the muscle layer while also promoting the circulation of
energy (Qi), Blood, and Body Fluids. The overall effect felt by the
patient is a reduction in muscular and joint stiffness and pain relief.
This technique is often used in conditions related to musculoskeletal
and joint disorders, respiratory and bronchial disorders, and certain
types of skin disorders.
Cupping typically leaves round patches of reddish-purple discoloration
on the skin where the cups were placed. If moving technique is used, a
larger area may be affected. This discoloration is a normal and
expected occurrence and will disappear within a few days. If cupping is
used with a bloodletting technique to draw out very small amounts of
'unhealthy' blood, a mild local bruising of the skin at the site of
bloodletting is also normal.
Moxa is the technique of burning certain kinds of herbs and positioning
the burning herb near acupuncture points. Aided by the heat, the therapeutic smoke
from the burning herb penetrates through the skin to provide healing.
Moxa may come in loose-herb form or already pre-shaped into a cone or
When the loose-herb moxa is used, it is manually formed into a small mound and
placed over a slice of herb, such as ginger. The moxa is then lit and
the ginger-slice holding the burning moxa is placed on the skin. When
the cone form is used, it can be fitted onto the acupuncture needle and
lit. This warms the needle directly and facilitates both the needling
effect while allowing the therapeutic properties from the smoke to
penetrate directly into the acupuncture energy channels. When the stick
form is used, the moxa stick is lit and held near the acupuncture
The healing effects of moxa herbs are numerous. It provides a
therapeutic kind of warming not found in other heat forms. It also
moves through the tissues and energy channels to remove blockages and
circulate Qi and Blood.
Moxa is used in conditions mostly of a Cold nature, in certain types of
pain syndromes, and for Deficient constitutions. In these instances
moxa supports and nurtures the Yang energies of the body, boosts the
body's immune system, and promotes general strengthening.
For additional information on Yin and Yang, please see the section on Ying and Yang
under Asian Medical Theory.
Electrical Stimulation (Electro-Stim or E-Stim)
In some cases an electrical stimulation device is used on acupuncture
needles to enhance their normal stimulation effect. Alligator clips
connected to wires and plugged into the e-stim machine are fastened
onto the handles of acupuncture needles. When turned on, electrical
waves are discharged and conducted through the needles. The frequency,
density and intensity of stimulation are controlled and set to a
comfort level specific to each patient.
E-stim is generally used in conditions related to musculoskeletal and
joint disorders, neurological disorders such as stroke and paralysis,
and certain types of pain syndromes. In most cases e-stim is not used
in Deficient constitutions, on those with acute heart conditions, or on
Cutaneous Needles - Plum Blossom / Seven Star
Cutaneous needling utilizes a flexible plastic mallet device having
five or seven blunt needles protruding from the head of the mallet. The
mallet is tapped over a wide area of the skin to stimulate the skin,
tissues and muscles. The force of the tapping is controlled to cause
either redness, sensitivity or slight bleeding. The tapping force is
determined by the condition being treated. Thus, temporary redness,
sensitivity and/or slight bleeding are a normal and desired outcome of
Cutaneous needling has the effect of stimulating the flow of Qi and
Blood both superficially and in their deeper pathways and channels. It
is most applicable to skin disorders, neuritis and nerve disorders.
Herbs and Herbal Formulas
Traditional Asian-Chinese herbal medicine is unrivaled in its
comprehensiveness and systematic application. For more than 5,000 years
doctors of this medicine have studied, experimented with, documented,
categorized and applied thousands of herb products. Their legacy is the
ingenious categorization of each and every herb by their innate
properties including: taste; temperature; acupuncture channels entered;
their therapeutic actions on organs, tissues and the body; their
combining behavior; and contraindications.
Herbs are products found in nature having various healing properties.
These include plants, minerals, shells, and in some cases
non-endangered animal products. In Asia more than 20,000 natural
products are now identified as having medicinal properties. Clinically,
about 500 may be commonly used. Single herbs are very rarely prescribed
alone. Instead, up to a few dozen herbs are chosen and combined to make
an herbal formula as a way to treat the specific disease-complex presentation in the individual, rather than
quell discrete symptoms.
With proper use, herbs are safe and reliable. When used inappropriately
herbs have the potential to inflict harm, as is the case with any
product having medicinal properties. Consequently, it is never
advisable to purchase pre-made herbal supplements from any vendor unless the
patient has first consulted with a knowledgeable practitioner and is
under the practitioner's watchful care.
For additional information on this topic please see the section on Herbs
In Asia, food is considered the first line of therapy. While the
Western approach to nutrition considers the biochemical natures and
behavior of foods, Traditional Asian nutrition incorporates the
philosophy of Asian medicine including Qi, Blood, Yin and Yang,
acupuncture Meridians (Channels), and energy balance. As is the case
with Asian herbs, foods in Asia are also categorized and used according
to their innate properties of taste, temperature, channels
entered, and therapeutic functions. In fact, many of the medicinal
herbs are commonly used as food in many Asian countries, especially
Asian medicine's therapeutic approach to disease considers
individual-specific factors such as a person's age and constitution,
the nature and progression of disease, and his/her environment and
lifestyle. In the same way, foods are also selected with these same
aspects in mind. Since disease is considered to be a manifestation of a
disharmony, foods are selected based on the principles of balance and
harmony. For example, if a person is relatively healthy but has a
tendency towards heat and excess Yang energies, foods that are cooling
and nourishing of Yin energies are emphasized in the diet as a way to
subdue the heat and Yang, and promote balance.
Previously, reliance solely on the
Asian approach to nutrition was sufficient. In today's integrated
society where packaged foods, food additives, chemicals, steroids,
pesticides and preservatives are ubiquitous, application of both
Eastern and Western approaches are now necessary. Each and every
patient should be counseled on the proper nutrition appropriate to
his/her unique attributes and energy state. In our clinic we recognize
the primary role that nutrition plays in health and disease. And we
apply both Western and traditional Asian approaches to nutrition
For additional information on this topic please see the section on Nutrition
Exercise Therapy - Tai Qi, Qi Gong
Two of the more popular forms of Asian medical exercises are known as
Tai Qi and Qi Gong. There are thousands of different styles and
subforms depending on the school of thought from which the styles
originated, and the apprentice-master tradition of teaching. Tai Qi
took root from the self-defense artistry of classical martial arts. Qi
gong has its roots in the metaphysical and philosophical principles of
Taoism and later branched into various medical forms. Both incorporate
the theory of Yin and Yang and both instill movements mimicking animals
These exercises combine physical movements with breathing exercises and
a form of meditation or mental concentration focused on directing the
movement of Qi. While each form may follow different routines, they can
share many of the same movements. The more popular styles practiced in
America consist of the smooth, graceful forms of body and limb
movements designed to activate the Qi and Blood of certain channels, in
a single movement, while deactivating opposing channels, and vice
versa. The resulting effect is to strengthen Qi and Blood flow and
balancing the Yin and Yang.
Researches have shown that people who practice Tai Qi or Qi Gong on a
regular basis experience a wide variety of benefits including inner
relaxation, enhanced mental function, enhanced organ function,
increased immunity, reduced pain and even regression of certain forms
of degenerative diseases.
Therapeutic Body Work
Therapeutic body work consists of manipulating
the skin, muscles, tissues, tendons and joints to free the energy
pathways, promote removal of toxins, lubricate for mobility and
flexibility, reduce pain and inflammation, break down scar tissue and
facilitate healing at those layers. Researches also have shown that
therapeutic body work enhances bile flow to cleanse the liver, raises
metabolic functions, stimulates immunity, and releases the body's
natural endorphins for pain relief and stress reduction. Therapeutic
body work can be helpful in treating both acute and chronic
musculoskeletal conditions and in many internal organ disharmonies.
Our therapies combine several techniques in each session to bring about
maximum relief and healing. These techniques include acupressure,
shiatsu, deep tissue, tui na, and our very own specialized form of
healing therapy. Our experienced therapists utilize the acupuncture
energy pathways and acupoints to offer our patients a world-class
Following each treatment, patients are advised to drink plenty of water
to help eliminate the toxins which these sessions have helped to
Acupressure is a form of acupuncture performed superficially without
needles. Acupuncture points are stimulated with fingers, palms, thumbs,
elbow or an implement by applying varying degrees of pressure and
release. Unlike non-diagnostics forms of body work, acupressure therapy
incorporates the Qi, Blood, and Yin and Yang theory of Asian medicine.
Accordingly, certain acupoints and acupuncture energy channels are
selected and emphasized, according to the patient's diagnosed
disharmony, in order to correct imbalances of the body. As with
acupuncture, some of the selected points may be distal to the target
area of action.
Shiatsu technique also uses the fingers, palms, and thumbs to apply
pressure to target areas of the body. Although this technique also aims
to correct imbalances of the body, it is based more on Western
physiology than Asian medicine. Therefore, it is more target-based and
its emphasis is more local and direct to the patient's pain areas.
Deep tissue massage is a technique relying on squeezing, stretching and
releasing the deeper layers of the muscles, tendons and fascia system.
Slow, controlled strokes are applied across and along the grains of the muscles in order to create pressure and friction.
Doing so stimulates the movement of Qi, Blood and Body Fluids to
promote release of blockages, relieve pain, and facilitate healing.
Tui na technique uses a mixture of pressing, pulling, rolling,
kneading, rubbing, squeezing and tapping motions over the body, as well
as traction movements at the joints. This form of therapy is also based
on Asian medicine theories of Qi, Blood, Yin and Yang and promotes
their flow to bring about balance and healing.
Healing Therapy is our very own specialized technique. This technique
utilizes modified forms of acupressure, shiatsu, deep tissue, tui na,
and physical therapy forms to provide maximum healing and relief for
pain sufferers. This can be thought of as therapeutic body work on
'hyperdrive'. It is an aggressive and intense treatment which reaches
very deeply into the muscles, tendons, fascia and joints. Because of
its intensity and depth, patients who are new to this therapy can
expect to experience mild muscle soreness for a few days. Afterwards,
however, the level of relief experienced can be more profound than any
other type of body work.
| Healing Process
| Asian Medicine Modalities
- Treatment Types