How can acupuncture, Chinese cupping massage and Acupressure Shiatsu help you? The acupuncturist is an integrated clinic, using a combination of acupuncture, Massage, Nutritional guidance and heat therapy depending on the condition being treated.
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Acupuncturists are trained to use subtle diagnostic techniques that have been developed and refined for centuries. The focus is on the individual, not their illness, and all the symptoms are seen in relation to each other. Each patient is unique; two people with the same western diagnosis may well receive different acupuncture treatments.
The underlying principle of treatment is that illness and pain occur when the body's qi, or vital energy, cannot flow freely. There can be many reasons for this; emotional and physical stress, poor nutrition, infection or injury are among the most common. By inserting ultra-fine sterile pins into specific acupuncture points, your acupuncturist seeks to re-establish the free flow of energy to restore balance and trigger the body's natural healing response. Your practitioner will ask about your chief complaint, health history, current medications and lifestyle to create a treatment plan tailored to you.
Cupping is an ancient technique used in traditional Chinese medicine to stimulate acupuncture points or larger areas of the body. Cupping is an enjoyable experience and is very good for stubborn muscle pain in large areas of the body such as the back and thighs. It is often practised alongside acupuncture but can also be a ‘stand-alone’ treatment. The technique involves creating a vacuum inside round glass or bamboo cups by inserting a naked flame and removing it, then placing the cup quickly onto the area to be treated before the vacuum is lost. The cups are then left in place for anything up to 20 minutes. If large areas of the body need treating, a technique known as ‘sliding cups’ is used. A thin layer of massage oil is spread over the skin; the cups are placed onto the body in the normal way and then slid along the muscles being treated. This helps the blood and qi to flow more easily in stagnated areas.
Cupping is not painful but can leave slightly red/purple patches on the skin, like circular bruises. Although these marks resemble bruises, the muscles have not been traumatized in any way. The redness on the skin indicates that there has been movement in the circulation of blood under and around the cups. Not all cupping treatments will result in redness as this depends on the complaint being addressed.Cupping is particularly excellent for musculoskeletal conditions.
Acupressure Shiatsu Massage
Acupressure Shiatsu is great for those who want to enjoy the benefits of Acupuncture without the pins! Acupressure is a healing modality that emphasizes balancing the energy body or energy system with the physical body, mind, and spirit. An integral part of Chinese medicine, acupressure is similar to acupuncture except that it uses the hands rather than needles to adjust energy flow. Students of acupressure learn the same meridians and acupionts that are used in acupuncture as well as the Asian bodywork therapy known as shiatsu (from the Japanese "shi" finger, and "atsu" pressure).
Originally developed from the ancient Chinese massage technique anmo, shiatsu evolved in the early 1900's in Japan. It is based on the concept of qi—the body's vital life force flowing through defined channels or meridians along the surface of the body. When the body's vital energy flow or qi is normal and harmonious, the body is balanced and healthy. Acupressure points are specific locations along the meridians where the flow of qi gathers in vortices spiraling in inward and outward directions. Pressure or pain at a particular acupoint can reflect an imbalance. Stimulation of these acupoints by rubbing, pressing, massaging, tapping, applying heat moxibustion, or magnetic therapy will encourage deep muscular relaxation, circulation of blood, and qi balancing. A person will experience varying sensitivity at these acupoints depending on his/her condition. Sensations of softness, hardness, soreness, ticklishness, pulsation, heat or cold reflect obstruction in the energy along the meridian pathway.
An acupressure therapist develops the ability to "read" the points and understand the energetic condition of the individual reflected in the sensitivities of these points. Pain at an acupoint can reflect an imbalance along the meridian on which it is located or a corresponding area or an associated organ. Assessment of a person's condition also includes traditional parameters of pulse, tongue, observation, interrogation, and especially palpation of abdomen and back.
Gentle yet firm pressure is applied along the meridians of the arms, legs, back, neck and head to open the pathways to qi flow. Specific acupressure points are chosen and held in combinations to further balance the qi. Oftentimes, the rhythm of shiatsu technique and the acupressure to the point sequences form a dance-like movement that lulls the recipient into a deep state of relaxation.