Alternative and Complimentary Medicine | Holistic health for your whole being
Acupuncture is one of the most well-known branches of
Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). It has been scientifically proven to induce healing, alleviate pain and anxiety, release stress, promote sleep and much more.
It involves the insertion of very fine, sterile needles at specific locations on the body. These “points” usually lay on the pathways (“meridians”) where your qi (life-force/energy) is in continuous circulation.
Every acupuncture point has specific effects. Which is why appropriate point combinations and needle techniques may result in therapeutic effects.
Chinese Medicine explains these as: nourishment of organs, improved bodily functions; removal of excessive pathological factors and promotion of the free movement of qi throughout the body.
What to expect
Once you are in a relaxed position, I may ask your to take a few deep breaths in and out.
I will usually insert the needles following your breath.
The insertion is very quick and painless. Following insertion I may manipulate the needles in order to achieve ‘deqi’ sensation. You may feel ‘deqi’ as warmness, tingling, dull ache, and such at or near the instertion point. This is a sensation is very subjective. And it is usually an indicator of the acupuncture point being “activated”. This sesnation is very different person to person. And some might not even feel a thing.
The needles are retained for 15 to 30 minutes, which are then removed by using sterile cotton wool.
This therapy may involve additional treatment methods such as acupressure, toyohari, electro-acupuncture and auricular acupuncture.
Moxibustion is the brother of acupuncture. In the chinese character of ‘acupuncture’ (针灸), the second kanji actually means moxibustion.
Moxa (in short) is a spongy, “wooly” herb. It is produced from the plant mugwort (artemisia vulgaris or artemisia argyii).
Usually we use moxa by either directly burning it on the skin -acoiding damage-. Another frequent way is using the “cigar” version. Which is the same herb pressed into a charcoal wand. Sometimes I use it on top or around the needles, in order to enhance their therapeutic effect.
In general mugwort has warming, moving and nourishing energetics.
What ot expect
Usually I use moxa in conjunction with acupuncture. In case of direct moxibustion, I apply a thin layer of oil on your skin. Then I place small cones of moxa on this layer, before lighting it by using incense sticks. In most cases I extinguish/remove these before they would reach the skin.
It may feel nicely warm and “moving”. The herb has a pleasant smell, however it may leave a scent on your clothes, please be aware.
Moxa is excellent in aiding recovery by (locally) enhancing the blood circulation. It is also very useful in boosting your immune system or your energy levels.
Tuina Medical Massage
Tuina is one of the main branches of TCM. We may see it as an excellent alternative medicine treatment for your ailments. But it is much more than that in East Asia. It is a type of Medical Massage which is widely practiced in hospitals throughout China.
This massage modality involves gentler (yin) and more energetic (yang) manipulations of the body. It is a fantastic healing art which addresses both the
internal – state of mind and organs – and external – muscles, tendons, fascia.
Thus it both addresses the channel pathways and acupuncture points as well as the musculoskeletal aspects of the body.
What ot expect
During a Tuina treatment, I would ask you to wear loose clothing. Most techniques have been developed as to work through fabric. In case you would need to be undressed, I would use a thin layer of fabric throughout most part of your masage.
You may be either lying down or sitting up, whilst I apply different teachniques.
Such as – pushing, pulling, kneading, pressing, rubbing, sweeping.
Opposed to most deep tissue and sports massages, the aim here is to relax and restore harmony to the body. Altough the treatment may be vigorous -in some cases-, you would not experience unnecessary pain during the treatment.
Cupping and Guasha
A famous doctor of Chinese Medicine (Zhu Danxie) said that: stagnation of qi and blood generates all disorders.
Cupping and guasha are excellent tools for moving local stagnation of these substances.
As well as clearing excess – manifesting in fever, flu, anxiety or muscle stiffness.
Cupping involves small glass cups. I briefly expose the cups to fire in order to create suction, before placing them onto your skin.
Guasha involves a smooth-edged instrument (usually honey pot lids or jade tools).
In practice I gently scrape your skin until “sha” – petechiae i.e. sand like spots- appear.
What ot expect
These methodologies of alternative medicine may leave a mark on your skin.
Cupping usually results in small purplish circles. Whilst Guasha creates small red spots, which resembles sand. Both of these should resolve within a few days (sometimes up to two weeks).
In most instances I apply massage oils throughout these treatment methods. Therefore these interventions usually do not incur any pain.
Both therapies are based around the same principles. They bring qi to the surface to increases blood circulation. Which is why they are excellent at treating painful conditions such as muscle tension and sciatica.
I mostly use these on areas of the back and neck to treat ‘internal’ conditions which may manifest in fever, common cold, acne, anxiety and stress or even chest infection. I may also use them to treat different types of musculo-skeletal conditions.
Alternative & Complimentary Medicine is fully tailerod to your personal needs
Your therapist may propose to use some of these healing methodologies according to your presentation. However Every treatment method is subject to discussion and your consent.