ACUPUNCTURE and Chinese herbal medicine originated over 3,000 years ago, making up one of the oldest and most widely used healing systems in the world. It describes an energy force called Qi that is responsible for regulating the body's overall health. Like blood in the circulatory system, Qi moves throughout the body in pathways called meridians. Health and wellbeing is directly related to the amount, quality, and balance of Qi; therefore, when Qi is copious and free flowing, we flourish physically, mentally, and emotionally. When factors such as trauma, stress, poor nutrition, or a change in environment disrupt the flow of Qi, health issues manifest.
Acupuncture is the stimulation of specific points along a meridian by the insertion of very fine, sterile, disposable needles. These points and meridians are part of a greater network of the body and stimulate areas of the body that are not necessarily adjacent to the needle. The needles themselves alter various biochemical and physiological imbalances within the body. Depending on where the needles are inserted, the points can cause the nervous system to produce pain killing chemicals, stimulate the part of the brain that controls emotions, and jump-start the body's innate healing capacity. Chinese medicine believes if the body has the ability to become diseased, it also has the ability to heal itself.
Some commonly treated conditions include :
- Back pain
- Chemotherapy support
- Chronic fatigue
- Emotional problems
- Gastrointestinal disorders
- Menstrual irregularities
- Morning sickness
- Musculoskeletal pain
- Pre-menstrual syndrome
- Sciatica/nerve pain
- Sleep disturbances
- Trauma (mental/emotional)
Other modalities may be used during treatments to facilitate healing. They include :
CUPPING is the term applied to a technique that uses small glass or plastic cups that are placed on the skin to create suction. The practitioner uses fire to swipe inside the cup, which removes the oxygen, to create a vacuum when placed on the skin. The vacuum formed by cupping draws the "old" non-circulating stagnant blood from the area, bringing it to the surface and away from the injury and allows "new" healthy blood to be restored to the area, thus creating space for oxygen, living cells, and nutrients for faster recovery. Cupping is useful for back & neck pain, stiff muscles, fatigue, clearing congestion from a cold, and helping control a person's asthma. Cupping may leave dark marks for several days in the areas where the cups were placed.
GUA SHA is another technique used to draw toxins to the surface in which the practitioner repeatedly applies pressured strokes over lubricated skin by using a rounded-edged tool. The effect is the extravasation of blood from the capillary bed creating red splotches, or petechiae, on the surface of the skin. Gua sha breaks up congestion in the form of congealed blood from an injury, or lactic acids and other toxins that build up in the muscles due to over use. As these problems are pulled out of underlying muscle tissue and fascia, they are released into the blood stream so that they may be removed from the body. Gua sha is useful for stiff muscles, back & neck pain, flus, cough, and carpal tunnel syndrome. Like cupping, gua sha may leave dark marks for several days.
ELECTRO-ACUPUNCTURE involves the application of a gentle, pulsating electrical current to the acupuncture needles to further stimulate the acupuncture points. The use of electro-acupuncture provides controlled stimulation of acupuncture points, and is useful for a wide range of ailments including pain, neurological diseases, paralysis, and spasms.
CHINESE HERBAL MEDICINE is a form of internal medicine that can help boost the effectiveness of acupuncture by altering the body from the inside out. With over 5,000 years of extensive research and use, Chinese herbs have proven to be a safe and effective option for nearly all health conditions. Chinese medicine uses natural elements such as plants, berries, minerals, nuts, and the occasional animal product. At Cape Integrative Health, we use patent formulas in pill form from the only highest quality companies based in the United States.
EASTERN DIETARY THERAPY is a foundational pillar of the treatment model in Chinese medicine, addressing nutritional needs based on Oriental medicine theory. Food can be a powerful self-healing tool if used properly. Food is how we get the nutrients for enriching our blood, leading to a healthy nervous system function and brain, better digestion, better sleep, more energy, and a more stable emotional state.