When the body falls out of balance it disrupts the functional systems that help it maintain equilibrium. Acupuncture is the application of fine needles to stimulate certain points and channels in order to help re-balance and harmonize these systems. If you are uncomfortable about the use of needles, that's OK; I am experienced in the art of acupressure and tuina, or Chinese medical massage.
Cupping and Guasha are other therapeutic modalities that fall within East Asian Medical practices. Cupping has been making waves in the therapeutic world after the 2016 summer Olympics for its effectiveness in treating skeleto-muscular pain and aiding in post-workout recovery time. Guasha is a similar technique that helps breakdown scar tissue and invigorate the target area with fresh blood to promote healing in old injuries.
Self-cultivation and mind-body practices are powerful tools to help reduce stress and pain, get exercise, and increase concentration. Taiji Qigong focuses on coordinating our breath through different movements and postures. This helps to settle the mind, bring awareness back to the body, open up painful joints, increase flexibility, loosen tight muscles, and increase blood circulation throughout the body.
Chronic pain significantly reduces the quality of life of an individual. From debilitating headaches and migraines, dull and constant low back pain, stiff neck, knee degeneration and arthritis, to carpal tunnel and plantar fasciitis - acupuncture can help. Most pain is caused by stagnation, or a build-up of cellular waste material, within the metabolic pathways (or channels) surrounding various tissues. Acupuncture reduces pain by opening and regulating these channels to promote the body's natural ability to heal itself.
In this day and age, stress factors are at an all-time high and stress-related illnesses, such as: IBS, high blood pressure and heart disease, nausea, anxiety, etc, are becoming more and more prevalent. Chronic stress causes an imbalance in our autonomic nervous system by constantly triggering our fight-or-flight response leaving us in a constantly excited state. Acupuncture can help down-regulate this over-stimulation by activating the parasympathetic nervous system, or the body's rest-and-digest response.
Insomnia and restless sleep are huge contributors to fatigue, lack of motivation, trouble concentrating, and an inability to heal. By improving our quality of rest, we can begin improving our quality of life. More often than not, trouble falling asleep and staying asleep is due to an inability to wind down at the end of the day. For better sleep, a combination of acupuncture and qigong breathing techniques can be used to calm and center yourself before bedtime, helping to reduce the number of restless nights waiting to fall asleep.
You can't optimize health and wellness without addressing diet and digestion. Our bodies run off the nutrients we get from food, so if we aren't eating right or if our bodies aren't digesting the food properly, our ability to heal ourselves becomes compromised. While a proper diet has more to do with the individual, acupuncture can help improve digestion by regulating appetite, increasing peristalsis, and stimulating the parasympathetic nervous system.
Anxiety is becoming more and more pervasive in today's culture. With so much information is being thrown at us through social media and the news it can be hard not to worry about the world around us. Anxiety is typically caused by overthinking and over worrying. This constant over stimulation of mind inhibits our ability to ground and center ourselves in our bodies. Acupuncture can help reduce anxiety by calming the mind and re-integrating it with the body.
Loss of motivation can be a multifaceted problem that can be caused by one or a combination of problems already discussed. In choosing to incorporate acupuncture for your health and wellness, you have already taken the first steps to increase your motivation! By addressing what you feel are the major contributors to your loss of motivation are, eg. anxiety, stress, fatigue, etc; acupuncture will help you to rediscover your natural drive.
Tuina is a form of Medical massage and bodywork designed to help increase qi and blood flow along the channels. Much like acupuncture, tuina is focused on regulating and balancing the entire system and doesn't necessarily focus an area of pain. Literally translating to "push and grasp", the techniques often involve: pushing stagnant qi and blood (pain) along the course of a channel, then isolating and grasping a muscle or muscle group to create space within the surrounding tissue. This allows the stagnant blood and qi to be reintegrated into the vessels and channels. Other techniques may be utilized such as pinching up the skin to improve microcirculation along the minute channels, percussing and tapping an area to stimulate and invigorate sensitivity, rubbing and shaking an area to increase warmth and vigor, and/or rocking the skeletal system to relax and soothe the muscles and joints.
Baguan (cupping) and Guasha (scraping) are other modalities often used in conjuncture with acupuncture and tuina. Both are used to increase local blood and lymph flow in areas that are blocked or congested. As such, these modalities are mostly used for stubborn injuries and pain, breaking up old scar tissue that's causing stagnation, and alleviating compromised respiratory symptoms such as colds and asthma.
Taijiquan (or taichi) and Qigong are therapeutic mind-body practices that are practiced by millions around the world. Taichi focuses on keeping the body and center of gravity rooted in the Earth while maintaining smooth liquid-like movements. Qigong focuses on proper breathing technique and cultivating an awareness of the body and its connection with time, space, and environment. Taiji Qigong is a combination of the two. It focuses more on the principles taught through a taichi form, without actually having to learn the form itself, and integrates basic body mechanics with proper breathing. The goal of taiji qigong is to teach the practitioner the basics principles of movements so that they can begin to develop their own personalized daily practice.
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