what is acupuncture?
it is unknown exactly how old acupuncture really is, but we can date it near 2000-2300 years ago. one of the first known written medical texts was composed somewhere in that time frame: the huangdi neijing, better known as “the yellow emperor’s classic.” this is one of the first books to go in depth about acupuncture and even in some degrees how the human body works physiologically. since this time, many other books have been written about acupuncture, herbs and asian medicine in general. many of these ancient texts are considered “the classics” or ancient texts detailing the use of asian medicine to heal.
ancient acupuncture actually involved 9 different needles described in the neijing. these needles were initially made from precious stone such as jade, then progressed to other metals (copper, bronze, gold and silver) to modern day needles that are typically made of stainless steel. however, some practitioners will still use gold and silver needles, or even copper and zinc to treat specific conditions. these needles are far different from the hypodermic needles we are familiar with in the west. first off they are solid (whereas a hypodermic needle is hollow) and acupuncture needles are much smaller. in fact, the largest needles acupuncturists typically use can be fit inside the western needles 5-10 times!
the needles used are sterilized, separately packaged, and at mind.body.balance. EVERY needle is disposed of after one use. all licensed acupuncturists (l.ac) go through a c.n.t. (clean needle technique) course that trains all of us how to properly use needles and protect the patient. after this course all l.ac’s must pass a national exam on c.n.t. in order to even get their national license.
in short, acupuncture is using small needles to stimulate specific points along meridians in the human body. these needles maybe inserted all over the body, seemingly far away from affected areas of dis-ease.
does it hurt?
one of the big questions with acupuncture is “is it painful?” to be perfectly honest, we are inserting needles within the skin, so it is impossible to say that it is completely “painless." however, we can say that most patients report that it is not that painful at all and is very enjoyable once gotten used to. **if you are curious about acupuncture, as with any other treatments, please consult your practitioner.
what is sotai?
sotai is a form of japanese bodywork that was developed by dr. keizo hashimoto. it is unique in the fact that it is very gentle and easy, both for the practitioner and client. the main principal of sotai is ease. it incorporates a variety of doshin or physical examinations of moving the body certain ways. during this time we are looking for any sense of discomfort for the client, this can range from pain to simply tightness or stiffness. then we apply a simple breathing method and go towards the easiest direction of movement while applying light resistance. this allows the body overall to reset some of it’s ingrained patterns and release. allowing for a fuller potential of healing.
what is tui na?
tui na, or chinese medical massage therapy, translates literally as “push grasp.” some methods may resemble the light and smooth massage as we have come to know. whereas others maybe similar to the more aggressive types of massage (deep tissue, fascia release etc.) in order to provide a greater therapeutic effect. tui na massage can range from simple acupressure to a full treatment plan. most techniques of tui na are easy and simple enough that practitioners may often teach these techniques to their patients as home therapy. **if you are curious about tui na, as with any other treatments, please consult your practitioner.
what is moxibustion?
moxibustion (moxa), is a technique specific to asian medicine. while its use may vary throughout asia, its use is very simple. moxibustion use the herb ai ye (artemisia vulgaris, better known as mugwort) and it is usually picked, aged, then powdered into a find “fluff”. the herb is then used by a practitioner in a few different forms.
indirect moxa is when a practitioner burns ai ye (mugwort) away from the skin. this maybe done by rolling the herb into a cigar like tube and lighting it on fire and holding it over the area of treatment. the other form of indirect moxa, is when something maybe placed between the skin and the moxa. this may include, but not limited to, ginger slices, garlic slices, sea salt, thin strips of wax paper etc. the moxa is then lit and burned until the patient feels a comfortable warmth it is then removed and another piece of moxa is placed on again.
direct moxa is when there is nothing placed between the skin and the moxa. this can increase the therapy’s effectiveness and increase the warmth, the same procedure is done as described above. there is a japanese technique called “rice Grain” moxa, where the practitioner makes the moxa as small as a rice grain (or even down to the size of a thread) and burns it over the point. the result with this technique is that it is faster and more intense in the warmth. in the hands of an experienced practitioner this will maintain a great and steady warmth for the patient.
what does moxa treat?
moxibustion traditionally is indicated for “low energy” symptoms or issues. where there is a deficiency of qi in the patient, as this is the idea behind why moxa is so effective, it adds energy to the body. however, the japanese have taken moxa to a whole new level and will use it in nearly every condition to great success. modern japanese research is showing that moxibustion is effective in raising blood cell counts (both red and white blood cells), even increasing blood flow. it has also been seen to be effective in treating chronic pain issues, hormonal imbalances among numerous other diseases.
cautions of moxa
the biggest caution with moxa is that since the herb is burning over the skin is a burn. the goal with any treatment is to leave a slight red spot. however, in the hands of an experienced practitioner there is little chance of a burn. at mind.body.balance. we will always put down an herbal anti-burn cream whenever we do direct moxibustion. **if you are curious about moxibustion, as with any other treatments, please consult your practitioner.
for more information about Joe, and to complete new patient paperwork, please go to his website http://lincolnacupunctureclinic.com