Acupuncture

MOXIBUSTION
CUPPING
ELECTRO-ACUPUNCTURE
AURICULAR MEDICINE

 

Acupuncture originated in China over 3000 years ago and is presently used all over the world as an affordable health care system. Acupuncture is the insertion of very fine, sterilized needles into specific points on the body in order to disperse the body’s energy and mobilize the body’s natural biochemical response. Both preventative and curative in nature, acupuncture works by regulating the body’s energy, known as qi, as it flows along pathways called meridians (or channels). The meridians cover the whole body and can be accessed at the acupuncture points. There are over 1000 acupuncture points all over the body. A blockage in the flow of energy may result in an imbalance that can lead to any number of medical conditions, including physical, emotional or psychosomatic disorders. In Chinese, there is a saying, “If there is pain, there is no free flow; if there is free flow, there is no pain.” As one of the Five Branches of Traditional Chinese Medicine, acupuncture is part of an entire system of medicine. In the past three decades, electromagnetic research has confirmed the existence and location of these points. Electro-acupuncture and Auricular Medicine (ear acupuncture) are two ways to stimulate points. Needling is just one of a number of techniques used in Traditional Chinese Medicine; others include moxibustion and cupping. For commonly asked questions be sure to see our FAQs.


MOXIBUSTION
Moxibustion involves the burning of an herb called mugwort directly over acupuncture points to allow the heat to penetrate the areas around the points or along the channels that influence the qi and blood flow. The dried mugwort is spun in a grinder to clear out the woody parts of the plant. What remains is called moxa wool, a soft clumpable herb that can be used in a wide variety of ways. The most common method of moxibustion is indirect, utilizing moxa sticks that resemble a big cigar. There are also brass moxa burners that are moved over a towel laid on the skin to protect it from burning, but allows the warmth and healing wavelengths to penetrate the skin. In addition, there is a method known as direct moxa, where cones of moxa are burned on the skin and removed just as the patient feels the heat from it and is not burned in any way. The indications for the use of moxa are many and include weakness, pain, injury, and surgery.


CUPPING
Cupping is an ancient Chinese healing art and was at one time a commonly used therapy for a wide variety of complaints. Cupping is a technique that applies suction cups to the surface of the body to move qi and blood and remove stagnation of any kind from the body. It is most often used on the back to release chronically tight muscles or if a person is at the beginnning stages of a cold or flu, in which case, as we say in Chinese Medicine, we need to “release the surface.”


ELECTRO-ACUPUNCTURE
Electro-acupuncture is the application of a pulsating electrical current to acupuncture needles as a means of stimulating acupuncture points. The electro-acupuncture device is not intended to provide a significant current between the acupuncture needles. It delivers less than a milliampere, about the same as that produced by a wristwatch battery. There is virtually no current transmitted through the body, but there is enough of a local voltage stimulus for the patient to feel an evident reaction at the location of the needle. Especially good results are experienced from this form of treatment for pain and paralysis and certain fertility treatments.


AURICULAR MEDICINE (ear acupuncture)
There are numerous types of ear acupuncture, including Chinese, French and German. Brett has focussed on German Auricular Acupuncture, based on the curriculum of the German Academy of Auricular Medicine and textbooks written by Dr. Beatte Strittmater. Auricular acupuncture is the stimulation of acupuncture points on the external ear surface for the diagnosis and treatment of health conditions in other parts of the body. The ear has the highest density of acupuncture points on the body. When an auricular acupuncture point on the ear is “active”, which is indicated by increased tenderness upon stimulation and a higher electrical conductivity of the skin, this indicates pathology in the body tissue corresponding to that location in the body, making auricular acupuncture a useful form of assessing ailments. For treatment, stimulation of active points can be done with acupuncture needles, ear pellets, manual pressure, or lasers. The earliest use of ear acupuncture, like body acupuncture, dates back to ancient China. Auricular acupuncture, as we know it today, is largely the result of the work of Dr. Paul Nogier of France. Nogier discovered in the late 1950’s that the ear holds all of the acupuncture points of the body, replicating as a microsystem the entire body. Dr. Nogier and his colleagues conducted research over the next decades, discovering that stimulation of the ear acupuncture points was very effective in alleviating pain and other symptoms.

For commonly asked questions, read our FAQs page.

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