Ac·u·punc·ture noun — A system of complementary medicine that involves pricking the skin or tissues with needles, used to alleviate pain and to treat various physical, mental, and emotional conditions. Originating in ancient China, acupuncture is now widely practiced in the West.
Acupuncture is often accompanied by moxibustion which involves burning mugwort on or near the skin at an acupuncture point.
We offer a variety of acupuncture services:
The painless burning of dry herbs on or near the skin. Acupuncture is often accompanied by moxibustion done on or near acupuncture points. In traditional Chinese medicine, moxibustion is used on people who have a cold or stagnant condition. The burning of moxa is believed to expel cold and warm the meridians, which leads to a smoother flow of blood and qi.
Some of the manual therapies we often use to relax muscles and to promote healing and release stress:
Tuina (Chinese Massage)
Cupping is a type of Chinese massage, consisting of placing several glass “cups” on the body. Traditionally, a match is lit and placed inside the cup and then removed before placing the cup against the skin. As the air in the cup is heated, it expands, and after placing in the skin, cools, creating lower pressure inside the cup that allows the cup to stick to the skin via suction. When combined with massage oil, the cups can be slid around the back, offering “reverse-pressure massage”. Nowadays, a more modern form of cupping is made by creating a vacuum using a pneumatic pump.
Gua Sha implies the stroke of the skin with pieces of smooth piece of jade, smooth stone, ceramic or porcelain; until red spots cover the area. Such technique brings blood to the area and it is believed to support the area healing. It is commonly used to release muscle tension. The red spots and bruising take 3 to 5 days to disappear.
In traditional Chinese herbal medicine, a number of plant elements are commonly used along with other substances from mineral or animal origin in formulas which combinations, doses and uses have been documented in ancient books such as the Shang Han Lun or treating Cold Diseases and The Wen Bing for treating Warm Diseases and appear on the Chinese Materia Medica.
Traditional Chinese Medicine
At Integral Alternative Medicine we practice the most effective forms of TCM. Traditional Chinese medicine is a broad range of medicine practices sharing common concepts which have been developed in China and are based on a tradition of more than 2,000 years, including various forms of herbal medicine, acupuncture, Chinese massage (Tui na), exercise (qigong), and dietary therapy.
The doctrines of Chinese medicine are rooted in books such as the Yellow Emperor’s Inner Canon and the Treatise on Cold Damage, as well as in cosmological notions like yin-yang and the five phases. Starting in the 1950s, these precepts were standardized in the People’s Republic of China. Attempts to integrate them with modern notions of anatomy and pathology have been made. However, TCM is not based upon the current body of knowledge related to health care in accordance with the scientific community but based on the Chinese philosophy, traditional use and years of observation.
TCM is mainly concerned with the identification of functional entities that regulate digestion, breathing, aging etc. Health is perceived as the harmonious interaction of these entities and the outside world while the disease is interpreted as a disharmony in interaction. A TCM practitioner traces symptoms to come up with patterns of an underlying disharmony in addition to measuring the pulse, inspecting the tongue, skin, and eyes, and looking at the eating and sleeping habits of the patient among other things.