FAQ: Other Modalities?

Chinese and Asian medicine has evolved over a long timeline, and with it, we have developed a number of different tools and methods to help treat the body.  These are some of the other methods beside acupuncture that we offer in our practice:

Auricular: Your ear is a micro-system for the rest of the body.  Needling or “seeding” the ear can enhance and/or elongate the effects of your treatment.

Estim:  Electro-stim is the application of a mild electric current to the needles.  This method can be helpful in a lot of different kinds of situations, but is most often used with pain and situations where we want to drastically move qi and blood.

Gua Sha: Gua sha is scraping at the surface of the skin.  It is most often applied in situations of pain or when the patient has acquired a pathogen.  This therapy can leave mild marks on the skin that may last for 1-3 days.  In the case of a pathogen, patients should take care to keep the treated area covered and warm and avoid taking a shower until the day after treatment.

Cupping: Cupping is the application of suction to an area of the patient’s body.  This therapy is versatile, and is most often used in situations of illness or pain in flat areas of the body with a lot of muscle.  Cupping can leave marks that look like mild bruises on the skin for several days, and care should be taken to keep the cupped areas of the body warm and covered after treatment.  

Bleeding: Bloodletting techniques are applied with a lancet or three-edged needle.  The practitioner will poke the skin and draw out a few drops of blood.  They are used in TCM patterns of heat and/or severe stagnation, and can be helpful for treating pain and febrile diseases (most often).  Care and universal precautions are practiced in the application of this technique.

Moxabustion:  Moxa is the burning application of the Chinese herb “Ai Ye” or mugwort.  The herb may be burned on or near the skin or on top of a needle.  This is most often used in cases of cold or deficiency.

TDP Lamp:  TDP therapy lamps can help promote smooth movement (and warmth) for the patient.

Plum Blossom:  Plum blossom needles are sometimes used with neuropathies, skin disorders, hair loss, and other situations.  They are a specialized type of needle, shaped like a hammer that promotes stimulation at the surface of the skin for various purposes.

Tui Na Massage:  Tui na massage techniques are sometimes used to reinforce treatment.  

Chinese Herbal Medicine:   Chinese herbal medicines are akin to dietary therapy and may be internal or topical in nature.  Herbal formulas can be catered to the individual (as a raw or powder formula) or they may be pre-made for certain patterns (such as pills and tinctures).  Herbs should always be taken to your prescribing practitioner’s directions, and at least an hour away from all other medications. 

Exercise, Lifestyle, and Dietary recommendations: How you care for yourself has a lot to do with the progress you make.  Traditional Chinese Medicine focuses on maintaining health for each individual.  Your practitioner is likely to give you dietary advice, lifestyle suggestions and tips, and exercise prescriptions catered to your particular presentation.  Your choices to follow these recommendations may have an impact on your overall and longterm results from treatment, as well as frequency of treatment.  Please be open-minded.  If a suggestion doesn’t work for you, be honest and we will try to find a solution that fits you particularly. 

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