Our Chinese Medicine Practitioner, Keren talks us through her tools of the trade and how she uses them to deliver results to her patients.
Tools of the Trade: Acupuncture
Acupuncture needles are inserted into specific anatomical points along the body creating a warm & tranquil sensation, allowing the body & mind to fully relax.
But, how does it work?
Acupuncture works by improving the flow of oxygen, nutrients & blood to nourish every cell in our body in order to influence the body’s natural ability to heal itself.
Often, after an acupuncture session, you may feel deeply relaxed, calm & perhaps a bit ‘spacey.’ This effect is due to the fact that acupuncture influences the nervous system by down-regulating the sympathetic ‘fight & flight’ mode.
Acupuncture initially became known in the Western world specifically for its role in pain relief. Studies were able to show that acupuncture forced the brain to release opioids (our body’s natural pain killers) to shut off the pain pathways and reduce pain & inflammation.
A few needles can have a huge impact!
Tools of the Trade: Cupping
Cupping can be addictive, it is often requested during a session. This technique involves the application of glass cups to the surface of the skin by creating suction with a flame. It does leave harmless marks on the body which can last several days (as modelled by celebrities) but the actual effect of cupping has a much stronger impact!
Cupping is commonly used to stimulate blood flow to the muscles & skin, softening tissues, reducing swelling & enhancing circulation in order to accelerate healing. It does wonders for back pain, sciatica, neck spasm, frozen shoulder and even internal disorders like period pain & digestive problems.
It can also be used to help boost the immune system & resolve those stubborn persistent phlegmy coughs. Get your acupuncturist to apply those cups in the upper region of your back!
Tools of the Trade: Gua Sha
What! You ask?
It involves scraping the skin with a ceramic spoon or jade stone to intentionally produce small red dots (‘sha’) in order enhance blood circulation to alleviate pain & stiffness as well as reduce congestion in the affected area. Chinese medicine may appear to have weird techniques but it is the outcomes that are more important. Gua Sha often provides immediate pain relief when applied to the neck, shoulder & upper back region and can be used for both chronic & acute injuries.
The effectiveness of Gua Sha was shown in a study there was a four-fold increase in microcirculation at the treated area in the first 7.5 minutes after treatment and this muscle pain relief persisted to the follow-up visit with no adverse reactions reported!
Written by Keren Rochwerger, our Chinese Medicine Practitioner