Traditional Chinese Medicine works with the 5 pillars to create a strong foundation for health. For each patient, I develop a customized plan including diet, exercise, bodywork, herbal medicine, and acupuncture.
It's important to bring me a current and accurate list of ALL medications, vitamins, and herbal supplements you take on a daily or occasional basis. I usually ask my patients to bring all of their supplement bottles on their second visit so I can see what's in each bottle, as well as look at and smell the supplements. Sometimes, herbs can interefere with the proper functioning of your pharmaceutical medications. And with some medications, you may need more of certain vitamins. Your prescription list is unique to you, and working together, we can make sure the herbs you are taking are appropriate for you. I can also recommend single herbs or Chinese herbal formulas based on your TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine) diagnosis.
What if I want to get off my medications?
That's a conversation between you and your doctor. As an acupucnture physician, I can not tell you to start, stop or change your pharmaceutical prescriptions, but I can tell you which herbs you need to avoid or what vitamins you may need to supplement. My job is to help you get healthy enough with acupucnture and herbs so you can have that conversation with your medical doctor when the time is right. And with the opiod epidemic, acupuncture can help manage your pain symptoms so that you CAN get off serious pain medications.
Craniosacral Therapy: This is a gentle system of massage and energy work focusing on the system of membranes and spinal fluid that surrounds and bathes the brain and spinal cord. A session usually consists of evaluating the flow of the spinal fluid, much like taking a pulse, and then releasing any areas of restriction found in the body using light pressure at the site of treatment. Frequently this also produces a deep sense of relaxation as the nervous system is given the opportunity to correct any areas of impeded communication and allow the body’s own natural healing reflexes to take over. This is another gentle therapy similar to Reiki in that the client remains fully clothed and the therapist uses light pressure, 5 grams, or the weight of a nickel. Many clients also notice a sensation of heat at the site of treatment, but it may come or go throughout the session.
Sound therapy: Sound therapy with tuning forks uses the the concept of resonance to help re-establish the peak vibratory level of the cells in your body. Although the forks I use are generally indicated for clearing the chakras of the body, some clients have reported: reduction of scars or rashes, improved flexibility of the tendons of the hands, reduction of pain, improvements in the sinuses or voice and increased range of motion in joints. These experiences, however, are not typical. Most clients report a deep feeling of peace and well-being. In the medical field, tuning forks are used to test hearing as well as diagnose hairline fractures.
The most important, pillar of Chinese Medicine is diet. What you choose to eat each day will either support healthy function or create dysfunction. As part of your plan of care, we may discuss adding or eliminating specific foods that align with your stated health goals. This also may include adding or subtracting supplements for optimal health. For instance, it is important to manage or eliminate supplements that thin the blood if your doctor has prescribed aspirin or other blood thinners. Natural does not always mean it's appropriate for you, and more of a good thing doesn't always mean it's better, so bring a list of all the supplements you keep in the house as well as a list of current medicines prescribed by your doctor. I'll go over your supplement regimen with you, and together we may make any appropriate adjustments to your diet and / or supplements.
Chinese Medicine stresses the importance of regular exercise to maintain or improve function. Gentle exercise that minimizes stress on the joints is ideal, and again, longer or more intense routines aren't always better. It's important to listen to your body and find activities appropriate for your health goals.
Scientific studies have proven measurable benefits for tai chi, which gently works the joints and encourages whole body engagement in movement. Yoga, strength training, and aerobic exercise are also important aspects of a balanced exercise regimen. A good general rule of rule is to always start slowly and do 70% of what you think you can do to minimize chances of injury. Talk to your medical doctor about any medical conditions that may need accommodations. But above all, keep moving!