In Chinese medicine, the heart must have an empty space inside in order to be present and aware, and to nourish and contain our own spirit. It is with this open heart that I strive to see people who step into my office. I am constantly repeating my mantra: opening, moving, healing. Everything in nature is constantly changing and thus our bodies have an insurmountable power to heal. Acupuncture, massage, and herbs, along with other practices, work with the body’s innate capabilities to move toward health.
About Chinese Medicine
For over 2,500 years, Chinese medicine has been used to promote health. Ancient sages in China mapped a channeling system (meridians) through which the body’s vital energy flows. This system traverses the body and connects with the organs.
Chinese medicine enhances the body’s innate capability to restore healthy functioning of these channel and organ systems. Chinese and related therapies include acupuncture, acupressure, therapeutic massage, herbal formulas, and other treatments. All treatments and therapies are complementary and are recommended depending on each individual patient’s preferences and needs.
Acupuncture is the insertion of very thin needles into the body to smooth the flow of qi. Qi or chi is the Chinese word that embodies all movement and transformation. In a state of health, qi flows smoothly and our bodily systems work properly—free of pain and able to work in harmony.
In pathology or disease, qi does not flow smoothly. By needling areas where qi tends to gather (acupuncture points), the body receives subtle suggestions to return to a healthy physiological state. The body always desires this state because it requires less effort to function and generally feels better.
Acupressure is the use of fingers and hands to stimulate points on the body. This method is used when patients have an aversion to needles or when needles are painful. Acupressure is often combined with therapeutic massage.
Using slow, gentle movement, cranio-sacral therapy helps the body to begin unwinding from its patterns of holding. The fascia, a thin sheath of fibrous tissue that surrounds the muscles, organs, and all bodily structures, is a continuous web that can be guided to loosen. Bones in the cranium, spine, and sacrum are encouraged to move and be given more space for cerebrospinal fluid to flow. This movement allows better communication to occur between the central and peripheral nervous systems. Cranio-sacral therapy is calming, soothing, and relaxing, and leads to healing.
Along with improving muscle relaxation and circulation, therapeutic massage unwinds tension for overall well-being. This type of massage caters to individual needs, recognizing the body’s limits for various levels of pressure. Cranio-sacral therapy, acupressure, and acupuncture may be incorporated into a massage therapy session.
Pediatric Care: Shonishin
Shonishin is a method of pediatric massage using tools to rhythmically scrape and tap the meridians and points on the body. If the child is comfortable with the use of needles, treatments can involve insertions of very thin-gauged needles. The method was developed in Japan but is based on Chinese medicine.
Shonishin can be performed as maintenance on well children; when the body experiences illness or disharmony, treatments can happen more frequently, even daily. Many childhood illnesses can be addressed using shonishin, such as frequent colds, fevers, ear infections, asthma, ADD, ADHD, and any pain or dysfunction in the body. Shonishin increases blood flow, helps with stagnation, and boosts the immune system while also calming the spirit.
The following therapies may be used in conjunction with other treatments.
Chi Nei Tsang is a massage of the abdomen that focuses on the internal organs. This deep pressure frees tension and brings breath, blood, and oxygen to the area.
Moxibustion uses the herb artemesia to warm the skin’s surface and penetrate deep into the body, promoting blood flow and dispersing congestion. The taper-shaped herb is lit and moved over acupuncture points or specific areas on the skin.
Cupping uses glass cups to create suction in areas of congestion. Cupping may mark the skin for several days.
Gua Sha uses a flat-edged tool that is scraped over oiled skin to reduce fever or loosen tense muscles. This treatment may mark the skin for several days.
One-hour session for all treatments, single or combined: $150; one and one-half hours: $225, including initial interview.
Related Chinese Practices
Feng Shui is a Chinese system that governs spatial arrangements in relation to the flow of qi.
Energetic Dowsing is a system of clearing energy in people and spaces.
Qi Gong is a Chinese system of physical movements and breath control to focus on and direct qi.
Pricing depends on the specific requirements of the consultation or class. Treatments are included with the cost of the session.