What is Acupuncture?

Acupuncture is a primary health care modality that has flourished in China for over 3,000 years.  Due to its proven effectiveness, it has been embraced throughout the world and is gaining in popularity in America as an alternative health care option.

When energy circulates freely through pathways in the body called meridians, health is maintained. When energy is blocked, the result is pain and disease.  By using acupuncture, the technique of inserting needles into specific points along the meridians, energy is released and regulated and health is restored. 

Studies in the East and West have shown that stimulation of acupuncture points produce physiological reactions which have a regulatory effect on the whole body.  Evidence shows it improves circulation, releases endorphins to control pain and allows the body to heal itself more quickly and completely.

Is Acupuncture Safe?

One of the great advantages of acupuncture is that it has minimal side-effects compared to conventional treatment.  Needles are very fine (like a hair), generally cause no bleeding on entry or removal and are sterile and disposable.


What is Involved in a Treatment?


An acupuncture treatment consists of the insertion of very fine, sterilized, disposable stainless steel needles into specific points of the body to stimulate the flow of one’s energy.  In most cases, the patient is pleasantly surprised to find that the needles are hardly felt at all.  Occasionally, one might feel a slight initial prick or tingling, followed by a sensation to numbness, distention or warmth.  Once in place, many people describe a deep feeling of calm, while others experience a rush of physical or emotional sensation.  Needles are retained for 10 to 30 minutes depending on the conditions being treated.  The patient will leave a treatment with a feeling of calmness, relaxation and well-being.

What is Chinese Herbal Medicine?

In addition to acupuncture, Traditional Chinese Medicine includes oriental herbal prescriptions.  These herbal prescriptions are often of critical importance to the success oftreatments. 

Chinese herbs have energetic properties that work on the various meridian systems.  They go beyond simply treating symptoms to powerfully address the underlying, root causes of physical or psychological problems. This medicine has tremendous healing and rebuilding properties and for this reason has been used for thousands of years.

Single herbs are rarely prescribed.  Typically, herbs are combined into well-balanced formulas tailored to fit the particular needs of each patient.  Herbs are loose and decocted into teas, concentrated liquid extracts, pills, capsules and powders.

Are Chinese Herbs Safe?

Herbal prescriptions are well-formulated and balanced to avoid side-effects.  Sometime patients may experience healing crises as they rid themselves of toxins and address underlying psychological issues.

Can I Take Chinese Herbs With Western Prescription Drugs?

Individuals who are also using prescription drugs may take most Chinese herbs but this needs to be discussed on an individual bases with your acupuncturist.  There are many conditions in which patients may benefit from the use of Chinese herbs along with their Western drugs.  However, it is recommended that Chinese herbs be taken on an empty stomach at least two hours apart from Western drugs.  Patients who do not wish to take Western drugs, or cannot tolerate them due to side-effects or adverse reactions can many times benefit from alternative Chinese herbal formulations.

What is Medical Qi Gong?

“Daily Qi Gong practice lowers blood pressure, pulse rates, metabolic rates and oxygen demand.  Qi Gong triggers the body’s relaxation response by reducing the level of dopamine, an enzyme that controls neurological activity.” 

                                                                                                Dr David Eisenberg, MD

                                                                                                Harvard Medical School

In China, Qi Gong has been used for more than 3,000 years.  Qi is the force that gives life to everything.  Gong is the technique used as the art and science of preventing illness by using the healing power of Qi (energy).

Medical Qi Gong uses specific exercise prescriptions designed around an individual’s particular health concern, to relieve pain, strengthen the body’s constitution and prolong life.

Some of the benefits of Medical Qi Gong:

Strengthens immune system

Increases lung capacity and strengthens the lungs

Strengthens the heart

Improves circulation

Enhances brain function, improves memory and aptitude

Strengthens nervous system

Balances hormones and glandular system

Qi Gong consists of techniques for working with the body's energy flow.  In applying these techniques we access the body’s meridian system (channels through which energy passes).  In Chinese medicine we believe that illness is caused when blockages occur in these channels.  In learning to recognize, utilize, circulate and direct the internal energy of the human body, we also connect with the energy of the universe and of the earth.

It is widely accepted that exercise can promote health and prevent illness.  The Western model is, however, more focused on muscular/skeletal development through the application of stress and load to build up strength.  It works from the outside inwards.  Qi Gong, on the other hand, works the body from the inside, outwards.  It connects the body and spirit, focusing on breath, concentration, aswell as physical movements, to enliven and strengthen every cell of the body.

Qi Gong views the human body as a universe: a microcosm reflecting the macrocosm.  The organs of the body are as the galaxies and planets.  Its primary energy, the Yin and the Yang, are in constant evolution, opposing, yet supporting and interdependent on each other,  constant change, and establishment of equilibrium.  Disease and illness are caused by excesses and/ or deficiencies or stagnations that upset this delicate natural flow.  Through daily practice of Qi Gong (it needn't take very long- in as little as 15 minutes a day) is possible to maintain, even vibrantly enhance these energies, and also to reverse imbalances, rectify pathological conditions and return the body to a state of health

Qi Gong utilizes techniques that regulate the mind and body, directly influencing a person’s physiological and psychological state.  It increases the body’s ability to adapt to and defend against the outer environment.  This provides a sense of well-being and zest, which reduces stress and unleashes a renewed capacity to not just deal, but to find joy in daily life.  Hidden talents and abilities often emerge.

It is said that the difference between anxiety and fear and a feeling of peace, is the length of the breath.  The movements of the forms are often slow as blood flows slowly through the blood vessels and attempt is being made to slow down to the movement of the blood. 

All Qi Gong is meditation with focus mostly on the one of the three Dan Tiens (energy centers) in the body.  The practices can be described in three ways as 1) Seated or Standing Meditation, 2) Half-moving/half meditating Meditation (this describes most ‘series’ of exercises learnt where one specific form follows another specific form, and 3) Moving Meditation (freeform Qi Gong where the Qi moves freely through the body and the practitioner ‘goes with the flow’ so to speak).

Qi Gong has combined all the benefits of physical fitness, exercise, ‘yoga’ and meditation in such a way that it is accessible to people of all ages, gender and physical condition.  There are exercises and techniques for everyone, addressing specific physical and mental problems, calming and empowering the mind, and at the same time promoting growth and awareness.  It is a truly holistic therapy. 

What is Cranio-Sacral Therapy?

Cranio-Sacral Therapy (CST) is a gentle, hands-on method of evaluating and enhancing the function of the craniosacral system – the physiological body system comprised of the membranes and cerebrospinal fluid that surround and protect the brain and spinal cord.

CST is a non-directive, non-analytical, non-invasive approach.  It accesses the art of listening to enable and allowing the body to heal itself.

CST grew out of the osteopathic tradition of manual medicine.  The cranial rhythm was discovered in the 1920’s by Dr W Sutherland, DO, who identified intrinsic movement of the bones of the skull.  His further research revealed different rhythmic tidal motions in the body.  The movements, which can be measured with delicate scientific instruments, are a direct expression of the health of the body.


How Does CST Work?


CST Enhances the body’s natural healing processes to improve the operation of the central nervous system, dissipate the negative effects of stress, enhance health and strengthen resistance to disease.  The method generally requires only five grams of pressure – the equivalent weight of a nickel – to test for restrictions in parts of the craniosacral system.

The technique is based on the principle that a subtle motion is present in the head and body and that this motion needs to be as free as possible for healthy functioning.  Using gentle pressure, the therapist assists the patient’s body in making self-correction.


What Are The Effects of CST?


The work can be profoundly relaxing, exhilarating, deeply moving and usually involves a resolution of old material.  As a therapy, treatment may aid almost any condition, raising the vitality and enabling the body’s self-healing mechanism to come into play.

Who Can Benefit from CST?


CST is so gentle that it is suitable for babies, children and the elderly, as well as adults in fragile and acutely painful conditions.  The work can address many issues:  physical aches and pains, emotional/psychological disturbances, acute and chronic disease, developing well-being, health and vitality.