What is Acupuncture?
The principles of acupuncture are based on the theory of Yin and Yang and the concept of Qi (pronounced "chee"). Qi corresponds broadly to energy or life force. Yin and Yang describe the dynamic opposites that exist in our body and all of nature. A balance of Yin and Yang must be maintained so that Qi is not disrupted. Human beings are bioenergetic systems. When the balance of Qi is disrupted, disharmony, pain and illness result. Acupuncture is the insertion of very fine needles at specific points on the body. This process acts as a catalyst to create positive change. By stimulating our innate ability to heal ourselves, acupuncture can relieve symptoms of disease and promote health on many levels. It is based on traditions and philosophies thousands of years old and it continues to evolve to meet modern health challenges.
What does Acupuncture treat?
Below are the lists of the conditions effectively treated with acupuncture that are recognized by the NIH (National Institute of Health) and WHO (United Nations World Health Organization). Acupuncture treats imbalances in the body, mind, and spirit. It can, therefore, be helpful with many more conditions and symptoms. Please feel free to call the office for details about your concerns.
National Institute of Health
Arm and Shoulder Pain
Attention Deficit Disorder
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Gall Bladder Disorders
Immune System Deficiency
Leg Pain, Cramps
Neck Pain, Stiffness
World Health Organization
Acid Reflux & Indigestion
Allergies & Asthma
Belching & Flatulence
Common Colds & Flu
Diarrhea & Constipation
Ears, Eyes, & Nose Disorders
Headaches & Migraines
Joint & Limb Pain
Low Back Pain
Lowers Blood Pressure
Sciatica & Disc Problems
Sinusitis, Tonsillitis, & Bronchitis
Sprains, Strains, & Injuries
Strengthens Immune System
Acupuncture styles that Amy is trained in:
There are many different styles of acupuncture. The following are some of the styles that Amy is trained in and may be incorporated into your treatment:
Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM): TCM is the most common form of acupuncture practiced in the US. The National Acupuncture boards are primarily based on this style. Developed in China during the 1950's, TCM drew on many classical Chinese styles and modalities in an attempt to standardize Chinese Medicine. A TCM diagnosis is made by discerning patterns of disharmony based on an examination of a patient's signs and symptoms. Treatments focus on the resolution of the found patterns. This style is very well suited to the practice of internal medicine.
Acupuncture Physical Medicine (APM): APM is a modern style of acupuncture developed by Dr. Mark Seem. This approach combines classics-based French meridian acupuncture and trigger point dry needling technique, which is inspired by the work of Janet Travell, MD. A trigger point is a tender, palpable area of muscle tissue that has become chronically contracted. These knots can refer pain to distant areas of the body. A primary focus of this style is the release of trigger points through the use of acupuncture needles. This release often causes the affected muscle to involuntarily twitch (fasciculate) and can result in tremendous relief of pain. This style can be intense and will only be done with your consent. More gentle approaches are also very effective.
Kiiko Matsumoto's style (KM): KM is a modern style of traditional Japanese acupuncture. It was developed by Kiiko Matsumoto over the past 35 years. It has its roots in classical theories and texts, as well as in her studies with several Japanese acupuncture masters. In this style, a palpation sequence is followed in which specific active reflexes suggest the underlying diagnosis, and the efficacy of treatment is gauged by changes in these same reflexes.
Acupuncture Detox (NADA): This protocol was developed by the National Acupuncture Detoxification Association. It involves placing acupuncture needles in certain points on the ear. The NADA protocol has proven to be highly beneficial as an adjunctive treatment for addictions: it helps to relax the nervous system while supporting the detoxification process. It is most effective when administered as often as possible during acute recovery. It can be used to treat any addiction (including smoking and caffeine) and it can be helpful for detox from many things, including chemotherapy. It may be incorporated into a full treatment when appropriate.
Five Spirit Alchemical Acupuncture: Amy is currently in a year-long mentorship with Lorie Dechar, M.S., L.Ac. in this beautiful, powerful style that focuses on transformation and the wisdom of nature to deeply heal on the level of your spirit.
Other modalities that might be incorporated into your treatment:
One of the following may be used during your treatment with your consent:
Cupping: Cupping is the placement of vacuum cups on the skin. This produces a deep penetrating massage to a localized area. It can be used to loosen tight muscles and to move stagnation/congestion.
Gua sha: Chronic muscle pain is often accompanied by stagnant blood. This is the result of oxygen deprivation to a certain area of the body. Gua sha is an ancient technique in which a smooth-edged surface (such as an Asian soup spoon) is moved vigorously over the affected area. This moves stagnant blood to the surface and allows fresh, oxygenated blood to take its place.
Electrical stimulation: Electrical stimulation involves using a device that is attached by clips to certain needles to generate a gentle, continuous electrical pulse between the needles. This can assist in the management of musculoskeletal pain.
Warm stones and herbal heat packs: It is often beneficial to bring heat to specific acupuncture points or to affected areas of the body. This is typically done through the use of moxibustion, the burning of mugwort. Instead of this technique, Amy may use a salve that she makes from locally wildcrafted mugwort and place warm stones or herbal heat packs on the points or areas.
Castor oil packs: Castor oil packs have been used for a wide-range of health conditions. Amy primarily uses them for gynecological conditions such as fibroid tumors, endometriosis, and ovarian cysts. The treatment consists of using castor oil and a heating pad on the lower abdomen and allowing you to rest with that for about an hour. It can be added to an acupuncture treatment at an additional cost or you can come in just for a castor oil pack treatment.
Epsom salt compresses: Epsom salt soaks are often recommended in sports medicine for their anti-inflammatory properties. Soaking in a tub of warm water and dissolved Epsom salts is the primary way of experiencing their healing benefits. This may not be a viable option for some due to lack of a bathtub or the nature of the injury. Amy can apply a warm Epsom salt compress at the end of your treatment so that you can experience their healing benefits.