Alternative Treatment Methods at Nurturing Life
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Treatment Without Needles
Health is not simply the absence of sickness – Hannah Green
As well as needling there are a variety of other methods of treatment employed in an acupuncture treatment. Each has its own advantages and disadvantages and may or may not be included for your specific treatment. Some of the methods are able to be used as a treatment within its own right, and some are used to enhance and compliment the main therapy used.
Some of the treatments that may be included are:
Chinese Herbal Medicine
Vitamin and Mineral Supplements
Moxibustion is the burning of the herb Mugwort. The leaves of the plant are ground up into a fine “fluff” and then rolled into a stick – a cigar like roll (not suitable for smoking), shaped into small cones to be burnt on the skin or processed to be made into a carbon like product that burns with minimum smoke.
Moxa helps to warm the body, increase circulation and reduce pain. Where the moxa is applied will depend on the moxa type used as well as the constitutional type of the patient and presenting symptoms.
The stick is burnt and held just above the skin so that radiating warmth is felt. The warmth may be used concentrated on certain points, or it can be used over a large area by moving the stick above the skin and slowly moving it over the desired area. There is also a smokeless alternative with the moxa stick. This is the most common way to administer moxa- it is most well known for helping turn breech (upside down) babies by holding the moxa stick over a point on the little toe.
Cone moxa is the use of the moxa punk (fluff), it is compressed into small cones and sat on either a piece of ginger, or directly on the skin. The heat travels down through the cone onto a specific point. The cone is then removed before it burns all the way down to the skin to prevent burning.
Needle moxa is also used, there are small carbon “hats” that sit on top of the needles to send warmth down through the needles on specific points. This is able to repeated easily by replacing the hats once they have been used. It is also possible to compress the moxa punk into small balls onto the end of the needles to have the same effect.
Gua sha or scraping is used along different channels, it can be used to release cold, stagnation or heat from the body. There are many different tools available to use including specially shaped crystals, bone, stone or ceramic including Chinese soup spoons.
This may leave a speckled mark on the skin that resembles a bruise, please advise me if this will be an issue- I will discuss this before applying the technique.
Cupping is an ancient technique of using fire to create a vacuum and attach cups to the skin. This is generally applied to the back to help increase blood flow, or remove stagnation in the muscles with tension. It can also be effective at helping to clear chest congestion. Cupping is sometimes applied to the navel to remove cold energy from the body. Many patients are surprised to discover that after cupping has been applied the area under the cup is significantly colder than the surrounding skin, supporting the theory that the cold is being drawn to the surface from within the body.
Cupping may leave bruise like marks where applied, please advise me if this will be an issue. Again, I will discuss this with you before commencing treatment.
Massage is incorporated into nearly every treatment, generally on the shoulders and/or lower back, however I may perform massage over the upper chest or abdomen as well if necessary. Massage works to relax the patient, it increases circulation, decreases stress, and promotes well-being. Massage is generally performed at the end of treatment, however there may be some aspects of massage provided through the course of treatment as well. I always ask permission before providing massage and to ensure you are comfortable with what I am going to do.
ShoniShin translates from Japanese as “Little People Needle” – the practice of treating children. The techniques used are very gentle and most are non-insertive. The tools used are stroked or tapped on the childs skin in a soothing manner. For more information on ShoniShin please visit my page Acupuncture and Children.
Chinese dietary therapy believes that all foods have different properties, when used in conjunction with diagnostic principles, food is able to help or hinder progress of of health. Different flavours are combined to enhance their healing properties and to ensure a balance of the different energies. These basic principles are able to be seen in some classic food combinations- sweet and sour, honey (sweet) and soy (salty), as well as adding yoghurt (cool) to curry (hot) to help reduce the spiciness.
Sometimes food can be a contributing factor to your condition, I will try to help you eliminate any foods that may be doing this, or help educate you on food combinations if needed.
Herbal medicine is a modality of its own in Chinese medicine, however I only use it in conjunction with my other therapies. I will use pre-prepared formulas in pill form- all have been produced meeting the highest therapeutic standards and have TGA approval.
Sometimes your condition can be caused by something as simple as a nutrient missing from your system, or sometimes your body needs a little boost to help it through the day. I stock a variety of different products that I may recommend to you.