In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), acupuncture helps to reestablish homeostasis by balancing the body's Qi, Blood, and Essence. From a more western perspective, acupuncture activates the immune system, decreases inflammation, releases endorphins, decreases cortisol, and helps patients shift out of “fight or flight” and into “rest and digest”.
Orthopedic acupuncture is used to treat sports injuries, repetitive stress injuries, and chronic pain. These treatments utilize trigger points, muscle insertions and origins, and nerve pathways to alleviate pain, decrease inflammation, and to stimulate the immune system for a speedy recovery.
Tui Na Massage
Tui Na (pronounced 'tway nah'), translated as 'push and grasp', is an ancient form Chinese orthopedic massage that is very similar to today’s Active Release techniques. It’s a dynamic bodywork method that utilizes acupressure, stretching, and joint mobilizations, which affect soft tissue (muscle and tendons), improve the flow of Qi and blood to the affected area, break down scar tissue, and realign muscle fibers. It’s great for the treatment of tendonitis and muscle strain, arthritis, sprains, post-operative healing, back pain, cramping, and more.
Cupping is becoming very popular among physical therapists and sports doctors for its many healing benefits. Small dome-shaped glass cups are used to create a vacuum and then are quickly and painlessly placed on the skin. It feels like a suction cup! By creating high tension inside the cup, the surrounding muscle tissue is forced to release. It also creates space between your skin and muscle tissue thereby increasing circulation, breaking up scar tissue and fascia, and removing toxins. Cupping can leave a light red to dark purple mark at the cupping site. This is a normal reaction and is simply blood under the surface of the skin. These marks will fade after one day to a little over a week.
Muscle imbalances lead to poor movement. Poor movement leads to injuries. As a Corrective Exercise Specialist (CES) from the National Academy of Sports Medicine, Brenda enjoys giving her patients stretches and exercises to safely and effectively speed their healing time and decrease the risk of re-injury. Knowing when to stretch, how to stretch, and what muscles to strengthen will effectively get you back to top health. Get out your foam rollers and thera-canes, we’re going to move some fascia.
Chinese Herbs and Nutrition
Taking herbal formulas is the best way to extend the benefits of an acupuncture treatment while also being a powerful healing force all on their own. Brenda offers formulas from Health Concerns in pill form, making taking your formula more convenient and palatable for western patients, and thereby more effective. This also ensures better safety since loose herbs from China can often be mislabeled and riddled with chemicals.
In TCM, looking at a patient’s diet is one of the first places we go when there are disharmonies in the body. Although in the West we often think a salad and a cold glass of water is a healthy meal, this may not be true for everyone and every body. We are unique people and so are our digestive systems! It’s equally important to have a meal plan that suits your body, condition, and health goals as it is to see your acupuncturist regularly.