ACUPUNCTURE AND ELECTRO-ACUPUNCTURE
Acupuncture is the insertion of extremely fine, single-use, sterile needles into the skin to gently manipulate the body's energy into harmony and balance. Manual acupuncture as Juliana practices it, largely uses a combination of effective systems developed by Masters Kiiko Matsumoto, Richard Teh Fu Tan and Tong Ching-Chang. Sometimes electro-acupuncture is called for, and it works by attaching electrical leads to needles to stimulate tissues in a different way than manual acupuncture. It can be used to treat pain, increase circulation, stimulate the lymphatic system, reduce inflammation, stimulate nerves and enhance tissue growth.
CHINESE HERBAL MEDICINE
Chinese herbs harmonize imbalances in the body's energy that cause pain and disease. Herbs are taken internally and applied topically. They alleviate everything from neck and back pain, to digestive difficulties to sleep and emotional disturbances. Juliana uses pills mainly which have the most patient compliance as they are easy to take, especially for busy people who don't want to spend hours making herbal tea from raw herbs. In cases where an off the rack formula doesn't work Juliana will create and call in a customized (easy to take) powdered formula to a local herbal pharmacy.
Moxibustion consists of burning mugwort (Ai Ye in pinyin), a Chinese herb. It is burned directly on top of the skin (rice-grain sized amounts that are pinch-snuffed before burning the skin), indirectly above the skin via burning the end of a cigar-shaped stick, or on top of a needle. The purpose of moxibustion, as with most forms of traditional Chinese medicine, is to strengthen the blood, stimulate the flow of qi, and maintain general health. Of interest is that research has shown that mugwort acts as an emmenagogue that is, an agent that increases blood circulation to the pelvic area and uterus and stimulates menstruation. This could explain its use in treating breech births and menstrual cramps.
Using a flash of fire into a glass cup then quickly putting the cup onto the skin creates a suction that pulls skin and tissues away from the body - creating micro tears to tissues to force fresh oxygenated blood to the area - to increase circulation, warm tissues, release myofascial tension, and pull out pathogens in the case of cold and flus. Cupping can be static or moving. In static cupping the cups stay put in one location, often creating a circular bruise ranging from light pink to dark purple and is used for people with stronger constitutions. In moving cupping the cups are pulled around the body creating a pinkish-red band and are used in cases where there is some weakness in the patient that accompanies the stagnation of qi and blood.
Gua sha, literally means "to scrape for cholera", and is used for pain associated with both acute and chronic disorders. The affected person may feel aching, tenderness and/or a knotted feeling in the muscles. Gua sha is used to treat and prevent acute conditions such as common cold or flu, asthma, bronchitis as well as chronic problems involving pain and congestion of the qi and blood (often showing up as tight and sore muscles). Gua sha involves firmly rubbing a person's skin with the smooth edge of a ceramic soup spoon, what I affectionately call, ancient Chinese soup spoon therapy.
TUI NA / BODYWORK
Tui Na is a system of invigorating and energizing massage and manipulation to relieve pain and release tension. Tui Na means “push and “grasp”, focusing on deep pressure and movement along the meridians and specific acupuncture points on them. I utilize Tui Na with other types of bodywork - ranging from long flowing strokes, to energetic holds to the occiput (base of the skull), as well as acupressure along meridians to leave patients with that 'hurts so good' feeling where real healing can occur.