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acupuncture/herbal medicine/shiatsu

Woman Receiving Acupuncture

Acupuncture is a procedure involving the use of very fine single-use, sterile needles at various points in the body to promote natural healing and improve physiological functioning. Scientific evidence supports the use of acupuncture for releasing endogenous opioids, increasing serotonin production, reducing inflammation, managing pain, boosting immunity, increasing blood flow to tissues, and engaging the parasympathetic “rest and digest” nervous system, resulting in lower heart rate, blood pressure, and cortisol levels. Acupuncture can also stimulate fibroblast activity and measurably change connective tissue composition and construction.

Auricular acupuncture is commonly used in a protocol called 5NP for the treatment of substance use and trauma. It can be used in group or individual settings, such as schools, outpatient settings, detox treatment centers, or emergency rescue relief. The whole body is represented in the ear, and was first mapped by French neurologist Paul Nogier. Chinese acupuncture later adopted the technique. The ear is a direct route to the vagus nerve in charge of "rest, restore, renew, and digest" parasympathetic nervous system response. As a result, auricular acupuncture can be extremely relaxing and refocusing. 


Moxa is a warming technique involving burning the dried mugwort herb, Artemesia vulgaris (called Ai Ye in Chinese pinyin). It can be used directly on the skin with the use of a protective salve (rice grain moxa), on the end of a needle (warming needle), or as pole moxa to warm larger areas of the body by moving the moxa pole over but not on the affected/intended area of skin. Moxa is pure yang energy. Think of yin as potential energy - inert substances that have potential to move: muscles, bones organs, blood, and fluids. Yang is the action-oriented kinetic force that allows physiological motion. It revives, moves, lifts, and holds. Moxa can treat a variety of conditions, including any pain conditions caused by cold or inflammation, and any conditions related to yang deficiency ~ a lack of warming energy required for physiological processes. Moxa can treat low back pain and chronic headache pain with symptoms of cold and dampness. Moxa plus western medicine has been shown to treat rheumatoid arthritis pain more effectively than western medicine alone. Moxa contains anti-inflammatory and antioxidant constituents, and both upregulates anti-inflammatory cytokines and downregulates proinflammatory cytokines. It can relieve low-grade gastrointestinal inflammation and increase a beneficial microbiome in the gut. It has also been shown to be as effective as western medicine for relief of menstrual pain.


Cupping is a form of therapy using glass (or silicone) cups placed on your skin to create suction. Some cups use a manual pump, while others use fire to remove oxygen from the cup before it’s placed on the skin. Cups can be stationary or moving. Cupping pulls tissue into the cups, and usually leaves round reddish-purple marks on the area of application that last several days to over a week. Cupping can help with chronic pain, range of motion, inflammation, blood flow, immunity, and can cleanse toxins from the blood. Research has found it to be effective for chronic neck and shoulder pain, chronic back pain, chronic neck pain, and hip and knee range of motion. Cupping can upregulate vascular and lymphatic endothelial markers that promote new lymph vessel formation. I use glass fire cups of various sizes, and also have pump cups available.

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Gua sha is a form of therapy often used in traditional East Asian medicine that involves using a tool to apply pressure and scrape the skin to produce a therapeutic reddish-purple “sha” on the skin. Gua sha can be used to relieve muscle pain and tension, break up adhesions and scar tissue, reduce inflammation, benefit the immune system, and protect against oxidative stress via upregulation of heme oxygenase-1 (HO-1) gene expression. Gua sha has also been found effective for relieving perimenopausal symptoms and increasing hormone levels associated with menstrual cycles. It is traditionally popular for respiratory infections, musculoskeletal pain, headaches, fevers, and digestive disorders. I use a hammered copper tool crafted by AcuArtistry and your choice of organic oil for gua sha.  


Electro-stimulation (e-stim) involves the use of a mild electrical current that runs from the e-stim machine through clips attached to acupuncture needles. This mild current is used to stimulate body tissues for a variety of treatment effects. It is particularly effective to treat pain and to rehabilitate neurological conditions such as early post-stroke impairment and late post-stroke motor function.

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TDP HEAT LAMPS use infrared light to warm and heal body tissues, such as the feet, hands or abdomen, during an acupuncture treatment. Far Infrared is a safe, beneficial light wave that stimulates whole-body healing.  Heat lamps have also been shown to reduce oxidative stress and improve lipid profiles.

HEATED INFRARED STONE MATS warm body tissues and reduce pain and inflammation through the use of far infrared rays, pulse electromagnetic field technology, negative ions, and heat. They contain a computerized control panel that converts electricity into Far Infrared Rays (FIR) and contain stones such as amethyst quartz, jade, tourmaline, obsidian, and crystal that naturally produce far infrared. Far infrared rays decrease pain and inflammation, and increase metabolism for increased tissue healing. Pulse electromagnetic field (PEMF) technology, which decreases pain and inflammation, and increases blood flow for faster tissue healing. Negative ions (found abundantly in natural settings such as forests) purify air, remove metabolic waste, and can help to alleviate emotional conditions. The combination of these therapies within one wonderful mat combine to create an energizing, deeply relaxing experience that penetrates deep into body tissues. 

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The sound vibrations of tuning forks placed on acupuncture points, crystal sound bowls, and a meditation bowl sync your cellular vibrations with healing frequencies.



Shiatsu is a form of bodywork that involves gentle, rhythmic pressure along shiatsu meridians. Shiatsu begins with abdominal palpation and diagnosis, and then may include all areas of your body, including legs, chest, arms, neck, head, back, feet, abdomen, and off-body. Shiatsu is a deeply intuitive practice and may leave you feeling extremely relaxed. It is often paired with your acupuncture pattern diagnosis to achieve optimal wellness.Reflexology foot massageDid you know that every major organ system in your body is represented on your feet? Well-balanced and aligned structural and functional movement begins with the foundation of your feet.

Reflexology involves using firm pressure on special areas of your feet to relieve stress, release myofascial tissue, and restore optimal functioning of all body systems. You will likely feel the beneficial effects throughout your entire body after reflexology. Treat your feet to reflexology and allow yourself the freedom of feeling lighter and more at ease!

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Eat well to live well. Healthful food can play a huge role in preventing or resolving disease and help to amplify all that is beneficial and well within your body. It has helped me to heal my gut and as a result, my entire system. I partner with you to provide at-home cooking sessions and support as you make lifestyle and nutritional modifications. I encourage growing and buying fresh vegetables, cooking your own meals with others, and supporting regenerative agriculture to maintain healthful, nutrient-rich soil! The book Healing with Whole Foods by Paul Pitchford has been a great resource to me along my journey. I believe it is one of the best Chinese Medicine nutrition books available. 

Herbs and Minerals

There are hundreds of Chinese herbs compiled in the Chinese Materia Medica. Chinese herbs are categorized according to temperature, direction, flavor, and actions, helping me to determine which ones are best for each condition.


But still, like air, I'll rise.

-Maya Angelou

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