ACUPUNCTURE & CHINESE MEDICINE
for neurological disorders
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THERAPEUTIC MASSAGE
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Acupuncture

The term acupuncture refers both to the overall practice of traditional Chinese Medicine and to the specific therapy of fine needle stimulation at strategic points on your body. It is a complete medical paradigm that has been evolving for thousands of years through clinical experience, and in modern times through scientific research. Acupuncture is recognized by the National Institute of Health and the World Health Organization to be effective in the treatment of over 150 conditions.

 

Mechanism of Acupuncture in Neurological Conditions

Acupuncture will not restore function that has been lost due to the disease or injury process. However, it may be able to modify activity in those systems that are still functioning to some extent. The mechanism involves local, segmental, extra-segmental and central regulatory effects as well as effects relating to myofascial trigger points.

 

Inserting a needle through the skin will increase blood flow to the skin and to the muscle. Needling according to the segmental nerve supply modulates impulses from the skin, muscles, joints, bones and at some levels of viscera to the spinal cord via somatic nerves. For example, a therapeutic effect would be ankle pain relief. Inserting an acupuncture needle into the body will also influence structures in the brainstem such as the periaqueductal grey area, as well as higher centers such as structures of the limbic, endocrine and autonomic systems. These may provide more global effects on the body such as improvement of sleep quality or mood. Finally, needling myofascial trigger points has the potential to reduce pain and contribute to improved muscle function.

 

Neurological Conditions Improved with Acupuncture

  • Recovery from stroke or traumatic brain injury

  • Absent or impaired sensation (paresthesia, neuropathy)

  • Trigeminal neuralgia

  • Cerebral palsy

  • Carpal tunnel syndrome

  • Bell's palsy

  • Spasticity

  • Dyskinesia (incl. Parkinsonian dyskinesia)

  • Weakness or paralysis

  • Multiple sclerosis

  • Parkinson's disease

  • Bladder and bowel dysfunction

  • Insomnia

  • Fatigue

  • Depression, anxiety and mood disorders

  • Impaired hearing, vision or sense of taste and smell

  • Dysphagia

The Scope of Acupuncture in California

The scope of practice in California includes herbal and nutrient medicine, dietary therapy, physiotherapies, exercise such as qi gong or taichi and some modern technologies, such as trigger point stimulation with fine filiform needles and electrical stimulation.

Some Facts

Although the exact number of people who use Chinese medicine in the United States is unknown, according to the 2007 National Health Interview Survey (NHIS), which included a comprehensive survey on the use of complementary health approaches by Americans, an estimated 3.1 million U.S. adults had used acupuncture  2006, and about 2.3 million Americans practiced tai chi and 600,000 practiced qi gong.

Research

1) Acupuncture: Present, Past and Future

2) Review of Clinical Applications of Scalp Acupuncture for Paralysis: An Excerpt From Chinese Scalp Acupuncture

3) Acupuncture Analgesia: I. The Scientific Basis

4) Mechanisms of Acupuncture Therapy in Ischemic Stroke Rehabilitation: A Literature Review of Basic Studies

5) Acupuncture for Neurogenesis in Experimental Ischemic Stroke: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

Therapeutic massage is a general term that describes any type of massage modality that helps sleep better, relieve pain, reduce stress, and work on a specific problem—such as a neck pain or piriformis syndrome.

 

People tend to assume therapeutic massage means deep tissue massage, and that they will get a very strong massage. But this is not always the case. Instead, it is important to apply the specific techniques and the right amount of pressure to address your need, and sometimes that’s a lighter touch.

There are several types of therapeutic massage we perform. Click here for service pricing or booking.

 

Sports massage is especially beneficial for chronic pain or repetitive muscle strain such as compromised posture when working on computers all day. It employs strong pressure and may give you muscle soreness a day or two after the session. This is typically the result of toxins released and so it is important that you stay well-hydrated to help your body flush toxins out.

Shiatsu is Japan's primary manual therapy. 'Shi' means the application of finger, and 'atsu' means pressure. The pressure is applied with thumbs, hands, elbows, knees or feet to the acupuncture points on the body. It also focuses on rotating and stretching limbs, joints, and pressure points along 12 primary meridians that control musculoskeletal framework of the body, reflexes to internal organs or nervous system, mental, emotional or energetic imbalances. It is traditionally performed with sheets over the body and without massage oil.

Lymphatic massage

Lymphatic massage, also called manual lymph drainage, is a technique developed in Germany for treatment of lymphedema, an abnormal accumulation of fluid that can occur after lymph nodes are removed during surgery, e.g. after mastectomy, melanoma or colon surgery or it can be a result of a radiation treatment.  Lymphedema can affect as many as four limbs and/or other parts of the body. Symptoms include swelling and pain.  The cause is unknown. However, lymphedema should not be confused with other types of edema resulting from venous insufficiency, cardiac conditions, kidney failure, or other inflammatory processes.  These swelling conditions are systemic, while lymphedema occurs only in the specific regions of the body.

Lymphatic drainage is very gentle, is not painful and doesn’t have a stimulating effect. Therapy is usually performed once a day four or five times a week for two to four weeks. One study showed that the greatest reduction in swelling from lymphedema occurs in the first week of treatment and stabilizes during the second week.

Lymphatic massage may also have some esthetics benefits such as preventing skin on the face from sagging or improving the skin tone. For this purpose, often a facial cupping technique is applied.