Call our studio clinic at (831) 228-1177
to schedule with a practitioner
Tuesdays, 12-3PM Community Acupuncture and private appts 2:30PM onwards
by appointment for private sessions
Rates for private appointments:
$115 for 80-minute initial intake / treatment
$85 for 50-minute follow-up treatment
Superbilling is possible for private sessions with all acupuncturists (patient pays out of pocket at each session and submits a receipt as a claim to their insurance). Our practitioners partner directly with various insurance companies, please inquire.
ABOUT TRADITIONAL CHINESE MEDICINE
by Jennifer Root, LAc.
In modern culture, we revere science and technology as the driving force behind much of what we do, including our approach to medicine. While modern science has reached boldly beyond what our eye can see, our culture is still largely tethered to materialism and reductionist theory. It is important to recognize that Chinese medicine does not defy any laws of nature substantiated by the modern science of physics, chemistry or biology. In fact, the theory & practice of this medicine is firmly rooted in these laws and maintains deep respect for the natural order that follows them.
Balance does not necessarily mean symmetry or equilibrium. It is achieved in dynamic proportion between forces that oppose one another. In fact, it is the dynamic relationship between innumerable opposing forces that sustains life (…as we know it). In medicine, we call this homeostasis. Eastern philosophy captures this concept in the infamous taiji symbol of yin and yang. Every natural law, however simple or complex, includes this concept. Yin and Yang describes the relationships between space & time...matter & antimatter...positive & negative...day & night...heat & cold...internal & external...excess & deficient...attraction & repulsion...birth & death…there is no isolation of a beginning or end, just a relative relationship between the two.
Chinese medicine has withstood the test of time, having been practiced for thousands of years (…stop and think about that…thousands of years…), and it still works for millions of people throughout the world for a wide variety of health issues. Yet, our place in modern time requires that we find physically measurable evidence and histological data that holds up to what we define as scientifically credible. That said, after years of study and fervent passion for this medicine, it pains me to abandon the poetry and true essence of its wisdom by reducing the parts of its sum into purely scientific terms. I will do my best to unify both teachings.
Modern research shows that stimulation of specific locations (ACUPUNCTURE POINTS) on the external body by needle, pressure or heat, in turn triggers a complex cascade of biochemical and reflex reactions along these specific internal pathways (CHANNELS OR MERIDIANS). This leads to (THE SMOOTH FLOW OF QI) vascular, immune, endocrine and connective tissue responses resulting in pain control, tissue repair, muscle relaxation, reduced inflammation, increased range of motion & flexibility, normalization of organ function, blood & lymph flow, stress reduction, mood enhancement & improved sleep (INCREASED VITALITY).
Simply stated, the stimulation of ACUPUNCTURE POINTS along specific CHANNELS leads to the SMOOTH FLOW OF QI, resulting in INCREASE VITALITY.
There are language limitations that make it challenging to translate certain concepts of Chinese medicine into English terms, like the word "Qi," for example. It is said that acupuncture regulates the flow of Qi throughout the body’s channels, which can be difficult to conceptualize given that there is no single English word for "Qi," nor is there an isolated anatomical structure that defines a meridian or channel. It is important to recognize that Qi is not just a word, but rather a concept that describes a dynamic process or function. And while acupuncture points may transmit signals (Qi!) along measurable fascial planes, it is important to understand that meridians are not material channels, but rather a cascade of physiological functions in procession.
Chinese Character for "Qi"
Chinese medicine largely focuses on preventative health as a key to longevity. In the West, we tend to ignore health issues until they progress long enough to get our attention. Chinese Medicine reaches far beyond acupuncture to prevent disease and address health issues. In traditional practice, there are five branches of Chinese medicine:
"Over its 2500 years of development, a wealth of experience has accumulated in the practice of acupuncture, attesting to the wide range of diseases and conditions that can be effectively treated with this approach. Unlike many other traditional methods of treatment, which tend to be specific to their national or cultural context, acupuncture has been used throughout the world..." -- World Health Organization, Acupuncture: Review and Analysis of Reports on Controlled Clinical Trials
2. Herbal Medicine
Much like the classic approach of compound pharmacies, herbal medicine utilizes the art and science of creating personalized prescriptions that are formulated specifically for each patient. Loose herbs may be combined in the exact dose, strength and function required by a patient’s unique condition, health history and constitution. This allows for adjustments to the medicine as symptoms begin to change, which not only reduces the potential for negative side effects, but also tends to provide lasting benefit.
3. Diet & Nutrition
While appropriate nutrition is emphasized, as is the case in modern medicine, diet is not dictated by food pyramids or numerical supplement facts. Chinese nutrition does not emphasize the biochemical nature of foods, and does not seek to add or subtract from its natural state in an effort to alter a food's inherent nutritional value. By eating fresh seasonal food...REAL food...with lots of “Qi,” that energy is transferred to us and we can feel positive shifts in our health. In Chinese dietetics, foods are categorized by specific flavor (bitter, sweet, spicy, salty, sour & bland) temperature and function (warming, cooling, drying, moistening). Like herbal medicine, diet is unique to individual demands, health history and constitution. By choosing the appropriate combination of foods, a balanced state of health is achieved.
4. Manual Therapy (Tui Na, Cupping, Gua Sha)
There are several manual therapies besides acupuncture that utilize physical intervention to restore the balance and flow of Qi throughout the body’s channels. Tui Na, Gua Sha and cupping all address channels without penetrating the skin. While they can still restore balance within our deeper channels, they do this by accessing the pathways that flow closer to the surface, such as our cutaneous and muscle channels. All of these methods essentially reduce the stagnation of Qi & blood, which is a leading cause of pain and structural imbalance.
Tui Na, meaning, to “push” and “grasp," utilizes traditional Chinese massage techniques incorporating deep tissue compression, percussion, vibration, lymphatic drainage, soft tissue and joint mobilization to rehabilitate muscles, joints and connective tissues. Gua Sha and Cupping are both manual therapies that use non-invasive tools to increase blood circulation, decongest capillary beds, flush inflammatory mediators, promote vascular budding and lymphatic drainage, mobilize soft tissue, increase muscle tone and function, release trigger points and break up adhesions.
5. Energetics (Taiji, Qigong)
By moving our bodies, we move Qi, thereby preventing stagnation, which can leave us feeling stronger and more energized. In modern medicine, we call this exercise! It is equally important to balance activity with proper rest. Qi Gong and Taiji consider these yin and yang principles. These energetic sequences focus on low impact targeted movements that are practiced in progressive stages. Along with meditation, these practices promote health & well being through balance of body, mind and spirit.