Asian Medicine has flourished in China for over 4,000 years. Acupuncture, herbs, moxabustion, cupping and massage are employed to encourage, maintain and improve good health. Traditional asian medicine is a complete natural medical system that is used to diagnose and treat illness, prevent disease and improve well being. It is effective in treating many physical diseases as well as emotional imbalances.
Acupuncture is the insertion of very fine, thin needles into points on the skin which have been recognized as having decreased electrical resistance. The goal of acupuncture is to balance the body’s subtle energy systems. Precise points along pathways on the skin are energetically connected to specific body structures and organs. In addition to the specific effects of various points, acupuncture has the systemic effect of increasing endorphins which leads to pain relief and enhances energy and vitality.
Cupping, along with gua sha and tui na (Chinese medical massage), are powerful modalities. Cupping therapy utilizes glass cups to create localized vacuum pressure. The vacuum inside the cups increases blood flow to the area which aids in healing and stretches tight muscles and connective tissue. The deep nature of the suction causes release of muscle tension, toxins and increases lymphatic drainage. It can be very therapeutic for acute or chronic respiratory issues as well. Cupping can be very effective when done gently but it is always possible to leave the treatment room with some marks after treatment. These should resolve within a few days.
Herbal formulas are carefully tailored to meet each individual’s needs. They gently bring the body back to balance. Unlike many western drugs which offer symptomatic relief, herbs, used in accord with Chinese medical theory, address the root of disease. They can be used in tandem with harsh, but necessary, western drugs or procedures to ameliorate their side effects and help the body recover form antibiotics, surgery or even chemotherapy.
Moxa is the Chinese herb, Ai Ye, commonly known as mugwort, and is one of the oldest healing techniques used in Chinese medicine. It is sometimes used during acupuncture treatments and is a form of fire heat that when placed over acupuncture points creates a warming, stimulating and healing effect.
Dietary recommendations are an important part of Dr. Howard’s quest to create balance in the body and enhance energy and vitality. Good nutrition is the foundation upon which good health can be built. Nutrition can be integrated with traditional Chinese medicine to create a gentle, yet powerful, healing.
Functional medicine looks for the underlying causes of disease in a similar way to ancient Asian medicine but from a completely different paradigm. This medicine is very biochemically based and often uses blood work, stool tests and other specialty labs results. We then treat using nutrition, lifestyle recommendations and support in the form of supplements, vitamins and herbs. This is very personalized medicine and gives us yet another window to look at various imbalances in the body and find the most therapeutic and effective route to wellness.