Acupuncture uses very thin needles to stimulate specific points along meridians. This stimulation can be directed to unblock energy that is “stuck” or to bring energy into areas that are lacking energy, thus assisting the body to move back into balance. Other methods used to stimulate acupuncture points include electricity, heat, massage and cupping.
Acupuncture points are believed to stimulate the central nervous system to release chemicals into the muscles, spinal cord and brain. These chemicals either change the experience of pain or release other chemicals, such as hormones, that influence the body’s self-regulating system. These biochemical changes stimulate the body’s natural healing abilities and promote physical and emotional well-being.
Acupuncture is generally considered very safe. While it is a medical procedure that punctures the skin and underlying tissues, injuries and side effects are very rare and when they do occur, they are usually minor. All acupuncture needles are, by law, sterile. At Serenity Natural Health, we use only sterile, single-use, disposable needles.
What Does it Treat?
The World Health Organization (WHO) now recognizes more than 40 conditions as being treatable by acupuncture such as:
- psychological conditions (depression, anxiety, insomnia)
- neurological conditions (headache/migraine, neuropathy, facial palsy)
- musculoskeletal conditions (pain, injuries, arthritis, fibromyalgia, sciatica)
- respiratory conditions (sinusitis, allergies, asthma)
- eyes, ears, nose, and mouth conditions (cataracts, toothaches, pharyngitis)
- gastrointestinal conditions (irritable bowel, reflux, constipation, diarrhea)
- gynecological conditions (infertility, menstrual issues and irregularities, menopause)
- cardiovascular conditions (hypertension)
Growing in popularity, cupping therapy involves applying local suction to areas of the body. Cupping may cause bruising that can last for days to even weeks, which is actually a good sign! In fact, the darker the bruise, the more “stagnation” in that area, therefore the greater the benefit.
Benefits of Cupping
- Pain reduction by releasing tissues, relaxing muscles, relieving stiffness
- Relaxation by sedating the central nervous system
- Improving skin health by increasing blood flow
- Helps respiratory issues and colds by circulating blood/Qi to the lungs and clearing congestion
- Improving digestion by lowering the stress response
At Serenity Natural Health, we do traditional fire-cupping using fire to create negative pressure. Cups are often added during acupuncture treatments and remain on the body for 10-20 minutes.
- Stationary Cupping - Cups are placed on the body and stay there for 10-15 minutes.
- Moving Cupping - Massage oil is applied to the skin under the cups so that the cups can move and slide along the meridian or along muscles.
- Flash Cupping - Cups are rapidly placed and removed over the same area.
When you enter Serenity Natural Health, you might notice a smokey smell. That is moxa (mugwort) - and we do a lot of it! There are different forms of moxibustion therapy (indirect and direct moxibustion) - we mostly do indirect moxa. The different forms of indirect moxa are:
- Moxa Stick - Compressed moxa stick is lit and held over a body part until the body part is warm or slightly reddened.
- Warming Needle Treatment - Moxa powder is shaped into a ball and placed at the tip of an acupuncture needle and lit to warm the needle and acupuncture point.
Moxa Box - Wooden box is placed on your body and moxa is burned in the box to heat the underlying area.
We generally do not do direct moxa at Serenity Natural Health due to blistering and scarring. In this technique, a moxa ‘rice grain’ is placed directly on the skin and burned down.
Benefits of Moxibustion
- Warms the meridians to improve circulation which can reduce pain from stagnation
- Treats “deficient” conditions boosting Qi and Yang energies
- Turns breech babies
- Increases red and white blood cell counts
- Improves digestion