What is acupuncture?
Acupuncture is a medicinal means of observation, diagnosis, and treatment for a variety of ailments. It includes the use of small filiform needles, manual therapies, exercises, cupping, moxa, dietary counseling, herbs, electrostimulation and more.
Are there different kinds of acupuncture?
Yes! There are several styles of acupuncture and acupuncturists, just like many other professions. Some acupuncturists specialize in pain, eye disorders, post-stroke rehabilitation, digestion, infertility, and son on. Some acupuncturists are “general practitioners” in that they treat a broad range of ailments, or they may specialize in a style of acupuncture such as orthopedic, or TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine), Japanese style, or a cherished lineage of acupuncture.
How does acupuncture work?
Acupuncture works by manipulating specific areas of the body to increase blood flow, decrease inflammation, address pain, and more. Needles may be used where the pain or swelling is, or they may be used elsewhere on the body to address issues. Evidence reveals that acupuncture has the means to amend hormones, restore neural pathways, support organ function, fascial connections, emotions and more.
DN is a style or type of acupuncture which would be considered orthopedic/sports acupuncture. Not all acupuncturists are trained in this style. There are many styles and types of acupuncture. So many that none of us can be trained in them all. The Samurai have a style, Korean hand therapy specializes in points in the fingers, TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine), auricular (in the ear), 5 element, and so on. There are many styles of acupuncture and some deal with meridians while others have little to nothing to do with the meridians. This exact fact is what confuses many people. DN (ortho-acupuncture) uses acupuncture needles (AKA small filiform needles) to go into tight muscle, fascial planes, or where there is pain to increase blood flow, loosen tightness and promote healing. Not everyone should get this (weak, elderly, severe tears, those who don’t have sufficient circulation or hydration etc) and not all pains mean a muscle should be hammered the way DN is trained to be.
Kinesiology tape is specifically designed to help improve the stability of the joint while allowing the joint to move through full range of motion. It can also rapidly help heal bruising and circulate swelling. Kensio tape was first developed by Dr. Kenzo Kase and garnished popularity when it’s origami-like appearance was seen in the Olympics on athletes. Since that time other companies have evolved their own versions, such as Rock Tape. There are very subtle differences in each brand with pluses in each but as mentioned, Kinesio tape allows the muscle/joint to function while being supported.
This is the application of elctro-stimulation that can be applied to the needles. These deliver a steady stream of very small frequencies to the needle for constant stimulation. This is almost always only reserved for pain and stuck qi/blood.
Many people are familiar with chiropractors that often use E-stim pads on the skin. This is similar but just merely applied to the needle. This enables the current to reach more efficient and more accurate depths for the injury.
Chinese herbs consist of almost anything naturally found on earth from roots, to animal parts to minerals.
Your herbal formula will be custom designed to address your symptoms and the root cause(s) of them. As the condition changes and improves, the herbal ingredients in the prescription can be modified until the desired health outcome is achieved. Herbal medicine is a very powerful way to make changes happen to ones health.
In cases of pain, infection, or physical trauma, a topical may also be incorporated such as oils, liniments or patches.
Vegans and vegetarians are respected in this office. Make mention of this and such herbs will remain excluded from your formula. For ethical complications out of China and beyond, our pharmacy is almost entirely vegan (we do have oyster shells for example which help soothe nerves, promote sleep, and nourish yin.
This service can be done in-office but is offered online in the form of TeleHealth.
If you feel like a wet rag, dizzy, heavy, tired, nauseous, achy, like you are coming down with the flu more often than not, obscure/idiopathic nerve issues, tingling, numbness, and so on, it may be your environment. Here we can discuss your home, past homes, or office for things like EMF exposure, mold exposure, VOC’s and more.
This is particularly of benefit for those who have been to doctors who come up with nothing and labs that all “check out”. In these cases it’s time to get creative and consider things like the place you sleep in, the things you might be exposed to, or latent or stealth infections like Lyme or mono (yes you can get this more than once or chronically).
Independent labs can help test infections, hormones, mold, yeast, gut health, and more. The tests might be blood, urine or saliva.
Some insurance plans might cover some portion of the labs and some no matter what, patients pay out of pocket. Some HSA’s might cover this. Independent/3rd party labs are growing in popularity as they broaden what can be tested and some you can even do at home.
Cupping therapy is used in Chinese medicine to move blood, relieve muscle and ligament pain and ward off illness. Small glass or plastic cups are placed on the skin creating suction. The cups may be then left in place, or are often moved along the skin with the aid of a liniment. This is called sliding cups.
You will likely look like someone beat the living @#%! out of you where the cups were placed. That is the merely the activation of blood instigated by the cups and can even be diagnostic. The longer the markings last, the deeper the issue and the more you might be in a holding pattern with the illness. It does not hurt- in fact it feels like a massage, only you are left with a conversation starter on your skin everyone is sure to ask you about.
They are used to aid in detox, stimulate the lymphatic system and reach nearly 4 inches deep of body tissue.
They are also commonly used for colds and flus, for tension, pain, and inflammation.
Moxibustion involves burning the plant Artemisia vulgaris, also known as “moxa.” This herb is either burned directly on the skin, on top of the needle, or indirectly above the skin to promote circulation and warm the body and nourish an acupuncture point.
Moxa improves blood circulation, stimulates the adrenal glands, and is also an analgesic, demonstrating the ability to stimulate anti-inflammatory hormones like cortisone.
Other research has shown moxa can increase T-cells and white blood cells making it a good option for boosting the immune system.
One random fact about moxa: it is commonly used to turn a breeched baby!
The RAW herbal pharmacy is located just a couple of blocks south of BCOM.
The herbal pharmacy is for custom prescriptions only by a trained provider. Your acupuncturist at BCOB may send your formula prescription to RAW for us to fill for you.
Once your formula is filled, the bottle will have your initials written on the top with instructions on the label. The herbs are a granular form, to drink as a hot tea measured by grams. A gram spoon will be provided in your herb jar. It is not uncommon to maybe have some granules or a “sludge” at the bottom of your tea and you can “chug” this or add more water and stir. Herbal formulas are set outside of the suite door and the main building is typically open during normal business hours and weekend afternoons (lunch hourish for a few hours to be safe) for you to pick up at your convenience.
You will get an email or text to notify you your formula is ready with the total.
Cash, check or Venmo are the form of payments accepted at the time of or prior to pickup. Checks should be written to Sheila Liewald and can be slipped under the suite door which is currently kept locked between and during our patient visits. The Venmo account is @sheila-liewald with the image of sky/clouds. Most insurance does not cover herbs, and we do not bill insurance. A superbill is available on request.
Check out the bottom of the “About” page for location details and visual of the building exterior.