Acupuncture is the practice of inserting needles into the body to activate a change in its functioning. Acupuncture points stimulate the central nervous system. This, in turn, releases chemicals into the muscles, spinal cord, and brain. These biochemical changes stimulate the body's natural healing abilities. It can enhance recuperative power and immunity, support physical and emotional health, and improve overall function and well-being. It is a safe, gentle and effective way to treat a wide variety of medical conditions.
The National Institute of Health and World Health Organization recognizes the efficacy of acupuncture for the treatment of 43 common disorders, including gastrointestinal, urogenital, gynecological, circulatory, and respiratory disorders; disorders of the bone, muscles, joints and nervous system; emotional and psychological disorders and addictions; and supportive therapies that relieve the unpleasant side effects of radiation and chemotherapy.
Acupuncture with electrical stimulation
Electroacupuncture is similar to traditional acupuncture in that the same points are stimulated during treatment. In this style of treatment, needles are inserted on specific points along the body and then attached to a device that generates continuous electric pulses using small clips. The device is used to adjust the frequency and intensity of the impulse being delivered, depending on the condition being treated. Electroacupuncture uses two needles at time so that the impulses can pass from one needle to the other. Several pairs of needles can be stimulated simultaneously, typically for 15 to 20 minutes. While uses for electroacupuncture vary, it is most commonly added to a treatment strategy to relieve chronic pain, accelerate injury healing, or to address neurological conditions.
Gua sha is an important hands-on medical treatment that has been used for centuries.Gua means ‘to rub’ or ‘press-stroke.’ Sha is a term that describes the blood congestion in surface tissue that accumulates in areas where you may experience stiffness and pain; sha is also the term for the little red dots (petechiae) that are raised by applying Gua sha. To administer Gua sha, light oil is applied to lubricate the skin, then a smooth edged instrument is used to press-stroke body. Relief lasts even after the sha is completely gone. Modern research shows the temporary therapeutic sha produce an anti inflammatory and immune protective effect that persists for days following a single Gua sha treatment.
Benefits of Gua sha:
• Any condition where there is pain or discomfort (both acute and chronic)
• Upper respiratory conditions (common cold, flu, bronchitis, and asthma)
• Digestive conditions (stomach ache, nausea, vomiting, ulcers, gastritis, colitis, gallstones, diarrhea to constipation)
• Maintain hepatoprotection in patients with active hepatitis
It is advised after treatment to keep the area protected from wind, cold, and direct sun until the sha fades and to drink plenty of water and eat moderately.
Negative Pressure, or suction, is used to rapidly facilitate rigid soft tissue release, loosen & lift connective tissue, break up and drain stagnation while increasing blood & lymph flow to the skin & muscles in ways not possible using compression techniques. Simply put, the use of cups allows for a stretching and opening of the tissues in the body. This lifting creates space for fluid to move and helps drain toxins and waste from the cells; than moves that waste out of the body.
Cupping therapy increases blood circulation to the affected area, which in turn helps relieve joint pain, ease stiff muscles, and reduce exercise-related fatigue. It detoxifies your body, causing the tissues to release the toxins, thus healing the body and restoring the balance. It is especially useful in managing respiratory issues like bronchitis.
Small cups are used to vacuum and lift the facial tissue that mimics the pumping movement of lymphatic drainage.Some of the benefits of facial cupping; increased circulation to the skin, increased nutrients brought to the skin, enhanced absorption of facial topicals such as serums, sunscreen and moisturizers, drainage of stagnant fluids, decrease of chronic edema/puffiness, fine lines and wrinkles plump, scar tissue will soften from the negative pressure, muscles will experience decreased tension and tightness thus lessening expression lines, rigid muscles associated with TM J disorder will loosen, sinus pressure and inflammation will decrease, and an evening of skin tone and texture.
My own hospice story began years ago with the death of my father. Choosing to die at home, Dad was surrounded by love and family for the entire process. The hospice team was wonderful. It was one of the most moving things I have ever experienced and I wanted to pay it back so I became a hospice volunteer. I owe much of where I am today to my experiences using hospice and being a hospice volunteer. While in acupuncture school, I noticed similarities that Chinese Medicine, much like hospice, embraces a whole-person approach of mind, body, and spirit and thought how I wished I had known when my dad was in hospice how this powerful medicine could have helped him and our family. That’s when I knew I was meant to be of service as a hospice acupuncturist.
Acupuncture can be very effective in hospice and palliative care because healing is as much the body as the mind and the spirit. Acupuncture offers a chance to improve the physical state of the body by reducing pain, nausea, sickness and digestive function but it also improves the mind and the spirit by reducing stress and anxiety for the patients. In addition, acupuncture can be helpful for family and loved ones who are suffering with loss and grief.
I am a Certified Provider of Acupuncture for Hospice and Palliative Care. It would be my honor to be a part of end of life care for your loved one.
From the NAHPCA website: (www.NAHPCA.com)
The National Association of Hospice and Palliative Care Acupuncturists (NAHPCA) establishes a specialized protocol for treating people at the end of life. Acupuncture treatments are customized to address the stages of grief and help move the patient through emotional blocks to a new level of acceptance which promotes a more peaceful death. Our members promote this standard through communication and education with hospice and palliative care organizations, their patients, and their circles of support. Practitioners who join our association are dedicated, compassionate professionals who support the ideals of Dr. Cicely Saunders (founder of the modern hospice movement) whose vision was that everyone should be able to die in a safe, peaceful and pain-free environment.
NAHPCA is an organization dedicated to broadening the circle of care for patients at the end of life to include Oriental Medicine (a system of medicine that includes acupuncture, Chinese herbs, bodywork, and numerous other healing modalities). Research has proven that combining treatments in Chinese Medicine with hospice and/or palliative care modalities leads to significant benefits in patient comfort levels. Safe and effective treatments may be used with all forms of terminal illnesses and the wide variety of emotional, physical, mental, and spiritual distress patterns associated with death and dying. In addition, acupuncture can be helpful for family or loved ones who are suffering with loss and grief.