Acupuncture & Chinese Medicine are the foundation of a twenty-five hundred year old medical system. This ancient form of natural medicine grows out of a nuanced understanding of the human body and its physiological resonance with spirit and natural law. The body houses a matrix of energy channels known as meridians. These meridians are the body's first line of defense against stress and illness. Chinese Medicine diagnoses and balances the flow of qi in the meridians- clearing blockages while activating your body's innate healing energy. This approach yields powerful results by addressing the underlying energetic cause of pain or an illness and not just the symptoms.
Typically, an initial consult and acupuncture treatment will last about 75 minutes. During this time we discuss your health history and current health concerns. As a diagnostic tool, we feel your pulse on both wrists and examine your tongue. We use this information to assess patterns of disharmony that are present and craft a treatment plan working with the 5 Branches of Chinese Medicine: acupuncture, herbal medicine, tuina/massage, medicinal foods and qi-based exercise. During your acupuncture treatment we gently insert the needles and leave you to rest. Most people report feeling a deep sense of relaxation during this time. Additional therapies such as cupping, moxibustion, guasha and bodywork may also be integrated into your session. In addition, when appropriate, an herb formula and/or therapeutic foods will be prescribed to complete your treatment plan.
Follow-up acupuncture treatments last about an hour. A series of treatments may be necessary to make lasting changes when treating acute pain or deep-seated conditions. In certain cases, bi-weekly treatments may be necessary to bring fast relief.
Common conditions that benefit from treatment
Wellness Care: low energy & fatigue, acute & chronic insomnia, high blood pressure, poor concentration, rashes & skin problems, seasonal tune-ups & general wellness
Fertility & Reproductive Health: natural fertility & pregnancy preparation; IVF/ART support, amenorrhea, endometriosis, fibroids, ovarian cysts, PCOS, recurrent miscarriage, post-partum care
Women's Healthcare: leaky bladder, prolapse, UTI's, interstitial cystitis, hormonal imbalance, menstrual problems, painful periods, breast pain, pelvic pain, peri-menopause & menopausal concerns
Gut & Immune Support: allergies, chronic fatigue, respiratory issues, sinus problems, gas, boating, GERD, diarrhea, IBS, constipation, weight loss, anemia, cancer treatment support
Pain & Trauma Relief: anxiety, depression, grief, post-traumatic stress, back pain, hip pain, neck & shoulder pain, headaches and migraines, carpel tunnel, repetitive stress injuries, slow healing injuries, muscle pain & spasms, traumatic brain injury
Additional Chinese Medical Therapies:
Cupping is an effective modality to treat various aches and pains including muscle pain, menstrual pain, symptoms related to the initial stages of a cold (achy muscles and non-productive cough) and other health conditions. During cupping we place cups (glass or pliable silicone cups are most common) on specific points to form a vacuum. The vacuum creates a pressure chamber similar to a reversed pressure point, pulling blood and Qi out to the surface to release stagnation, or sha. Cups may also be used with oil to slide across the skin and muscles to release the fascia and balance muscle meridians. Cupping may leave colorful marks on the skin when there is stagnation/sha. These marks are a natural by-product of cupping and typically recede within 3-5 days.
The dried and aged herb Mugwort / Aiye (Artemisiae Argyi Folium) is used to warm the body and tonify points when there is a diagnosed deficiency or coldness. It is a very comforting and deeply warming treatment. It is often prescribed where there is deficiency, muscle pain or in the treatment of fertility or gynecological issues. Moxa may be applied through many forms: a rolled stick, a hand rolled cone or 'string', or on the end of a needle in a compressed bundle. It may also be placed on a slice of ginger, on salt to strengthen its warming and drying properties.
Guasha, like cupping, can be used to relieve chronic muscular pain. Ceramic spoons or smooth stone (jade-like) tools are used to bring blood and Qi to the affected areas by scraping along meridians over skin and muscle layers. Red marks (sha) are left where the treatment has occurred. These marks are painless and usually go away after a few days.
Abdominal Therapies / Pelvic Care
Abdominal Therapies / Pelvic Care tends to the root of a woman's body. These therapies yield wonderful results providing a deeper level of healing that other approaches often overlook.
The pelvis is a structural bowl that houses the reproductive organs, intestines and bladder. Its bony structure, comprised of the hip bones, sacrum, and tailbone, requires proper alignment and healthy blood and lymph circulation in order for the organs and tissues to thrive. Too often the pelvis receives the brunt of the body's stress, pain, and unprocessed emotions due to injury, sluggish digestion, hormonal changes and health challenges. By restoring balance to the pelvis the body's entire ecosystem revives.
In Chinese medicine, the body's primary energy map is comprised of twelve main meridians, eight extraordinary channels and three dantians (energetic fields). The three dantians house the "3 treasures"- jing (vital essence), qi (energy), shen (spirit). The lower dantian or "hara" contains the essence of our physical and reproductive vitality, also known as our "source qi" or jing. Through palpation of the hara, deficiencies and/or areas of congestion are simultaneously assessed and addressed directly impacting the flow of energy, blood and nutrients to the internal organs. Hara Balancing benefits hormonal balance, digestion and metabolism helping to restore harmony to the organs, tissues and fundamental energy reservoirs where consciousness and physicality merge.
The Arvigo Techniques of Maya Abdominal Therapy® (ATMAT) is an external massage technique that alleviates abdominal congestion while guiding internal abdominal organs into their proper position for optimum health and well-being. Maya massage improves organ function by releasing physical and emotional stagnation from the abdomen. This enhances the flow of qi and fluids of the circulatory, lymphatic and nervous systems to promote health and prevent chronic dis-ease. Dr. Rosita Arvigo created ATMAT after an extensive apprenticeship with her mentor Don Elijio Panti, a Maya Shaman, and Hortence Robinson, a long time Belizian midwife. ATMAT is a continuation of this important legacy; one that preserves a direct path to physical and spiritual healing.
Mercier Therapy was created by midwife and naturopathic physician, Jennifer Mercier. Dr. Jenny worked for years as a midwife and a professional assistant in various fertility centers. After dealing with personal gynecological issues, and delayed fertility, Jenny turned towards a natural approach to healing and devised her Mercier Therapy protocol. Mercier Therapy is a deep pelvic visceral manipulation modality that increases tissue pliability and promotes healthy blood flow to the uterus, ovaries and spine, enhancing circulation in previously restricted and adhered areas. This therapy has a 83% pregnancy success rate through the Mercier Therapy Shared Fertility Journey program. The program delivers a straightforward approach to pelvic visceral manipulation and natural fertility protocols to further hormone balancing, cycle regulation and optimal reproductive health.
What conditions can benefit from Abdominal / Pelvic Care?
Natural Fertility Enhancement
Menstrual Issues - amenorrhea, PMS, period pain, endometriosis, fibroids, flooding
Cycle Issues- PCOS, irregular cycles
Peri-menopause, Menopause & Hormonal Transitions
Abdominal bloating, pain or congestion
Abdominal scar tissue and adhesions
Post-cesarean, post-hysterectomy care
Constipation, IBS, GERD, digestive Issues
Pelvic cysts, cystocele, rectocele, organ prolapse
Pelvic pain, painful intercourse, vaginismus
Urinary incontinence, interstitial cystitis, UTI's
Varicosities, lower body circulatory issues
Lower back pain, hip pain
Bodywork & Energywork
For those of you that are new to Reiki, it is a gentle yet powerful, energy-based approach to healing. Reiki channels source energy to aid physical and emotional recovery from life's unexpected bumps and bruises. Because it is non-invasive, it is an excellent healing method to treat acute and chronic pain (physical and emotional) as well as provide deep comfort and healing support for cancer treatment, post-surgical recovery, and stressful life events.
Thai Massage offers a comprehensive approach to physical bodywork. It, too, is based on balancing energy but does so by stretching and compressing the tissue. Traditionally, Thai Massage was considered a spiritual offering performed by monks in Thai temples. In the spirit of its origins, this soulful work actively restores the body and spirit, while alleviating acute & chronic injuries, stress, pain and fatigue.
Pelvic therapies are contraindicated:
- During heavy menses when endometriosis is present
- If an IUD, Essure, tubal clips or surgical mesh is present
- Acute / chronic infection
- Recent abdominal or pelvic surgery
- Active cancer diagnosis