Acupuncture is a comprehensive system of medicine practiced in China, Japan, Korea, and other countries in Asia for over thousands of years. It involves the insertion of acupuncture needles into acupuncture points, which lie along channels, or meridians, of Qi. There are many different styles and lineages of acupuncture, such as TCM, Classical, 5 Element, and Toyahari Japanese acupuncture, just to name a few. In China, it was later systematized around 1100 AD, but passed along throughout time from teacher to student.
TCM, or Traditional Chinese Medicine, is the modern manifestation and style of Chinese medicine that is commonly practiced in China and throughout the west. Chinese medicine is based on thousands of years of experience and continues to grow as more and more knowledge is gained through the practice of it. Though its roots are ancient, it continues to evolve with every generation of practitioners, as we seek to address the ever-changing nature of the world and its effect on people and their health. The practitioner assesses the state of the patient’s health by way of observation, palpation and questioning to understand and interpret the underlying biomechanisms. The practitioner can then put together a cohesive diagnosis based on the state of a patient’s Qi, Blood, Yin, Yang, Fluids, and possible external pathogens that may be present. Through this framework, the practitioner can move forward addressing those issues to bring about a state of healing and balance.
Classical Acupuncture is a style of Chinese Medicine that is based on the classical texts and practice of Chinese Medicine, contains the capacity to effectively treat any illness, whether acute or chronic, to stop, and even reverse the progression of disease. It includes the use of the Primary Channels and all the Complement Channels: Sinew Channels, Luo Vessels, Divergent Channels, and Eight Extraordinary Vessels. Channels and vessels are synonymous; they are meridians or pathways of energy within the body.
Five Element Acupuncture
Five Element Acupuncture brings people back into balance and initiates profound healing by treating the patient’s Elemental Constitution, based on Five Phase Theory and the Five Elements: Water, Wood, Fire, Earth, and Metal, and are experienced through the respective seasons. Winter is the manifestation and emanation of the Water Element, Spring is the Wood Element, Summer is the Fire Element, Late Summer is the Earth Element, Fall is the Metal Element. The natural world is comprised of the Elements and each Element itself, is an archetype, deeply personified in the human experience. These movements and characteristics of the Five Elements can be observed within nature, the human body, and the psyche.
Moxibustion is used in both Classical Acupuncture and Five Element Acupuncture. Moxa, Artemisia Argyi, is an herb with medicinal properties that is rolled into tiny cones and burned on acupuncture points or painful areas. It is supplementing and warming, but also articulating for a deeper activation of the point. Moxibustion is often used in conjunction with acupuncture and treats digestive disorders, pain, numbness, insomnia, spiritual disorders, fatigue, vacuity disorders, colds, and other acute disorders.
Chinese Herbal Medicine
Chinese Herbal Medicine is the treatment of illness with the use of plant, animal, and mineral medicinals to help the body, mind and spirit achieve health and balance. Chinese Herbal Medicine is profoundly effective at treating many illnesses, whether acute or chronic, examples being – a variety of colds and sore throats, chronic and acute pain, trauma, insomnia, lack of energy/fatigue, digestive issues, gynecological problems including PCOS and fibroids, infertility, hemiplegia, migraine headaches, bladder infections, impotence and many more.
The practice of Chinese Herbal Medicine has been well documented for over 3,000 years. To explain this medicine, let us look to the meaning in its mother tongue. The character for herbal medicinal – yao 藥, is essentially the character for music – yue 樂, which has a double meaning of happiness, joy – le 樂 with the plant radical added on top – cao 艹. So, loosely translated Chinese Herbal Medicine is the shared joy or happiness of experiencing cosmic music in plant form. Another way of explaining this would be the concept of resonance. The herbs give the body a message, and the body does the healing work. The herbs simply help it along and point it in the right direction. It’s cool because the herbs themselves are like people with different flavors, feels, and actions of their own. For example, bitter herbs drain downward, sweet herbs nourish, acrid herbs disperse and often release the exterior (or induce sweating), sour herbs astringe, and bland herbs tend to promote water metabolism
Medical Qigong is intentioned energy work, in which the practitioner works with the energetic fields of the patient to clear stuck patterns, whether emotional, spiritual, mental, compromising thought forms, entities, or other energies that are no longer serving the patient. The practitioner may prescribe specific exercises to address the patient’s constitution. The patient often feels the energy moving and may have old memories, emotions, feelings, thoughts, or images surface while they are clearing. Sometimes it’s worth talking about and other times, its best to just let them go. One often leaves feeling different, more clear, open and in a deeper state of connection with oneself, the world and the All that Is.
Plastic or glass cups are suctioned against the skin to move Qi and blood, bring toxins held within the muscles up to the surface to be cleared. Some patients have described the sensation as an upside-down massage. Cupping is great for long seated knots, tightness and tension that is unable to be released by other means. Afterwards, there may be discoloration and soreness where the cups were, indicating the clearing of stagnation. The soreness clears quickly, and the patient is left feeling more relaxed, loose, less tense and at ease. The discoloration usually goes away within a couple of days.
Gua Sha is an ancient type of bodywork that involves a light scraping of the skin with an object, such as an Asian soup spoon, piece of jade or other stone. This breaks up the stagnation in the superficial layer of the fascial and will free the flow of Qi and blood along the areas where it is done. It can leave marks similar to cupping and sometimes can look quite extreme, in cases where the patient has a lot of stagnation built up. It breaks up myo-fascial adhesions and in doing so is great for treating pain and increasing range of motion. In recent years, chiropractors and other osteopathic doctors have rebranded it is as “Graston Technique” (check spelling). It’s quite effective and patients tend to love it because of this. However, it’s not recommended if you an upcoming photoshoot or a day at the beach or spa (unless you want to have a natural conversation starter!).
Intuitive Energetic Manual Release
Energetic Manual Release Therapy is the lovechild of Medical Qigong and Manual Release. The practitioner must be very present and energetically aware. The practitioner feels where the patient’s muscles are knotted and tight, connects with the tissue physically and energetically, applies the appropriate level of pressure, then feels for the next location he or she is drawn to on the patient. Sometimes a third or fourth location is simultaneously made. A connection is made between the two locations and energy begins to flow and release. The patient often feels the muscles lightly contract and then release as they slip into a deeper state of relaxation and release. The practitioner continues to do this as they move the energy out of the patients body. The patients will also feel the energy move and sometimes experiences emotion clearing with it. The patient usually leaves feeling relaxed, with less tightness, tension and pain. It is less intense than more traditional manual therapy, cupping and gua sha. Its great for treating any pain, tension, or tightness in the head, neck, jaw, shoulders, back, arms, hips, and legs.
Bart developed this therapy through his frequent and successful treatment of pain in hundreds of patients.Appointments