Acupuncture & Traditional Chinese Medicine
Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) is a millennia-old system of disease prevention and treatment. Chinese medicine consists of several modalities, including acupuncture, herbal prescriptions, dietary therapy, qi gong exercise, tui na (which is massage), cupping and moxibustion. Acupuncture is the most well-known and widely used of these in the United States. Acupuncture is the insertion of very fine needles into specific sites on the body chosen according to the diagnostic principles of Chinese Medicine with the goal of creating greater balance and health in the body. After needles are inserted, patients rest with the needles for about 25–30 minutes and typically become deeply relaxed. Acupuncture needles are sterile and single-use.
Arvigo Technique of Maya Abdominal Therapy
Just as Acupuncture and Chinese medicine have been around for thousands of years as the traditional form of medicine in Asia, Maya Abdominal Therapy is part of the ancient healing system of the Maya people in Central America and Mexico. Maya Abdominal Therapy is a form of external noninvasive abdominal massage used to promote proper anatomical position, health and functioning of the digestive and reproductive organs and release physical and emotional congestion from the abdomen. This can be used to treat a variety of issues such as infertility, PMS, endometriosis, painful or irregular periods and fibroids, to name a few. Poor alignment can weaken the muscles and ligaments that support the ovaries and uterus causing a restriction of the flow of blood and lymph to these reproductive organs and also causing the organs themselves to shift. Through Maya Abdominal Therapy, the organ function is improved by repositioning organs that have shifted and strengthening ligaments and muscles, thus restoring the flow of blood, lymph, nerve, and energy to the reproductive organs.
Herbal & Dietary Therapy
Traditional Chinese medicine includes not only acupuncture, but also herbal and dietary therapy. In Chinese medicine we understand that herbal medicine and food share a common origin and are thought to be an important part of optimal health and healing. Herbal and Dietary Therapies are based on the principle that herbal and food recommendations should be based on an individual’s constitution, their symptoms and health concerns. In the Chinese medicine system there is no single best diet or herbal recommendation for everyone and dietary and herbal prescriptions evolve for an individual depending on the season/climate, their symptoms, and other factors such as phase of the reproductive cycle. It's not just a matter of eating good nutrition but of discovering what the right food or herbal supplement is for an individual.
There are over 50,000 medicinal substances currently in use in the Traditional Chinese medicine herbal pharmacopeia. A practitioner of Chinese herbal medicine assesses which formulation of herbs will be most appropriate for a patient based on their constitution and symptoms.
Formulas include a combination of different herbs designed create a balanced, synergistic effect that addresses the holistic nature of the diagnosis. There are thousands of different pre-made formulations that can be administered in tablet, pill or tincture form. Powdered or raw formulations can be modified by the TCM practitioner to address the nuances of the condition and constitution of the patient, making them highly individualized.
Western Therapeutic massage therapy includes a variety of techniques such as trigger point therapy, Swedish massage, deep tissue massage, rehabilitative therapy, among others. These manual manipulations of the soft tissues have many benefits such as reducing pain, muscular tension and stiffness; reducing stress and relaxing the body and mind; and enhancing circulation of blood and lymph.
Shiatsu is a form of Japanese therapeutic massage based on the principles of acupuncture and Chinese medicine as well as Western anatomy and physiology. Various manual techniques such as kneading, pressing, soothing, tapping, and stretching are used to treat certain acupoints on the body and manipulate the meridians. Shiatsu is an excellent complementary therapy to acupuncture and can be a good alternative for individuals who are not interested in needles.
Cranial Sacral Therapy
A form of therapeutic bodywork that uses gentle touch of the bones of the head, spine and pelvis/sacrum to regulate the flow of the cerebrospinal fluid with the goal of releasing tension in these areas to allow for better alignment, proper circulation and less pain. It is commonly used to support optimal pelvic positioning when trying to conceive, fetal positioning to prepare for labor and delivery (i.e., alleviating breech or transverse positions or other more subtle imbalances in the pelvis), postpartum recovery, as well as many other health concerns. Cranial Sacral Therapy was developed by osteopathic physicians in the late 19th century in America.
Castor Oil Packing
We often encourage women to incorporate castor oil packs into their home care routine and this is something that we may utilize during clinic treatments as well. The process involves covering the abdomen (or affected area) with a large piece of wool flannel that is saturated with castor oil, adding a source of warmth on top (hot water bottle, rice pack, heating pad) and resting for 30–60 minutes. Using castor oil in this way can reduce pain and inflammation, increase blood and lymph circulation, regulate the immune system, and gently encourage detoxification. It is not recommended during menses or after ovulation if trying to conceive.
Moxibustion (or moxa) is a therapy used in traditional Chinese medicine in which a stick or cone of burning mugwort, Artemesia vulgaris, is placed over a particular acupoint or area of the body to warm, stimulate and strengthen. This can be extremely effective and is used in combination with acupuncture or bodywork.
Cupping is a therapy in which glass cups are suctioned to the skin along the meridians of the body helping to reduce pain and inflammation and to increase blood flow, relaxation and well-being. Cupping has been used for thousands of years, not only in Asia but in other parts of the world as well.