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Acupuncture is the ancient practice of awakening the body's own healing energy through the use of needles and moxabustion.
Acupuncture is an energetic medicine. It presumes the existence of a vital energy, Qi, that circulates in and through all living things. Qi is delivered to the tissues and organs of our body through energy pathways called meridians. In vibrant health Qi circulates freely. However a number of factors can disturb it's flow such as stress, poor nutrition, overwork , environmental factors and climactic influences. These disturbances can lead to malaise and if left unaddressed, to disease. Acupuncture is a drug-free way to help prevent disease and restore health.

When you arrive the acupuncturist will use a number of methods to gather information on the condition of your Qi. She will ask some very detailed questions, look at your tongue, feel your pulses and press around your abdomen and body points. An oriental diagnosis is made and then the most appropriate points are chosen. Needles, the width of two human hairs are inserted and moxabustion, a method of stimulating acupuncture points with heat, is used to restore proper flow of Qi in the body. The acupuncturist may make lifestyle or dietary recommendations appropriate to your particular condition to support the changes that acupuncture affects.
Treatments last from 1 hour to 1 hour and 15 minutes and are extremely relaxing. You may even fall asleep. Some conditions improve rapidly with acupuncture. However, conditions that have developed over years will only be relieved with slow and steady progress. It is not unusual to be treated 1-2 times per week at the outset of treatment and then less frequently as your condition improves. Within a few treatments you will begin to notice better quality of sleep, digestion and an improved sense of well-being and calm as your Qi begins to flow more freely.

Acupuncture has it's roots in ancient China and began about 5000 years ago. It is one branch of a fourfold system of oriental medicine which also includes herbs, exercise/meditation and dietary therapy. Dissection was not practiced in the early days so this system developed through keen observation and practice. Energy or Qi, is invisible but it's manifestations are many. It was observed that energy flows along pathways in the body called meridians. Each meridian is associated with a particular physiological system and a particular organ and a person's health is directly related to the flow of energy through the meridians.

Oriental medicine is a story of relationships. Human experience and the physiological functioning of our bodies are understood through the relationship of various forces found in nature: yin and yang (complementary opposites of a unified whole); the five elements of wood, fire, earth, metal and water; climactic factors such as cold, heat, fire, dampness, wind and dry. Oriental diagnosis is a way of understanding and assessing the delicate interplay of these forces upon and within us. Acupuncture is the means through which Qi is manipulated to restore greater harmony among these phenomena. Good health is the relative harmony of organ with organ, organ with body and ultimately the harmony of self with world.
Auricular Acupuncture

Auricular Acupuncture is the science of treating the entire body through the ear. Ear acupuncture has been practiced for centuries in China. It was imported to Europe around the 1800's. It became more of a mainstream practice there in the 1950's thanks to Paul Nogier, a French physician.

Nogier noticed that lay healers in France successfully treated sciatica by cauterizing a point in the upper ear. Nogier surmized that this point corresponded to the 5th lumbar vertebrae and postulated that the body was laid out on the ear in the form of a inverted fetus. Nogier proceeded to systematize and study the practice. Today ear acupuncture is used effectively to treat many musculoskeletal ailments such as neck, shoulder, back, rib, hip, knee and foot pain, as well as facial pain, indigestion, insomnia, allergies, anxiety and depression, and addictions. Often patients are sent home with press tacks or press balls in the relevant ear points to sustain the effects of treatment and dramatically reduce acute pain.
Treatment of addictions involves what's called the NADA (National acupuncture Detox Association) 5 point ear protocol. It is most effective when done in a group setting as part of a comprehensive substance abuse program. The most profound effects of treatment are a reduction of cravings and symptoms of withdrawal. Other positive benefits include a dramatic reduction in depression and anxiety and an increased sense of well-being which makes the protocol adaptable to a variety of settings beyond the addiction model. It has been used for children with ADHD, in prisons to reduce violence and in post-trauma treatment. Acupuncturists use the protocol in private practice to augment the already calming effects of full body acupuncture.

What is Moxabustion?

Zhenjiu is the Chinese word for acupuncture. The literal translation means "acumoxa". Moxa, (short for moxabustion), is a method of heating acupoints with a common herb called mugwort. Most acupuncture treatments involve both needling and moxa. There are two kinds of moxabustion, indirect and direct. Radiant heat is the therapeutic medium in indirect moxa. The mugwort is either placed on the head of the needle or a moxa pole is used. A moxa pole resembles an incense stick only much thicker and less smokey. In both moxa on the head of the needle and moxa pole, the heat hovers about 11/2 inches away from the area to be treated until the area becomes pink and warm. Direct heat is the therapeutic medium in direct moxa. A tiny bit of mugwort is shaped into a thread, half the size of a grain of rice. It is placed on salve directly on the skin. It is lighted and burns for an instant sending a quick pinch of warmth directly into the acupoint. The direct heat alters the blood chemistry in the area to speed healing and boost immune function. You need no special license to perform direct moxabustion, or "okyu" as it is called, just some training and practice. It is an excellent treatment for pain and inflammation among many other conditions such as sinus congestion, stomach upset, cramps, and poor immune function. Daily moxa treatments are a cost effective way to enhance your acupuncture treatments between visits.
Free weekly ear acupuncture clinic (Portland Veterans Acupuncture Clinic) for veterans and their families.
Call MassageCraft & Acupuncture Clinic today at 207-286-8416 or 207 934 0849 to schedule an appointment.

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